Watching and listening to birds is a wonderful way to pass the time. If you are looking to encourage more feathered guests to your yard, here are some things to consider when selecting the right birdhouse location for the type of bird you are looking to attract.
- If you are looking to attract a bluebird to your yard, the best location for a bluebird house is an area that gets plenty of sunshine and is facing or surrounded by open fields. This puts them in prime position to have access to plentiful insects that they can eat and feed to their young. Bluebird houses should be mounted on a metal or wooden post with at least one predator guard to keep creatures from accessing the nest. Some birding experts even recommend greasing the pole as a deterrent.
- Chickadees prefer a birdhouse that is in a thicket or an area with several small trees or shrubs. The protection of thick bushes or shrubs allows mated pairs to easily find nesting material and food.
- Purple martins prefer an apartment! These apartment-style birdhouses are actually called colonies and are typically placed on a tall pole that is located in the middle of a yard or open field. Purple martin colonies can also be created from clustering a group of gourds together.
- Tree swallows prefer to be near water. Staying near water means they can find aquatic insects to eat and feed to young.
- Woodpeckers prefer wooded areas and their homes mounted on trees approximately 10-20 feet high.
- Wrens prefer a hanging birdhouse in an open yard environment. To attract wrens, the most important aspect is the size of the hole as they prefer a diameter of about 1 1/4” which is large enough for all types.
When selecting your location, regardless of species, be sure to keep clear of any areas where pesticides may be used. These areas are not only potentially harmful to birds and their young but will most likely destroy their main food source–insects.
Enjoy and happy birding!