I love this little wren/chickadee bird house! I put it up a month ago and have a gorgeous little wren couple occupying it now. Hung it facing south (away from the West wind and rains) under a house eave so it didn''t get too hot in the sun and in a place where squirrels...
I love this little wren/chickadee bird house! I put it up a month ago and have a gorgeous little wren couple occupying it now. Hung it facing south (away from the West wind and rains) under a house eave so it didn''t get too hot in the sun and in a place where squirrels couldn''t get at it. Also purchased and attached an inexpensive (less than $3) metal 1-1/4" bird house portal protector I read that the Bluebird protector opening is 1.5″, the Nuthatch protector opening is 1.25″, the Chickadee portal opening is 1.125″, and the Wren portal opening is 1″. But Wild Birds Unlimited had a 1-1/8" (1.125") one that they said worked well for Chickadees and Wrens. Easy to attach and now birds can''t peck away at the wood opening to attack the inhabitants. That happened with my prior wren house that didn''t have the protector. Easy to clean with latch for opening it up, nice quality and natural cedar, great price! Found this on Birds Unlimited website--this house fits the bill!
1. Proper Drainage
1a. Drain holes
Make sure your birdhouse has drain holes in the bottom to let out water. This is important to keep mold and bacteria from multiplying.
1b. Roof overhang
Also, an inch or two of roof overhang will keep rain from entering the birdhouse entrance hole and will also help shade the interior on hot days.
2. Heating and Cooling
2a. Just as in human homes, a birdhouse needs proper ventilation for heat escape in summer and thick walls for heat retention in winter.
2b. Ventilation and insulation
Each birdhouse should have a slit or opening at the top of at least one side so hot air can escape during the summer. For the best insulation, most birders agree that wood makes a better birdhouse material than metal. It won''t heat up as much in the hot months of summer, yet keeps warmth in during winter''s cool months. Find one at least 3/4" thick. Though not usable for roosting in winter, clay or ceramic birdhouses insulate well in the warm months of summer.
There are three main sizes to consider: entrance hole size, floor size, and entrance height.
3a. Entrance hole size
The diameter opening determines which bird can enter the house. If the hole is too large, predators can reach in and disturb the nest. If the hole is too small, birds can’t gain access.
3b. Floor size
Birds need a certain amount of floor space inside the house so the hatchlings have room to grow. For smaller songbirds like wrens, chickadees, titmice and nuthatches, 4" x 4" is usually fine. Larger birds need more floor space. Again, look for your target species'' requirements.
3c. Entrance height
This is measured from the floor of the box to the bottom of the entrance hole, and this distance is important for keeping eggs and hatchlings out of reach of predators that may approach the hole and try to scoop inside the house. Many species need 5" or more.
Safe birdhouses have a number of features that help protect the inhabitants from predators.
4a. Perch-free entrance
Perches may look cute, but they simply give predators something to hold onto when approaching the entrance hole. Or, they invite invasive species to nest, which most people do not want. Since natural cavities such as tree trunks do not have perches, birds that will use nest boxes don''t need a perch either. Another way to deter predators is to pole mount the nest box. Predators have a more difficult time climbing a thin metal pole than a tree trunk.
4b. Enforcement around entrance hole
Some birdhouses feature a metal bracket around the entrance hole, which deters squirrels and other animals from enlarging the hole to gain access. Others have a thick piece of wood, with a cutout the same diameter as the hole, which in effect makes the entrance longer (called a predator guard) so that predators cannot scoop down into the box as easily. (Wild Birds Unlimited sells these for about $3)
4c. Nontoxic materials
The best birdhouses are not finished with toxic paints or stains. Natural wood is the best choice for preventing the birds from having contact with anything toxic.
5. Mounting and Access
Your birdhouse must also keep your lifestyle in mind. It should be easy to mount, easy to clean and maintain and, if possible, easy for you to monitor the activities inside the box when practical.
6. One side that opens
Birdhouses that you can open give you two advantages. You can keep them more sanitary because you can access the inside more easily for cleanout. Also, depending upon the style of opening, you can have a look at the activities inside the box, when practical.