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Thread: Looking for advice - Birdhouse placement

  1. #1
    Member grcg's Avatar
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    Default Looking for advice - Birdhouse placement

    I have hung various birdhouses up in the yard over the years and the birds don't tend to think much about my selections. I don't know if I am offering lame houses or if I am not putting them in good locations.

    Do you have advice or a source for info on where to put birdhouses in your yard so the birds like them??

    Thanks!!

  2. #2

    Default

    Lots of variables to consider. What speices are you trying to attract? What do you have for habitat around your yard, mostly open lawn or lots of trees nearby? If cavity nesting birds have lots of natural holes to choose from in the area, it may be hard to persuade them into your box. Post of picture of your back yard or describe your property and I'll be able to help you out more. One thing to be sure of, check the size of the entrance hole of your bird box. I'm assuming it's not too small, but it doesn't hurt to check. Figure on a 1 1/4" hole for chickadee sized birds, 1 1/2" for bluebird size birds, 2" or slightly larger for hairy woodpecker sized birds.

    Jeff

  3. #3
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Things that finally worked...

    1. Larger holes. As shearej mentioned, size seems to matter to the birds. Last year we finally had renters. Swallows.
    2. Put the houses out earlier. I clean ours out early winter.

    Good luck this Spring.

  4. #4
    Member grcg's Avatar
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    Default interested in everything but pigeons.

    Hi again,

    Our yard is a combanation of cleared (small patch that is destined for being a lawn) and woods (mostly deciduous where I want to put the houses.). The lower part of the property is technically a wetland - complete with black spruce. I also have a garden area I have cleared out. I would really like to put birdhouses around the garden and have my own bird patrol of the garden.

    In the summer, we have consistently have woodpeckers, chickadees, junkos and jays of course. And last two years, we have had a plethora of robins. We get pine gosbeaks, nuthatches, and other birds that seem to just pass through.

    If I could get some of those to nest around the garden and yard, it would be really great!

    Thanks for your help!!

  5. #5

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    Of the birds you've listed, only chickadees and woodpeckers are cavity nesters. Jays and juncos will construct their own nest. Robins will construct a mud/grass nest on a shelf or small platform, such as any ledge that may be under the eaves of your house or garage. You can put up a small platform (about 10" x 10") under the eaves somewhere if you really want robins nesting. Just be aware they will make quite the mess!

    For chickadees and woodpeckers, here's what I might try based on your set-up. Woodpeckers are going to nest in tree cavities and those are usually found in older, mature trees. If the black spruce you've described are stunted (as most black spruce are), they probably aren't big enough to contain large enough cavities for woodpeckers. Place a box (about 16" tall x 12" wide x 12" deep or so and 2" diameter hole) on the part of your property with the largest trees. Pick out a tree and place the box 10-15' up off the ground. Fill the box with wood chips on the bottom and coarse saw dust on top. Woodpeckers will excavate out whatever material they don't want. Orient the box facing south (our summer days aren't hot enough to worry about heating up a nesting box too much) or in a direction towards an opening. For woodpeckers, I would place the box "inside" the stand of trees, not on the edge. For chickadees, you can use a smaller box (something like 12" tall x 8" wide x 6" deep or so with a 1 1/4" dia hole). No need for nesting material, the chickadees will gather their own moss, grass, etc. Place the box 6-8' off the ground on the edge of an opening, perhaps where the edge of your yard will be. If you feel like making more than one box, put another or two in different locations. They would nest in the black spruce but I wouldn't put the box in a really thick stand of trees.

    Good luck and let us know if you get any renters this summer.

    Jeff

  6. #6
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default

    we have probably 15 or so houses up around here, about 50/50 chickadee and swallow houses. generally we get 4 or 5 boxes used by each species, and occasionally nuthatches.
    the chickadees like the houses about 6-8 up, the nuthatches like them a little higher. i bet we are on our 5th generation of boreal chickadees in one house just outside the kitchen window.
    swallows like the ones on the house, and on poles about 10-12' up.
    we have some owl boxes that have had occasional occupants, but they are off in the woods and we only check them when it is time to clean them out, or the tree falls (oops!) i've got another 4 owl boxes to go up sometime this week.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

  7. #7
    Member grcg's Avatar
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    Default Great Info!! - but more questions....

    ...I think I have a game plan for the woodpecker houses now. Thanks!

    But I still have questions on the houses for the chickadees. Will they want houses that are tucked into the trees? Or on the edge of a cleared area so they can see? Will they look for a home with the opening facing sun or shade?

    Thanks a bunch!!

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  9. #9
    Member grcg's Avatar
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    Default That is great!!

    Thanks Hiline!

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