The Backyard Ombudsman: ‘NOW Is the Time to get out those Birdhouses!’
The Backyard Ombudsman, Ken Rudman, has some backyard tips in putting up your birdhouses this year.
If you haven’t done so already, NOW is a good time to get your bird houses set up and put out. The best way to get birds to inhabit your artificial cavities is to have them out before breeding season begins which should be right around late summer or early fall. This will give your local and native wild birds plenty of time to locate the houses, as it may take some time to do so. The time frame you set them out should be more than enough to allow the houses to be well-weathered by the time the birds occupy. If you want to provide a safe haven for annual migratory birds, then it would be a good idea to keep the bird houses up all year around for them to have a “rest area” of sorts, or a place to hang their hat while on their journey. After the nesting season, you can take them down for cleaning and then put them back up again.
There are instances that birds will not begin nesting immediately as it takes time for birds to find a birdhouse. If it is impossible to set-up birdhouses by fall, they should be in place as early as possible in the winter. Bird watchers should not wait to see birds in their yards before mounting or hanging their nest boxes.
As discussed in earlier posts, location of the birdhouse is just as important in attracting certain kinds of birds as the size of the box. For instance, Purple Martins are very particular about the size of the box, the hole, the height, etc. Birds, depending on the species, may prefer wooded to shady area or open grassy areas. (For more information on what the local birds in your neck of the woods prefer, visit: http://tinyurl.com/6w3hdqp
However, dense shade is not recommended, as most wild birds prefer a sunny open space. It is not advisable to mount birdhouses on the sides of trees as this can give squirrels and cats easy access to it.
The last thing you want to do is to put up your birdhouses and artificial cavities in the Spring, as it just may be too late and you’ll miss out on enjoying the inhabitation and activies of joy that your native birds bring as they occupy your bird house. Happy Birding!
Ken “The Batman” Rudman is resident of Wyoming. He is also a writer, businessman and a promoter of bird and bat preservation, natural insect control, and a “how-to” guy to help people build up their backyard network in attracting song birds, feeders, artificial houses, facts and more. Send your questions, ideas, article requests and inquiries to Ken at his email address: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org