How To Attract Birds to a Bird House

by Kevin

Question: How Can We Attract Birds to Our Birdhouses?

Or if there is a link to a page on your web site that would be helpful.

For the last few years now, I have been putting bird houses out around our back yard in the city.

We have many different birds that fly into our bird feeders all the time. They are lovely to see and our two grand girls (3 and 4) love them too.

Problem is that over the last few years we have never had any type of bird make their home in our bird houses. They are all over the green area in
the back of our home.

This spring I even tried not putting any food out for them hoping they would make the bird houses their home by hoping to get some food. Guess what...Even that did not work.

There have been robins in two of the trees that made their home in the maple trees. Nests are built in the centre of the trees. But NEVER any birds making their home in these new bird houses.

My neighbour gave me two bird houses that he had luck with. But still no one is moving in. His have been out in the trees, this will be the third year.

The bird houses have been painted on the out side only. I am thinking that maybe trying some next spring again that are not painted. Maybe that will help.

I have them out all year long. But would put any new ones out in the fall.

I know that it is not the time of expecting any new tenants moving in right now as we are moving into the month of June.

But we would like to know what you would do to achieve success with a new, rent free, home in a tree, anywhere from 6 ft to 12 feet off the ground, with different sizes, and different size front doors?

We would like to put an ad in the WIND, or Have our Wind Chimes send out bird signals to attract a new family to make one a home.

When it does happen, will the same birds come back next year?

Thanks in advance for any help.


7 Tips to Attract Wild Birds to a Bird House

Hi Kevin

Thank you for asking!

It does take a lot of patience sometimes to reap the benefits of bird watching.

There are many reasons why you may not have had success yet. The tenants you are trying to attract can be very picky!

I will try to help you out with these 7 tips:

    1. Not all wild birds nest in a cavity which is what a bird house provides. Robin's will not nest in a house or natural cavity because they prefer a shelf or tree branch to build their nest on.

    Chickadees, Nuthatches, Woodpeckers, Wrens and some other types of wild birds will use a natural cavity or a bird house to nest in.

    2. The bird house must be the right size for the nest that particular bird prefers and the entrance hole (as you mentioned) must be the preferred size too. So not all bird houses are suitable for all cavity nesting birds.

    3. It will help, not hinder, to have bird feeders in your yard. This way they may notice the house when they come to your bird feeder.

    4. Bird houses should not be closer than 20 to 30 feet from a bird feeder or another house. No one likes to have the neighbourhood dining next to your bedroom. ;) Or have another family next door as wild birds are very territorial.

    5. It is important that your bird house be cleaned out every year.

    6. A consideration as well is that bird houses are also used as roosting boxes which simply provide needed shelter.

    7. Paint should always be used only on the outside (as you mentioned) and be non-toxic.

    I hope this has been helpful. (More help below too!)

    Happy birding!

    More About Bird Houses

    How to Build a Bird House: The Right Way How to build a bird house that will actually be used requires a little knowledge but it is not complicated.

    Building Bird Houses that Get the Movers Hired Whether you build decorative houses or plainly functional, all will serve a purpose and I have seen a wide variety of bird homes used by our feathered friends over the years.

    Are You a Bird House Real Estate Expert? Take the Quiz! Test your knowledge on what makes a great bird house.

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