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Putting Up Your Backyard Birdhouse

For many people, there is nothing more relaxing than sitting on their deck or in their garden watching birds go about their daily lives. Many bird lovers enjoy putting up bird houses and bird feeders solely to attract birds for this purpose. Bird houses can be purchased already built and ready to go, or you can opt to custom build one of your very own. If you do decide to build your own birdhouse, you need to keep in mind what type of birds you want to attract and you'll need to size your birdhouse accordingly. One mistake many people make in constructing their own bird house is making the entrance hole too large. The hole only needs to be big enough to allow the bird of choice to get inside.

If you make it any larger, you are apt to be disappointed in who comes to set up residence in your new construction. You will likely have everything but birds living in your bird house. You could have squirrels, snakes, and depending on how big you made it, even raccoons coming to live in your new bird house. If you want a specific type of bird to take up residence in your birdhouse, you should do research so you can better accommodate your target bird, and build accordingly. You can do research at your local library, or even online to find the perfect bird house dimensions to suit your type of birds. Although you might not think it, birds can be very picky when choosing a home.

If the bird house entry point is either too large or too small, they will look elsewhere. You may also find while doing your research that different materials are needed for some birds, so keep that in mind as well. Any bird house that you put up should have the proper holes for air circulation and water drainage. Air holes are needed to insure the bird house doesn't get too hot for young birds in the summer.

Drainage holes are a must to prevent fledglings from drowning in water which may have pooled in the bottom of the bird house after rainfalls. To really enjoy and care for your new tenants, the bird houses you make should be made for easy access for cleaning and maintenance purposes. Hinged bottoms or sides serve this purpose well. You will need to make certain your bird houses stay clean and free from unwanted guests, such as bees or other small animals. To ensure the safety of your birds, each bird house should be constructed of a non-toxic material. In most cases, untreated, unpainted wood works best.

Your construction should be solid to provide protection from harsh weather and temperature changes. Again, it is best to do your research before you build any bird houses, and build for the specific type of birds you wish to attract. You don't need to add a perch to the outside of your bird house, as you will only be inviting predators to come visit. The single act of attaching a perch could possibly cause you to lose your birds to predators.

Birds don't actually need or use bird house perches, but would rather land on the opening instead. Perches provide an easy way for squirrels, raccoons and other critters to reach in and pester your baby birds, and some may have them for lunch. There is no set time that you should put up your birdhouse, anytime that you are ready is fine. Birds are typically looking for a place to make their nests towards the end of winter and beginning of spring, but you can attract birds all throughout the year. It's a good idea to place your bird house so that it's facing away from the wind, and make certain if it isn't hanging in a tree, that it is close to one. If you don't get any birds within the first few months of putting up your house, you may want to consider trying it in a different location.

If you decide you would rather purchase your birdhouse than build your own, keep in mind that just because it is on the market, not every bird house may be safe for birds. Make certain they are made of bird safe materials and are constructed properly. Soon you should have an entire neighborhood of birds to enjoy!.

John Taylor is a part time carpenter and a very keen bird watcher. You can find out lots more about bird houses at:


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