Tuesday, August 19, 2014

How Can I Attract Birds to My Birdhouse?

Many people love watching nesting birds, but birds can be choosy about where they call home. If you've put up a box but your yard is still lacking feathery guests, you might be wondering, how can I attract birds to my birdhouse?

Make sure you have the right type of birdhouse.

Do some research on your local bird species to see what kind of house they require. For instance, martins live in groups with their own kind, and will prefer a birdhouse with several separate compartments. Bluebirds and wrens are more solitary, and will make use of a single-room birdhouse. The house's entrance should be big enough for the bird to pass through easily, but small enough to dissuade potential predators.

Collect nesting material.

Do you have a craft box full of yarn or fabric scraps? Is your pet shedding tufts of fur? Did you just give your kids a haircut? Birds will love using these to line their nests. Try hanging a bag full of soft nesting materials from your birdhouse to see if it tempts them.

Create a food source.

Feeders and wild birdseed are readily available in most home improvement and even grocery stores. Alternately, you can do some research to see what local bird species prefer to feed on, and then plant those trees or shrubs. Place the food within sight distance of your birdhouse, but not too close. The flurry of activity around the feeder might discourage cautious parents from using your nest box.

Provide a drinking and bathing area.

Birds will seek out homes near a source of fresh water. To make your yard a more attractive nesting area, consider adding a birdbath, a small pond, or even a fountain. Birds love the sound of running water as much as people do!

Don't mow too frequently.

Your lawn doesn't need to turn into a jungle, but if you mow every weekend, try switching to every other weekend. Mowing reduces the number of insects many birds feed on, and the taller grass will provide more cover from predators while foraging.


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