38 Birdhouses

Nothing signals the arrival of spring like the chirping of birds and their newly hatched chicks. A great way to bring this miracle of nature closer to your home is to add a birdhouse to your outdoor area. Birdhouses are also a great way to introduce children to the wonders of wildlife, and watching feathered parents flit back and forth on their errands will provide lots of entertainment for both adults and kids. While the designs of birdhouses can often rival the architecture of full-sized homes, it’s important to consider much more than just aesthetics when purchasing a new home for your feathered friends. More 
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What kind of features does the optimal birdhouse have?


Look for a design with an extended, sloped roof to help keep rain away from the interior. Holes for drainage and ventilation are also important, as are thick, insulating walls. You’ll also want to consider having a baffle to keep out hungry predators. Once all these important criteria are met, feel free to go all out on design!

How do I attract birds to my birdhouses?


Just like you and I, different species of birds have different preferences for the size and location of their homes. It’s also worth noting that most species, with the exception of purple martins, prefer warm, earthy tones for their exteriors. Here are some tips for attracting some of the more common species that will nest in birdhouses:
• Bluebirds: Look for a bird box that is approximately 5.5 x 5.5 x 10 inches large. The entry hole should be about 1.5 inches wide and centered in the front of the house, about six inches above the floor. Look for a location that faces or is near an open field where the bluebirds can hunt for insects.
• Chickadees and titmice: You’ll want a birdhouse that’s approximately 4 x 4 x 8 inches or 5 x 5 x 8 inches large. The entryway should be 1.25 inches wide and centered in the front of the house, again about six inches from the floor. It’s best to place a chickadee or titmouse home in a dense thicket or clump of trees.
• Purple martins: This species enjoys nesting in gourds or gourd-shaped homes and “apartment complexes” that are home to multiple purple martin families. They’ll also nest in a bird box that’s approximately 6 x 6 x 6 inches large with a 2.5-inch entry hole placed about 2.25 inches above the floor. Unlike most other species, purple martins prefer a white birdhouse. Be sure to place yours on a post or stand that’s approximately 15 to 20 feet high and near water.
• Robins: If you’re looking to house robins, choose a bird box that’s 6 x 6 x 8 inches large and can be mounted to the side of your house or on a tree. Unlike other species who prefer a circular entry hole, robins prefer to have the entire front of their birdhouse open. However, look for a design that has a short edge on the front to prevent the nest and eggs from falling out.
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