If you are serious about providing a safe place for the birds to nest and shelter, there are essential features you will want to look for when buying birdhouses. Not only will you attract more birds to your backyard when you supply the proper housing, your feathered friends will thank you by giving you hours of birding pleasure.
There's a reason most birdhouses for sale today are made of wood. Wood holds up well and will provide years of use. Red cedar and other rot-resistant woods are good weather resistant choices. Choose birdhouses with sides that are approximately ½ to ¾ inch thick and feel sturdy. Flimsy birdhouses should be considered only if you are going to use them for decorative purposes.
Steer clear of chemically-treated wood. While these types of woods may be great for building decks and furniture, the chemicals in them can be harmful to birds. Most manufacturers will list the type of wood on the label or in the description if you are purchasing birdhouses online.
Avoid birdhouses that are glued together. Wood will eventually warp and cause the sides to separate if only glued together. Nails are likely to rust and work loose. Look for wooden birdhouses for sale that are constructed of brass and rust-resistant screws.
Access to easy cleaning
Keeping your birdhouses clean is essential for protecting the health of your birds. Purchasing a birdhouse without a trap door that opens and shuts makes it nearly impossible to clean the inside of the house. Look for houses with a door that has durable fasteners and hinges that can be secured tightly between cleanings.
Doors that don't latch securely make it easy for predators to gain access to the birdhouse. If you can open the door easily, there's a good chance a predator can do the same.
Drainage holes and ventilation
Drainage holes are a must for keeping your feathered friends dry and comfortable. Look for birdhouses that have a few small drain holes in the bottom of the floor to allow rainwater to drain out. One in each corner is preferable.
Adequate ventilation is also important. Nesting birds can suffocate when hot air collects in the top of birdhouse. Look for wooden birdhouses with slits at the top where the sides meet the roof. These slits allow hot air to escape. You can also make your own air holes by drilling a small hole on each side of the birdhouse near the roof.
The right roof
Look for a slanted roof which extends over the entrance hole. This will protect the birdhouse from outdoor elements. However, the extension should not provide an overhang more than a few inches in size. A long overhang may make the house more susceptible to damage from wind gusts. It can also make it easy for agile predators to hang upside down and gain access to the inside.
Providing a safe and healthy place for birds to nest and shelter is easy when you purchase birdhouses with the right features. Your efforts will be rewarded by the arrival of new backyard tenants who will provide you with hours of bird watching fun.