Birdhouses are a great way to invite more nature into your yard. However, just like us, birds can be particular about what features their home does or doesn't have. To create a welcoming haven for nesting birds, it's essential to consider their preferences and needs when designing your birdhouse.

Ideal Location and Mounting

• Mount the birdhouse on a pole, post or sturdy tree trunk at least five feet off the ground, keeping in mind the preferences of the species you want to attract.

• Select a location away from high-traffic areas, including feeders and bird baths, to provide privacy and protection.

• Orient the entrance away from prevailing winds and direct sunlight for optimal comfort.

To attract nesting birds, build a birdhouse with the right entry and size for the species you want. Research cavity-nesting birds in your area and pick one to attract. Find plans or kits that match the specific requirements for that species.

Bird-Friendly Features

• To assemble the house, use cedar, redwood or exterior-grade plywood at least 3/4” thick and galvanized screws.

• Drill ¼” drainage holes in the floor and a few ¹⁄₈” to 1/4 ” ventilation holes through each side of the house just below the roof.

• Skip the perch. Birds don’t need one and it can provide convenient access for predators.

• Add a flip-top roof or a side panel for easy access for nest removal and cleaning.

• Extend the sides of the house past the floor to prevent water from leaking in.

• Angle the roof slightly and extend it over the entry to allow rainwater to run off.

• Roughen the inside of the nest box below the entrance hole to help fledglings climb out.

• Use a baffle to deter predators.


• Remove the nest after each brood. Use a toothbrush to scrub the house with a mild bleach solution, making sure to clean the entrance, drainage and ventilation holes of any debris. After it’s cleaned, let it dry in the sun for a few hours.

• Repair protruding nails, screws or splinters that could harm the birds.

Other Helpful Tips

• Be patient! It takes time for birds to notice and inhabit a new birdhouse.

• After cleaning the house, leave it up for birds to roost in during the colder months.

• Make small piles of natural twigs and grasses nearby to help attract nesting birds.

• Go all natural with a gourd birdhouse.

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