Wildbirds that will nest in a bird houses (nest boxes) are called cavity-nesters.
You must first understand the types of wild birds you are trying to attract.
There are more than 50 species of North American breeding birds that select or construct a cavity for their nest. Some cavity-nesters, like the Downey Woodpecker will create a hole in a dead or dying tree (snag). Others are more opportunistic. Some species will use an abandoned hole or a naturally created cavity in a tree.
Unfortunately, since most of us prefer not to have dead or dying trees in our yards, there has been a reduction in suitable nesting sites for cavity nesters. This has caused a decline in the population of many of these species.
Nest sites for cavity-nesters usually are in shorter supply than food and water.
Placing a nest box or two in your yard will not only go a long way to support the population of cavity-nesting birds, but it can be gratifying for us birdwatchers, too.
Just imagine the thrill of seeing a mated pair of birds enter the birdhouse you provided. You and your family watch as they gather articles to construct their nest. They seem to be in constant motion, taking the materials into the nest box. Soon you notice that the activity has stopped. You wonder, what has happened? Now you only see one of the parents come out of the nest box at a time. Then you realize that they must be caring for their eggs. WOW, how exciting!
A few days later you hear an unfamiliar sound, high pitched chirping. The eggs have hatched! Now the fun is waiting to see the hatchlings emerge from the nest box. There are few backyard birding experiences as satisfying as this one.
Before a nest box design is selected several options should be considered.
If you are having trouble finding bird houses that meet the needs of the birds that you are trying to attract, consider building bird houses yourself.
It is not only easier than you may think, but it will also be very rewarding.
If you want to attract bluebirds, you will need a bluebird bird house.
Please be a responsible landlord if you choose to put up birdhouses. Nest boxes should be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis.
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