Bird House Selection
Birds you can attract
Nesting Box Chart
Landscaping for Birds
Wren & Chickadee House
Nesting birds are extremely vulnerable to cats, as are fledglings and birds roosting for the night. Bell collars on cats offer birds little protection.
Nailing a sheet metal guard or cone to a tree trunk is unsightly, but may deter less agile felines.
Houses mounted on metal poles are the most difficult for predators to reach. Avoid using grease or petroleum jelly on the pole, it can get on the bird's feathers, and not being able to preen it off can be fatal. The best deterrent is for owners to keep their cats inside whenever possible.
Red squirrels, and sometimes gray squirrels, can become a serious menace to bird houses and the birds themselves. If you find your nest hole enlarged, chances are a red squirrel is the culprit. Once inside the box, squirrels make a meal of the eggs
and young. Adding a predator guard made of sheet metal to the entrance hole is usually enough to keep squirrels out.
Raccoons and Opossums
Raccoons and opossums will stick their arms inside nest boxes and try to pull out the adult, young, and eggs. Adding a 1/16 inch
thick predator guard to the bird house or an inverted cone to its pole support is a simple solution.
Snakes play an important part in the balance of nature. If you find one in your bird house, don't kill it. Snake-proof your house by putting it on a metal pole with squirrel baffle.
House Sparrows and Starlings
If you don't discourage them, these two nuisance species
introduced from Europe will harass or kill cavity-nesting birds.
Since house sparrows and starlings are not protected by law, you
may destroy their nests. But remember, other birds are protected
House wrens sometimes interfere with the nesting success of
other birds by puncturing their eggs. But, unlike the house
sparrow and starling, these birds are native to North America and
are protected by law. Don't be tempted to intervene when wrens
appear at your backyard bird house.
Many insects lay their eggs and pupate in bird houses. Inspect
your bird houses for signs of gypsy moths, blow flies, wasps,
ants, gnats and bees. Keep bees and wasps from attaching their
nests by coating the inside of the roof with bar soap. In areas
where gypsy moths abound, avoid placing boxes in oak trees,
which the gypsy moths favor.
Pyrethrin and rotenone insecticides are recommended for killing
fly larvae, bird lice and mites after birds have finished nesting for