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Tips On Placing a Birdhouse

Tips on placing a birdhouse

When to place birdhouses

Make sure your birdhouses are in place well before the breeding season begins. Don’t be discouraged if the birds do not begin nesting in your box immediately; sometimes it takes time for the birds to find it.

* In the south, place your birdhouses by February.

* In northern regions, place your birdhouses by mid to late March.

If you are looking to attract a variety of species to your nest boxes and have ample room, you might consider pairing your boxes. This involves placing boxes in pairs on poles 15 to 25 feet apart; or you can put two boxes, back to back, on a single pole. Birds such as Tree Swallows and bluebirds will nest closely to one another, although conspecifics will be driven away. Pairing boxes has the advantage of allowing more birds of both species to coexist peacefully within the same habitat.

Golf courses, cultivated fields, gardens, and yards are great habitats for nest boxes, but avoid areas where pesticides and herbicides are used. These agents are not only harmful to birds, they decrease and sometimes eliminate insect populations—the primary food source for many cavity-nesting species.

How to place your birdhouse

Whichever method you choose to erect your boxes, be sure your box is secure enough to withstand high winds and severe weather.

The best way to erect small nest boxes is on free-standing metal poles or PVC pipes. These pipes or poles offer several advantages:

* Nest boxes can be mounted higher than when mounted on a fence post.

* Many predators find poles difficult to climb.

* Poles can also be easily equipped with a predator guard.

Where to place nest boxes

 

Bluebird

open field or lawn; orchards; open, rural country with scattered trees and low or sparse ground cover; Mountain and Western bluebirds will also use deciduous and coniferous forest edges; entrance hole should face open field, preferring east, north, south, and then west facing directions.

box height: 3-6 feet

 

 

Purple Martin

broad open areas (meadows, fields, farmland, swamps, ponds, lakes, rivers) with unobstructed space for foraging on flying insects; there should be no trees or buildings within 40 feet of the martin pole in any direction

box height: 10-15 feet

 

Wood Duck

forested wetlands or near marshes, swamps, and beaver ponds; place boxes in deciduous trees, 30-100 feet from the nearest water, spaced 600 feet apart. add 3" of wood shavings

box height: 6-30 feet

 

American Kestrel

pastures, fields, meadows, or orchards with mowed or grazed vegetation; place boxes on lone trees in fields, on trees along edges of woodlots, and on farm buildings

box height: 10-30 feet

 

Eastern Screech Owl

forests, parks, woodland clearings, forest edges, wooded stream edges, under a tree limb. entrance hole should face north. Add 2"-3" of wood shavings

box height: 10-30 feet

 

Western Screech Owl

lower elevations, forests, parks, woodland clearings, forest edges, deserts, wooded stream edges, under a tree limb. entrance hole should face north. Add 2"-3" of wood shavings

box height: 10-30 feet

 

Great Crested Flycatcher

deciduous or mixed deciduous-coniferous forests, forest edges, woodlots, orchards, parks, on post or tree at forest edge

box height: 3-20 feet

 

Ash-throated Flycatcher

chaparral, mesquite thickets, oak scrub, dry plains spotted with trees or cacti, deserts, and open deciduous and riparian woodlands

box height: 3-20 feet

 

Northern Flicker

pastures, groves, woodlots, orchards, fields, meadows, woodland clearings, forest edges, urban parks, on pole or tree at forest edge or along fence rows bordering crop fields; box should be completely filled with wood chips or shavings. entrance hole should face southeast

box height: 6-30 feet

 

Tree Swallow

open fields near water, expansive open areas, marshes, meadows, wooded swamps; on a post in open areas near tree or fence, 30-100 feet apart. entrance hole should face east

box height: 5-15 feet

 

Violet-green Swallow

open or broken deciduous or mixed deciduous-coniferous forests, wooded canyons, edges of dense forest

box height: 9-15 feet

 

Tufted Titmouse

deciduous forest, thick timber stands, woodland clearings, forest edges, woodlots, riparian and mesquite habitats; spaced one box per 8 acres, hole should face away from prevailing wind

box height: 5-15 feet

 

Black-capped Chickadee

forests, woodlots, and yards with mature hardwood trees, forest edges, meadows, area should receive 40-60% sunlight, spaced one box per 10 acres, hole should face away from prevailing wind; 1" shaving can be placed in box

box height: 5-15 feet

 

Carolina Chickadee

forests, woodlots, and yards with mature hardwood trees, forest edges, meadows, area should receive 40-60% sunlight, hole should face away from prevailing wind; 1" shaving can be placed in box

box height: 5-15 feet

 

Mountain Chickadee

coniferous forests, forest edges, woodland clearings; hole should face away from prevailing wind; 1" shaving can be placed in box

box height: 5-15 feet

 

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

coniferous forests, mixed deciduous-coniferous forests, forest edges, woodlands, thickets, burned areas, often near streams; hole should face away from prevailing wind; 1" shaving can be placed in box

box height: 5-15 feet

 

White-breasted Nuthatch

deciduous woodlands, mature forests, woodlots, near open areas, forest edges, orchards, often near water; hole should face away from prevailing wind; 1" shaving can be placed in box

box height: 5-20 feet

 

Red-breasted Nuthatch

mixed coniferous-deciduous forests, shrub lands, swamps, farmlands, suburban parks; hole should face away from prevailing wind; 1" shaving can be placed in box

box height: 5-15 feet

 

Brown-headed Nuthatch

open stands of pine-hardwood forests, clearings scattered with dead trees, forest edges, burned areas, cypress swamps

box height: 5-20 feet

 

House Wren

variety of habitats, farmland, openings, open forests, forest edges, shrub lands, suburban gardens, parks, backyards; near trees or tall shrubs

box height: 5-10 feet

 

Carolina Wren

forests with thick underbrush, forest edges, woodland clearings, open forests, shrub lands, suburban gardens, parks, backyards; near trees or tall shrubs

box height: 5-10 feet

 

Prothonotary Warbler

lowland hardwood forests subject to flooding, stagnant water, swamps, ponds, marshes, streams, flooded river valleys, wet bottomlands; box should be over or near water

box height: 2-12 feet

 

Hooded Merganser

quiet, shallow, clear water pools surrounded by or near the edge of deciduous woods: small forest pools, ponds, swamps; add 3" of wood shavings

box height: 6-25 feet