Protection From Bird House Predators

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Bird house predators can destroy your hopes of watching a new family of wild birds emerge from your bird house.

When parent birds choose to nest in a bird house (nest box) that you provide, they do so because it feels safe from predators. Unfortunately, bird houses are easy targets for predators.



Since you are the landlord, you should take some precautions to protect the new family from bird house predators. People have been inventing ways to protect their bird houses as long as they have been hanging them. Here are some tips that can help you avoid the disaster of discovering a destroyed nest.


General Rules:

  • Make sure that the entrance opening is the correct size for the birds you are trying to attract.
  • Never use a perch on your bird houses. Perches only invite predators.

Cats and Raccoons:

These bird house predators will attack from above. They will either climb the tree that the birdhouse is mounted on or they will jump from a nearby tree. They will then reach into the nest box and destroy the nest.

Solutions:

  • Mount your bird house on a pole or a tree at least 10 feet from the ground and at least 10 feet away from any structure that a cat or raccoon could jump from.
  • Using a metal baffle will keep many birdhouse predators from climbing up to the bird house. A piece of metal air duct is inexpensive and a perfect solution for this.
  • A roof that over hangs the front of the birdhouse at least six inches will prevent cats and raccoons from reaching inside from above.
  • Attach a block of wood ¾" to 1" around the entrance hole. This will make it more difficult for cats and raccoons to reach inside.

Squirrels:

Squirrels will destroy your bird house by chewing at the entrance hole to get inside. This makes is easier for the squirrels and other predators to get inside and destroy the nest and inhabitants.

Solution:

  • Attach a block of wood ¾" to 1" around the entrance hole. This will make it more difficult for the squirrels to enlarge the hole.
  • Place a piece of sheet metal around the entrance hole, matched it to the size of the hole. This will protect the entrance hole from being enlarged by squirrels and other birds.

Have You Had Success Removing Pesty Squirrels from Your Yard?

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Getting rid of squirrels 
Try greasing the pole of the feeder or birdhouse with Vaseline. It can be entertaining to watch the squirrels slide down the pole with frustration. …

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Insects:

Watch for ant hills at the base of the tree or pole where your bird house is mounted. If you find one, try to use a method that won’t be harmful to birds. I have had success with ant stakes.

Yellow jackets, wasps, hornets and bees may try to move into your bird house. Rubbing a bar of soap on the inside surface will make it difficult for them to attach their nest. Avoid using petroleum jelly for this, as it could stick to the birds' wings.


Providing your nesting birds with safety from predators will increase their chances for survival. Your reward is the satisfaction and enjoyment of seeing the baby birds as they grow and take flight.

Proper bird house placement is another way to deter bird house predators, click here for more information.

Bird feeders are a great way to attract more birds. Having more birds in your yard will increase your chances of attracting a mated pair.



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