How to hang a birdhouse – including tips on placement, suitable nesting locations, and mounting a bird house. Are you putting up a new birdhouse (nesting box) or repositioning an old one? If so, knowing where to mount a birdhouse will make it more attractive to nesting birds. This will help ensure you have bird watching excitement for years to come.
General Considerations when Select a Birdhouse Location.
The entrance hole should face away from the prevailing winds. This will help keep rain and strong winds from entering the birdhouse. In most of the United States, this implies the ideal entrance should be facing either east, south, or north. If facing east, the birdhouse will enjoy the early morning sun, but will avoid the warm afternoon heat.
Avoid placing birdhouses in close proximity to bird feeders and birdbaths. This is because smaller songbirds may feel threatened from larger predators.
Birds tend to use birdhouses in places they feel comfortable. Therefore, if birds are not using your birdhouse, it might be time to try a new location.
Where to Hang a Birdhouse or Nesting Box.
1. A pole – is one of the most desirable places to mount a birdhouse. Snakes, cats, squirrels, and other predators have a hard time climbing up to the birdhouse. If the pole is made of metal, then is is virtually impossible for most predators to climb.
2. Slippery building facade. The face of a slippery building (e.g., metal siding) will provide the same protection as the metal pole. However, if the facade is facing the sun (and painted a dark color), the birdhouse may overheat on warm days.
3. Tree trunks – provide a stable base for installing a birdhouse. However, keep in mind, tree trucks are easy for most predators to climb. If using a tree trunk, try to keep the entrance hole as small as possible to keep predators away. Note: Grey and red squirrels are known to eat bird eggs and fledglings. However, the good news is the squirrels do not appear to cause a decline in bird numbers. As the number of fledglings fall, the rate of fledglings surviving goes up since they have less competition for food – EarthNews.
4. Hang from a tree or other structure – using wire, rope, or chain. Keep in mind, many birds will avoid a birdhouse that can sway or swing wildly on a windy day. Hence, keep the wire or chain short or try and find a way to minimize the side to side movement on windy days.
Optimum Birdhouse Mounting Height
|Bird Species||Mounting Height|
|House Finch||5-10’ (2-3m)|
|House Sparrow||10-15’ (3-5m)|
|Purple Martin||10-15’ (3-5m)|
|Tree Swallow||5-10’ (2-3m)|
See Birdhouse Entrance Hole Size for the optimum hole size for various birds.
More tips on hanging a birdhouse.
Bluebirds and purple martins prefer birdhouses out in the open. However, most other birds prefer concealed or camouflaged areas. The adults like branches nearby so they can keep a watch over their family.
Birdhouses placed under overhangs will see less sun and rain. Hence, they will last longer.
Consider cleaning and regular maintenance when mounting a birdhouse. If fastened to a tree with screws, birdhouse maintenance will be more difficult. By cleaning out the birdhouse after the young birds have taken flight, future birds will be more likely to nest in the birdhouse.
Leave the birdhouse up year around. This will help shelter birds from harsh winter conditions. It will also help ensure the house is up and ready in the spring, when birds start looking for a home.
Provide nesting materials to help encourage birds to use your birdhouse. Nesting materials include: pine needles, feathers, twigs and sticks, dead grass, yarn, string, thread, etc. Nesting materials will help:
- Cushion the eggs from the parents’ weight.
- Insulate the eggs from hot and cold temperature changes.
- Camouflage the egg from predators.