Setting Up a Nestbox

Nesting

Setting up a nest box in your yard can provide an essential nesting area for many species of birds that call your backyard home. While many species hide their nests in natural foliage, brush and trees, others require cavities for nesting. A nest box provides shelter and replaces nesting space lost to urban sprawl. Nest boxes encourage birds to raise their young in your backyard while you get the joy and fun of baby birds in return. Typical bird house tenants include chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, bluebirds and downy woodpeckers. Different birds require different hole sizes. Ask for help when choosing! Hanging, pole or tree-mounted, a nest box brings added fun to your backyard.

Placement

Placement is so important in determining what bird will set up shop. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Make sure you place your bird house in a location where your target birds are likely to reside. Research habitat, nest height (we recommend at least 5-6’ off the ground) and direction preferences for the species. Most birds prefer to have the nest box hole facing away from prevailing winds.
     
  • Avoid placing nest boxes in areas where herbicides and pesticides are used. These chemicals decrease the natural insect population so important to most nesting birds.
     
  • Boxes can be mounted on a pole or tree. We suggest if mounting on a pole to use a baffle beneath the box to protect nesting birds. Also, be sure that your nest box is attached securely whether on a pole or tree to withstand weather and winds.

Look for quality constructed nest boxes with thick walls to provide insulation, an extended and sloped roof to keep rain out, drainage holes to keep the interior dry, ventilation holes and free of outside perches which aid predators and other harassing birds.

Hanging & Cleaning

Chickadee_NestboxBe sure your nest box is in place well before the arrival of nesting season. In southern parts of the country, no later than February. In northern regions, March is fine. Boxes that remain in your yard over winter can be used as roosting boxes, creating a safe and warm place for wintering birds to take shelter.  Once eggs have been laid and the box is no longer in use it can be cleaned. Simply open the box, remove any debris and hang again for next season.

Accessories

Predator Guards for nest boxes minimize predation of eggs, nestlings and adult birds at the boxes. Available in varying hole sizes. Baffles, mounted above or below are also available for safe nesting. Our PoleWise® hardware system offers countless hanging solutions for any pole-mounted nest box.

In addition we carry a nice selection of nesting material to cushion the nest and provide warmth and comfort for baby birds. Hang materials in trees and watch as birds sweep in, grab some in their mouth and flutter off to their nesting sites.