If you enjoy it, the birds it’s meant for probably will too, albeit the answer to the question of “what kind of bird house do birds prefer?” will vary depending on the species in question.
A bird house should have an entrance hole size that is appropriate for the birds that will be using it; otherwise, you run the risk of attracting unwanted invasive species. It’s important to put the entry hole in the middle, but at a specific angle. Wooden bird houses with insulation and internal dimensions tailored to individual species are favored.
Don’t get me wrong — you can still be successful without a bird home that follows all of these exacting specifications for the various sizes and shapes of birds.
In most cases, at least, you won’t really see the bird you’re trying to attract actually settling down to raise its young in the nest box come spring.
Starlings, not Bluebirds, may take up residence if the entry hole is too large or if the inside measurements are larger than what is recommended.
Therefore, you should exercise extreme caution and attempt to be as accurate as possible with the bird house criteria to avoid attracting any unwelcome guests.
It’s important to get the bird house from a reliable source, but reputable brands will have you covered by providing options for a wide variety of bird species.
In the end, it’s a matter of chance as to what kind of bird home they choose to nest in, but if you go against these suggestions when building your own, you may get lucky.
Be secure with an appropriately sized and positioned entry hole in your wooden bird house; outward dimensions and style can be adjusted later.
You can’t just rely on the bird house’s features to attract a certain species; the location in your backyard is also important.
Species specific entrance hole
Most birds will only use a bird house for nesting if the entrance hole is the right size and shape for them.
The size of the hole in your bird home may not seem like a big deal, but it can have a significant impact on whether or not your house attracts nesting birds.
For example, bluebirds need a hole that is at least 1-1/2 inches (or 1.5 cm) in diameter to nest in comfort and nurture their young.
To discourage invading House Sparrows from robbing a Bluebird’s nest box, it may be necessary to make or purchase a bird house with an extremely precise hole size.
The hole in a bird home should be a suitable size, but it should also be cut out in a round form to mimic the natural cavities used by birds when they nest.
Not that it matters much to birds, however keep in mind that there shouldn’t be a perch over this opening. This makes it easy for predators to get into the box, and the birds have no idea what they’re getting themselves into.
Bird house hole placement
It may come as a surprise, but the effectiveness of a bird home depends on more than just cutting the entry hole to the right size.
Every single bird house, whether it had a round or square entrance hole, would have that opening positioned precisely in the middle of the front.
Making sure the hole is precisely where it needs to be requires measuring from the inside of the birdhouse’s base to some higher elevation.
Most birds that use bird homes prefer holes between 6 and 8 inches in diameter, whereas larger birds like starlings and woodpeckers prefer holes about 10 inches in diameter, which is consistent with a larger bird house being used.
The average height of the hole required by larger birds like owls and kestrels is 13 inches.
To account for these and other factors, a half-inch margin of error is given, but you should strive for greater precision.
Most birds prefer a deep box to build their nest in with natural materials, but Wrens and Nuthatches, for example, may find that a shallow box is too small for them.
Made in wood only
Bird houses can be constructed from a wide variety of materials, but a sturdy wooden box is the best bet for attracting wild birds as residents.
To be sure, birds will have a harder time successfully nesting in your home if it is not constructed from cedar wood, the ideal material for bird houses.
Birds can tell the difference between a sturdy birdhouse and one made from less sturdy materials.
If you want to play it safe, stick with a wooden bird home because a bird won’t know that its brand new ceramic bird house won’t overheat in the summer sun.
It is up to you to decide what kind of roof insulation will be utilized, but whatever you decide must be completely waterproof.
Bird houses made from cedar wood would be the greatest alternative, however pine would be less expensive.
Strong, thick isolated walls
A bird house needs to be built with sturdy walls to provide adequate insulation and to prevent the house from collapsing.
Birds can get a feel for the thickness of a wall and determine if it’s safe to raise their young within.
Alternatively, it would be difficult to entice birds to an inexpensive bird home with walls constructed of thin, weak material.
While owl and duck houses can get away with thinner plywood, the typical backyard bird prefers a house with sturdier walls.
Avoid relying too much on the question, “What kind of bird houses do birds prefer most?” and instead go with your gut to determine the type of housing you think will keep your feathered friends safest.
Birds will check out a bird house before deciding to live inside, so the bottom should be sturdy but feature ventilation and drainage holes.
As before, I think it’s on you to get this correct, rather than the nesting birds finding it out for themselves after it’s too late.
In contrast, a birdhouse’s entrances must be unobstructed at all times, so that the birds may get in and out without having to worry about things like plants growing in the way.
You should take similar precautions to prevent ivy from taking over any ventilation or drainage holes.
Because it’s impossible to predict how Mother Nature will act in a few months’ or a year’s time, it’s crucial to keep a bird house clean and in good repair on a regular basis.
While it is feasible to bury a bird home deep in a hedgerow or other vegetation because these structures are attached to a specific spot in the yard, it is important to keep this area tidy by periodically trimming back the hedge so the birds have free access to the house.
The birdhouse also needs to be easily accessible so you can perform the annual upkeep that is required.
Fussy on interior measurements
The interior of a bird house designed for a certain species of bird must be cut to precise dimensions.
The size of the bird house, which can either attract or repel the birds it is designed for, is determined by interior measurements.
For instance, a nest box for an Eastern Bluebird would need to have a base measuring 4 inches by 4 inches, a width and depth measuring 4 inches by 4 inches, and a height measuring 10 inches by 10 inches, or roughly.
Any bird house size can be constructed, and it’s fine to allow for little wiggle room if necessary, but it’s recommended to stick as closely as possible to the box’s stated dimensions.
The birds’ nesting space, which is the only squared-off part of the bird house, determines the maximum allowable height, whereas the slanted roof or other architectural flourishes are less of a concern.
The external dimensions of the bird-specific box can be substantially larger than the inside ones without causing too much of a problem, as only the internal ones matter.
Most liked bird house summary
Birds prefer buildings that are made of sturdy wood and have an entrance hole tailored to each species, ideally in the middle of the front.
Certain aspects of a bird house are essential, but these cannot be selected by the birds themselves; hence, you must take responsibility for ensuring the safety of the nesting birds once the nesting season has concluded.
Bird houses should not include a perch, should have drainage and ventilation holes carved into the box, and the entrance hole should be left open at all times.
Cedar-made bird houses are the most universally appealing option.
The walls should be at least an inch and a half in thickness, the foundation should be rock solid, and the roof should be designed to keep the bird house dry for its entire useful life.
Since birds can be picky about where they lay their eggs, it’s important to provide them with a nesting box that is custom-made to their exact specifications. The length and width of the box are measured first, followed by its height.
Last but not least, if you’re going to buy a bird house instead of building your own, it’s necessary to buy according to the species the bird houses is intended for.