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Creating A Bird-Friendly Backyard With Wooden Bird Houses

The hustle and bustle of city life is all most people know these days. Between jobs, after-school activities and the rest of life’s demands, when is there time to really kick back and enjoy nature?

While you may not see an opening in your schedule to head out on a nature vacation, why not create a natural escape in your backyard. Even small backyards can be natural havens. It all starts with a few wooden bird houses.

Whether buying or making it, a wild bird house is a very simple addition that can bring color and life to your backyard. You need to know the kinds of birds you want to attract, and then use the right bird houses to attract them.

Many birds are regional. If you don’t know what birds live in your area, you may want to do a little online research for ‘bird watching’ and your state or region to get information about the birds that are regularly found near you.

Next, consider the size of wild bird house you want to hang. If you are trying to draw smaller birds like chickadees or wrens, you should choose a smaller bird house with a smaller opening. The birds don’t want company, so a hole that lets them in and keeps others out is perfect. Make sure there is enough room inside. If you are looking to attract woodpeckers or other larger birds, size the house up accordingly.

Think natural when it comes to wild bird houses. We recommend wooden bird houses. This is a natural material, which the birds are used to being around.

Many people see the words ‘weather treated’ on wooden bird houses and think this is a great idea. After all, won’t that keep the bird house from rotting or breaking down from the elements? It is better for the birds if you take your chances with the weather. Weather treating is done through chemically treating the wood. Those chemicals in wooden bird houses may not be healthy for the birds who move in. It’s best to go with untreated woods. Pressure treated, processed, or even painted woods (at least inside) should be avoided as paint or chemically treated parts of wood bird houses could harm birds, especially hatchlings.

Consider your weather conditions. Slanted roofs help the rain to roll off wooden bird houses. If you get a lot of rain in your area, making sure the roof is a little wider than the top will allow the rain to roll off. This will lessen the chance of it getting inside. Baby birds can drown in small amounts of rain.

In case water gets inside, can it drain out? Very small holes in the floor can help with this, keeping your wooden bird house dry. This is not only healthy for the birds, but can also help to avoid rotting in the wood. Add a few holes in the side or back of the wild bird house while you are at it, to offer your birds fresh air.

Choose wooden bird houses that are easy to clean. Birds are messy and wild bird houses need to be cleaned out or waste will really pile up. Many wooden bird houses have a back or side door that can be opened for cleaning. Do this regularly (at the end of the breeding season) as a filthy bird house can lead to disease and make all the birds sick.

When putting up a wild bird house, think about predators. Cats and raccoons are the most likely culprits. If you have a wild bird house perched on top of a thin pole, it is harder for them to climb to it. You should put any wooden bird houses a minimum of three feet off the ground, preferably higher.

Want to really get points with the birds, Don’t forget to put a feeder or two and some water near their wooden bird houses, so they have access to everything they need in your backyard.

Rob Huff and his family have enjoyed attracting wild birds into their yard for many years. This love of watching wild birds has grown into a hobby that the whole family enjoys together. For more information on bird houses and attracting birds visit

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