Housing for Nesting Birds


| 3/10/2016 9:02:00 AM


Tags: bird houses, birding, backyard birds, wildlife, spring, pest control, Bruce McElmurray, Colorado,

bird house.jpg

One of the pleasures we derive from living at high altitude and remotely are the birds that surround us all year long. While we enjoy an occasional visit from bear, mountain lion, bobcat, coyote, elk, deer, and sometimes a grey wolf, we enjoy the birds the most. They are entertaining and educational, as well as some of the most devoted creatures on raising a family. They search for a good nest site and then lay their eggs and keep them warm until they hatch. Then they are  constantly in search of food for the babies until they are developed and old enough to fly away on their own. Once they are out of the nest and have been shown how to provide for themselves, they are on their way in life. Pretty effective and simple.

Providing Nesting Boxes

One way we keep them coming back year after year to nest and raise their families is to provide nesting houses for them. We have had generation after generation of various bird species nest around our house in those bird houses. They benefit us by keeping our insect population to a manageable level and we provide them a safe environment to raise their families.

My personal preference is the wren, which is a tiny bird that hops around on our firewood pile to find food that other species can not get to because of those tight spaces. The weather can be harsh and difficult in the mountains on both people and our feathered friends. The winds are sometimes strong and hail, snow and heavy rains make it tough on the birds but they are very resilient.

Birdhouse Design

Making bird houses is pretty simple and youngsters often start learning their woodworking skills making bird houses. They can be made from material on hand which can be scrap lumber to  hollowed out logs. They need to have ventilation and have a safe dry area. The opening should be big enough for the species that you hope to attract to nest there.

I have found that a 1¼-inch hole will accommodate most small birds. I prefer to use galvanized tin roofs painted with an exterior paint that contains no hazardous toxins. They also need to be hung high enough where predators can’t reach them so I usually use a ladder to hang them from a suitable limb.




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