Housing Shortage for Cavity-Nesting Birds

Natural nesting sites, such as holes in trees, are disappearing at an alarming rate as woods and forest are being eliminated due to urban sprawl and logging. Populations of certain beneficial songbirds are dwindling because of this. To counteract development, it’s becoming more important that these nesting sites be replaced by human supplied housing.

Once a bird has found a nice place to nest, it may return for several seasons. Studies have shown that birds will continue to use the same home year after year as long as the home remains suitable. Keep the birdhouse in good shape, clean it out after the season, and your friends will come back next year to raise another family.

Gourds make excellent natural homes for birds. You are more likely to attract birds to a gourd than to a manufactured birdhouse. It also helps if you provide some nesting materials in or near the gourd. Twigs, string, hair, corn fodder, long grasses and mud, are great for building nests. As long as the gourd is properly placed and the hole is the right size for the types of birds you have, they will surely make their home in it.

Placement of the birdhouse is a significant factor in attracting birds. Purple Martins, Swallows, and many Seabirds like living in close proximity with other birds of the same species. Most other songbirds do not. Wrens, for example, are highly territorial, and will stake out a portion of your yard for their own. Don’t expect to put up 4 wren houses in a small yard and have all of them occupied. Put up one house for each species, separate them a bit, and you’ll most likely be successful in filling them all.

Follow the guidelines on the 
hole size chart
 for the proper height (above ground) and hole size, to house the types of birds you have, or want to attract.

Attract more wild birds by providing shelter, food and water, and you will increase the quality of life in your backyard. Birds can eat thousands of insects each day, especially when feeding their young. More birds equals less bugs. The beautiful song of the Finch, Purple Martin or Bluebird will surely brighten your day.

Buy a Gourd Birdhouse