From time immemorial, people have set up birdhouses, driven by the desire to do something good for nature and for the pleasure of seeing the house inhabited. Once inhabited, the house brings joy to young and old, and its feathered inhabitants become part of the family.
Why put birdhouses?
Even if we offer food to the birds, they will leave during the breeding season if they do not find suitable nesting conditions. To keep them close to us all year round, we set up houses that meet their natural preferences. Different types of nesting birds can house over 60 species of birds – from tits and field sparrows to black-throated kestrel and woodcock.
What birds can we attract to the houses?
There are house models for most species of birds. However, birds do not always tend to settle in them. Their most common inhabitants are tits, woodpeckers, woodpeckers, nutcrackers, red-tailed deer, starlings, field sparrows, vultures, some species of flycatchers, some species of owls, small falcons and larger birds of prey. Sometimes people also put artificial platforms for storks, which are also taken over by birds with readiness.
Where and how to place the houses?
The placement of the houses depends on the type for which they are intended. It is a common practice to place the houses at a height of between 2 and 4 m from the ground on a tree trunk or on a wall. The lower placement exposes the house to the risk of predators.
It is very important when placing the house to pay attention to how much light will enter it. Birds do not like the sun to shine directly in their “hollow”, so it is recommended to place the houses with the opening to the north or northeast.
It is also important that the place we choose for the house allows the birds to fly in and out unhindered. Therefore, when setting up the house, we must make sure that there are no obstacles in the way of the birds that would hinder their flight.
We place the house at an angle so that the entrance is slightly facing the ground. This can be achieved easily if we choose a slightly sloping branch or trunk of a tree. The reason for this position is to avoid the entry of rain and wind.
When to put the houses?
The houses are set up from the beginning of January to the end of February, when the married couples are already looking for a possible nesting place. In case the nest is occupied, keep the anxiety to a minimum until the young take off.
What types of houses exist?
Birdhouses can be closed, with a round entrance, or open at the front. The houses with an opening are designed for birds that nest in hollows. The size of the opening determines the species of birds that would nest in the house. For example, a house with a small opening cannot be occupied by a starling. Houses with a hole – with different diameters depending on the type of bird – are preferred by tits, woodpeckers, woodpeckers, nutcrackers, flycatchers, red-tailed deer, starlings, field sparrows and vultures. It is important not to place a perch in front of the opening of the house, as this stimulates the “attackers”.
How to clean the house?
In mid-autumn, clean the house. Remove the accumulated sticks, down, leaves from its bottom to make room for next season. The birds make their nesting bedding, but the house will become unusable after 2-3 seasons if it is not cleaned. This also helps to remove parasites from the house.
Even if the house remains unoccupied the first season, do not lose hope: there is a chance that a couple will use it in the coming years.
©2020 -Elenka Smilenova All Rights Reserved
Are birds your friends?