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Understanding Birds and their Birdhouses

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You know, the idea of a birdhouse is not to serve as a sort of cage for the next bird that enters it. Instead, it is about the bird and its birdhouse.

birdhouse

A birdhouse is something that can create a shelter for the bird. It is a home.

The Birdhouse as a Shelter

As a shelter, this birdhouse also provides a safe place for the bird to create her nest and prepare for her young. By having a shelter for her nest, she can rest her wings and get out of the elements, and properly nest, readying for her young.

And, it isn’t just about the nesting as far as providing protection from the environment.

Another factor in the birdhouse is the protection against predators. Putting the birdhouse high enough also helps. Predators such as snakes and cats are warded off by the small hole that functions as the doorway into the birds’ home. Of course, the bird’s nest and her eggs are protected against these predators, as well.

Ensuring That Your Bird Friends’ Birdhouse is Safe

Fortunately, most commercially made birdhouses are equipped with mechanisms that can protect against these predators. If you are building your own birdhouse, just be sure to research you to protect your bird friends.

When making the purchase, commercially, and how-to plans, it is important to take durability and dependability in mind.





Cartman Colored Country Cottages Bird House (Farmhouse)



Now even though many birdhouses are made out of wood, and possibly even the one shown above, it may be of interest to find some that are made out of allows that cannot easily be bent, dismantled, or affected by rust. In this way, they may be durable without being dangerous.

Concern for the Birds’ Wellbeing and Happiness

We all know that birds are attractive, right? Why not help them to be as comfortable and healthy as possible, continuing that beauty and their happiness?

Ok, so a decorative birdhouse is probably more enjoyable to us, as humans, looking at the birdhouse. But, the functionality of the birdhouse may include aspects that help us to care for the birds. For example, the one in the ad, above, has a way to open the birdhouse in order to clean it. After the bird has cared for her young and they have moved on into the world, it may be a good time to help out your bird friend and clean up the excrement, etc. so that she has a fresh start for the next run.


Sidebar: Captivity and Birds

Unfortunately, when I was young, I didn’t know any better and I thought that taking a bird inside the house and into a cage was a good thing, to nurse a bird back to health.

I had watched too much of Grizzly Adams and I thought that I could save what I thought was an ailing Blue Jay. I named her Penelope.

Unfortunately, Penelope died in my care. Now, possibly, she really was ailing and already dying, but it taught me not to try to take outside birds into the inside of the house and to look for ways to care for them outside!


Generally, a birdhouse looks like its environment and that is often true. It isn’t the case in our example above, but that doesn’t mean that a bird will not like the house. However, if there is any question, pick out a house that looks more like the habitat and something that the bird will like.

In my experience, birds often return to the same house. For example, if you live in a colder community where the birds fly South for the Winter, it is not unusual for them to return to your yard and their house when they return. Yes, it is often easy to recognize that it is the same bird friend 😉

Also, keep in mind that just because the birdhouse is cute and looks like it is made for humans, doesn’t mean that the bird will not be interested in it. Sometimes it has to do with the material from which the house is built.

Whether for the bird, or more likely the human, birdhouses are made in all sorts of designs, like the one above, wood cabins, lighthouses, churches, you name it, it has probably been done!

Research Your Bird’s Habitat Needs

It takes work, but research what your particular bird needs and likes. You probably already know what type of birds you have in the area where you live. If not, you can research that, too.

By researching your bird’s needs, this can help you in making the appropriate birdhouse decision. This includes researching whether a decorative or more natural birdhouse is the right birdhouse. Also, this research will help you to determine the rest of the habitat, like a garden environment or a more natural (i.e. woodsy) environment.

The birdhouse selection includes where you can hang it, where you live (house or apartment), etc.





Birdhouses You Can Build in a Day (Popular Woodworking)



Planning To Build a Wooden Birdhouse

It is very normal if you feel that you want to build the birdhouse yourself, for your little friend. This gives you the opportunity to build the dream birdhouse for your birds to feel safe and breed.

It is also natural to build it out of wood and that is a great place to start.

Again, like we mentioned above, research into what your type of bird likes, based on the types of birds that are native to your environment helps.

Add to that planning that is bathed in that research and you are well on your way! Don’t be afraid to ask others who have experience in the area, including friends, family, neighbors, pet shop owners, etc. But, be sure to take it with a grain of salt! There are many who claim to be experts, who may even have birds and birdhouses in their backyards and yet are unkind to birds and do not know what they are talking about, so beware of these types of people and maybe choose not to take their advice.



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Back on the Research

Keep in mind that you are not only researching what will help your bird friend to be happy and comfortable. You also need to study the habitat and how birds interact. Different habitats attract different species of birds (as we have already stated) but even the location of the birdhouse may have an impact. So, research well!

Fortunately, you have the internet on your side. So, find out the species of bird and hit the searches!

Making that Birdhouse Yourself

There are various options when it comes to making your own birdhouse. For example, you can make it from scratch or you can build it using a kit.

You have probably already figured it out but a kit saves you time because part of it is already assembled. Of course, some people feel better building it completely from scratch.





Toysmith’s Build a Bird House (Kit)



Understanding the Specifics and Types of Birdhouses

Keep in mind that whether it is an already-built birdhouse, a build-it-yourself birdhouse kit, or plans to build it from scratch, you want to consider quality. You don’t really want to go for cheap if you care about your bird friend. Remember those predators? Let’s not give them a headstart by spending less (not to say that is a given, but it may not be a good situation).



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Many times wooden birdhouses are built out of pine or cedar wood.

The sky is the limit when it comes to possibilities for building a birdhouse.

One of the benefits of wooden birdhouses is that they can come pre-painted with primer, so you just need to add the paint. Remember those kits? Keep in mind that it is not always the case, but it is a possibility.

Other prebuilt birdhouses may come in plaster, ceramic, plastic, or metal. Remember that research? Be sure to research what your environment will do to those different materials and whether those are options (including quality) that are viable for you and appropriate for your bird friend.

Usually, mimicking the bird’s habitat is always your best bet.

In some cases, there are bird families that live together and a birdhouse that looks like an apartment may be better suited in that situation.





Birds Choice 3-Floor-12 Room Purple Martin House with Starling Resistent Holes



Just as you have birds who are multi-family, you have territorial birds that want their own space. In those cases, you may need to ensure proper space between birdhouses to ensure that they do not get into fights. This is why it may be advantageous to start with one birdhouse until you get the hang of it.

Hearing how happy your bird friends are will help to reward you for making the correct choices and looking out for what is best for your birds.

Now for the Birdhouse Plans

You need to ensure that you have a reliable birdhouse building plan, whether you purchased it or came up with it yourself based on your research.

Keep in mind, especially as you are doing your research, that you are building a birdhouse for the birds common to the environment in which the birdhouse will exist (i.e. your backyard). You are building a house for their safety, but also one that will attract the birds who are looking for a shelter.

Your main objective is to build that house that will attract the right birds (native to the environment).

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you put together your building plan or as you are evaluating the purchase of a birdhouse building plan, as well as other tips related to the process:

  • Build a roof with hinges that are not easy for predators to open; ready for spring cleaning (March); and rust-proof.
  • Ensure a right amount of ventilation. You could drill at least four holes for drainage at the bottom of the birdhouse and another two holes on each side.
  • Make sure the roof keeps out the rainwater (etc.) and that it hangs over the doorway so that it keeps out wind and rain.
  • Ensure the proper spacing in the floor so that if rainwater does seep in, it does not reach the nest or cause wood rot (if using wood).
  • As we mentioned earlier, ensure the placement is in proper spacing (i.e. not too close to other birds).
  • Preferably use wood (not milk cartons or metal or anything) for the birdhouse. But, don’t use lumber as it is treated with pesticides, etc.
    which could hurt the birds.
  • If you do find predators in the area, remove them, for the sake of your bird friends’ safety.

If you understand the birds and their birdhouses, you should be able to build a birdhouse or two for your bird friends without any trouble. And, after all, that is the purpose of this article, eh?

Deborah
Deborah is an award-winning writer, among other things (like #1 Jazz Singer on the RN charts in LA). This is the emergence of one of her recent "ultimate guides," presented one chapter at a time. While you are waiting, feel free to download the "Boost Your Energy" ebook (absolutely free!).
Deborah
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