Early spring is the perfect time to install a bird house in your back yard. Following a few simple steps will have you bird watching in no time.
Step 1: Decide what type of birds you want to attract. Blue birds, wrens, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, swallows and flycatchers will all nest in houses. Blue birds prefer open spaces, while the rest prefer wooded lots.
Step 2: Put no more than one house per tree, unless the tree is very large or the houses are for different types of birds.
Step 3: Put no more than one blue bird house per acre and keep the blue bird house at least 25 feet from other houses. Mounting a blue bird house on a post with a squirrel baffle, to protect it from predators, is by far a better choice than nailing it to a tree.
Step 4: Keep bird houses away from the bird feeders.
Step 5: Face the opening of the bird house to the north or the east to avoid overheating.
Step 6: Make sure the opening size of each bird house is not too large or too small for the type of bird you are trying to attract. Blue bird holes should be one and one half inches in diameter. Chickadees, nut hatches and titmice holes should be one and one eighth inches in diameter. Wrens prefer a vertical slot one and one half by two and one half inches.
Step 7: Mount the house at the appropriate height for the type of bird you are trying to attract. Blue birds, chickadees, nut hatches and titmice houses should be mounted five to six feet off the ground. Fly catcher boxes should be ten feet up in a tree and wren houses can go pretty much anywhere.
Step 8: Mount your bird house on a pole, screw it to a wooden post or hang it from a tree limb with chain, rope or fishing line. Houses mounted on metal poles are less vulnerable to predators.
Step 9: Planting fruit trees and installing a water feature is a natural way to attract avian tenants. Otherwise, consider installing a bird feeder and a bird bath to accommodate the needs of your potential new neighbors.
Giving a little thought to the type of bird house you place in the yard will increase the chances of attracting birds to your neighborhood.