First, consider the birds that you would like to attract to your backyard to determine the type of houses you want to buy or build. Consider the birds that naturally visit your yard most often, and create a natural habitat that is will entice those birds to nest in your yard. Birds will be attracted to yards that provide water, shrubbery, flowers, and, of course, birdhouses.
Most bird abodes are a good fit for bluebirds or smaller birds. Chickadees, wrens, sparrows, and titmice will fit well in a house with an opening of 1.5 inches. A larger opening might encourage more aggressive, larger birds like starlings that will run off your desirable bird species. Houses with smaller entrance holes, about 1.25 inches, are ideal for wrens. Choose a wooden house, because it provides the best protection for both heat and cold.
A perch is not always a good idea on a house. In the wild, birds may build houses in tree trunks, bushes, or high in a tree, and a perch is not natural for their homes. Aggressive birds are often attracted to perches, pushing smaller varieties of birds out of the house.
Be sure the houses you buy or build can be opened, either on the top, the front, or the side. This is an important feature, so you can clean the house out after the nesting season, to prepare the house for new residents. You may also need to check on baby birds if you are concerned about their safety. Do not be afraid to touch the nest. The human scent will not cause a bird to abandon the nest.
Provide adequate ventilation for the birds. They need air movement through the house, so be sure there are small holes or slits near the house’s top. A drainage hole in the house’s bottom is also very good. A house with an overhanging roof is also a good feature, as the overhang shades the house and provides protection from the rain.
Placement is an important factor for a successful bird abode. Place it at eye level or above, and be sure you can securely attach it to a pole or a shepherd hook type of holder with some type of secure bracket. Birds that naturally nest in trees will appreciate having trees and shrubbery nearby, and trees will offer protection and be a source of berries and bugs for food. Provide a source of water, like a birdbath, and a bird feeder nearby, and you will have a successful bird habitat.
Now it is time for your new neighbors to move in. Watch for wrens, chickadees, and bluebirds to nest in the newest bird condominium. The word will get around and soon every house you put out will be filled with feathered friends that will provide you with hours of watching pleasure.