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How To Mount Bird Houses

It is best to hang bird houses well before the breeding season.   This should be during the summer or early fall at the latest - earlier the better.  Our Eastern White Pine houses will blend into the environment by then.

Our birdhouses are easily opened for annual cleaning - thus they can be left up year round.   Position them with the hole away from the prevailing wind to prevent the elements from entering the house.

Birds prefer unpainted houses with slightly rough surfaces to grip; this is exactly how we ship our houses.

Most birds prefer light coverage of bushes or trees to cover their entrance and exit.  However, dense shade is not recommended for many species.  See individual bird house pages by species for further details.

Try to mount houses in a place where they won't have access to by predators - especially if domesticated or feral cats are known to be around.

If mounting to a living tree, use of a strand of galvanized wire slipped through the vent holes with bungee cords strapped to each end is preferable to using screws.

One easy way to mount lower-standing houses is by using a six foot length of 3/4 inch conduit, driven into the ground, and then use conduit straps to fasten the house to the poll.

Many people will drive or cement a 4x4 post (please use untreated wood) into the ground and use outdoor-rated screws (stainless steel is best) to attach the host to the post.  This is the same size post commonly used as fence poles.

Free standing metal poles or PVC pipes can also be used.   Fasten the birdhouse to them using conduit straps or screws.

An advantage to using poles over trees is that predators have a harder time scaling the poles.   Many birds still prefer a bit of light cover when exiting and entering the house.

Some people like to mount their bird houses on the side of their house.   Regardless of where it is hung or mounted, the house should be 5 to 30 feet above the ground.  Try to space bird houses at least 25 feet apart - more so for territorial species like Wrens.

One option for higher bird density is to pair two different style bird houses (targeting different species that will nest by each other) on the same pole.

Please avoid putting bird houses in areas where pesticides and herbicides are used as they will harm the birds either directly or by eliminating their food source.

Bluebirds

Eastern Bluebirds require a 1 1/2" hole, while Western and Mountain Bluebirds require a slightly larger 1 9/16" hole.  This is important to keep predators like squirrels out of the house.  Some of these boxes are fitted with additional wood hole guard protection to prevent enlarging of the hole.  As these houses are made from solid wood, they don't suffer from the heat and ventilation issues that plastic and metal houses do.

Mount your Bluebird houses four to six feet high on a post (see our guide on how to mount bird houses), and face the entrance towards the nearest large tree or shrub.   If possible, direct the hole away from the prevailing winds to prevent the elements from getting inside.

Bluebirds like open or lightly wood country.   Bluebirds are territorial, so mount them at least 75 yards apart.

Clean out the house every February, and every time that the young have left.   There will be a good chance that the adults will use the box again for a second or even third brood.

Bluebirds usually begin nesting in March and will lay three to six eggs.   The incubation period is 14 days, with young birds flying about 11 days after hatching (they will often aim for the nearest tree or shrub).

Nuthatches

Nuthatches are secondary cavity dwellers so they look for a nesting location that has already been established naturally or by another bird. Locate housing away from buildings in a mature forest as best protection from house sparrows.

Four species live in North America (White-breasted, Red-breasted, Pygmy, and Brown-headed), and even though they do not take to nesting boxes as well as some other birds, they are cavity-dwelling birds and are worth trying to attract. 

Their name comes from their habit of pushing a nut into a crevice in the bark of a tree, and then pounding it, appearing to try to "hatch" it.

White-breasted Nuthatch

The White-breasted Nuthatches (Sitta carolinensis) are found in nearly all states in beeches and oaks in the East, and in oaks and conifers in the west. They have black caps over white faces, with gray backs, short tails, and long, narrow bills. With no great musical talent, these birds give a call that is nasal sounding, either a rapid series of whistles on one pitch, or a one low nasal note. This bird is more widespread and more common at feeders than its red-breasted cousin.  It can even be taught to eat from human hands.

Red-breasted Nuthatch

The Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis) is slightly smaller, with a distinctive black stripe across the eye and a rust-colored breast. It is also a bird of the forest, preferring conifers or mixed woods in nearly every part of the country. It digs a hole in soft, decaying wood and smears the entrance hole with pitch. They are messy nest-builders, so don't open the nesting box while it is occupied, or it may all fall out.


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