Birdhouses to Make
Top 10 Eco-Friendly DIY Bird Feeders – Top Inspired
Basket Bird Houses
A good birdhouse does not have a perch. No Perch: Although the hallmark of many a quaint birdhouse, that stick that comes out just below the hole makes a great hand/foot hold for raccoons, squirrels, and other varmints to easily access the birds within. A physiology that allows flight gives birds tremendous ability to escape predators but also leaves them extremely vulnerable in close quarters encounters.
Tiny Access Hole: Its fascinating to humans that any bird could fit through that tiny bung hole you find in most bird houses but anything bigger than 1.4 inches will allow obnoxious immigrant birds from Europe to bum rush the house; kill any native occupants and take the dwelling as their own.
Predator Baffles: Fastening a birdhouse to a tree allows tree-climbing critters easy access to the house allowing them to take whatever they like: eggs, chicks and even adult birds. Wooden poles are easily scaled by squirrels, raccoons and rats. Experts advocate placing birdhouses on sheer metal poles or placing obstructions on the support structure to discourage climbing access. Some bird house designs also include a canted and deep-eaved roof with the access hole far from the top of the dwelli
Untreated wood: Avian physiology has not allowed them the luxury of tolerating all the solvents, chemicals, and inorganic additives that we prefer for our dwellings. Avoid plastics, chemical treated woods or waterproofing materials. Maple and pine are highly recommended.
Rough/Scored Interior Walls What a beautiful birdhouse! And lucky you, the birds actually adopted it as their home! Too bad all the chicks died inside. Smooth /sheer interior walls can make it impossible for the chicks to leave the nest. Who knew? The walls should be rough, ridged, or somehow allow the fledgling birds to climb out.
Rain Protection: Like other warm-blooded animals birds need to find decent shelter from the rain. The bird house should have construction that doesn’t allow moisture to seep in. Excess water can cause mold, disease, and lead to hypothermia or even frostbite.
Bird Species: Probably more important than monitoring the dwelling, different birds have different habitation… uhh… habits. The bird house should be built for a specific type of bird or a group of bird species with similar housing requirements and body sizes. Specific measures will need to be taken to keep out ambitious predators and Europeans. (I was talkin’ bout birds! -What we’re you thinking?)
Maintenance/Monitor Hinge: A serious birdhouse is not a build-it-and-forget-it affair. Like a human dwelling; it must be maintained. Mold, mites, wasps and feces build up and can foul the bird house quickly. Note to self: Get up off your lazy ass and go clean the birdhouse!
Sturdy Construction/Thick Walls: Birds are delicate creatures for the purpose of flight. Their dwelling has to be sturdy however to resist predators and tough weather. Since bird house building materials can’t be weather proofed thick walls will help the dwelling to last longer and also regulate temperature.