Updated at: 14-08-2022 - By: Jane Brody

Any object that fits snugly against or is no more than an inch thick and is attached around a birdhouse’s entrance hole is known as a predator guard.

A predator guard is a thick piece of wood placed on the outside of a birdhouse to protect the nesting birds from predators such as snakes, squirrels, and even other birds. A steel plate can serve the same purpose as a guard, stopping the occupants from enlarging the entry hole.

Predator Guards Bird Houses

You’ll eventually need a highly functional predator guard, but those of us who don’t have to worry about backyard predators may probably go without one for the time being.

A bird house with a built-in protection mechanism against predators is ideal. A predator guard may be attached to a birdhouse without being bothersome to either you or the birds, so it’s a benefit if the time ever comes when it’s needed.

One option is to purchase a bird house that already has a predator guard installed over the entrance hole. This is preferable to purchasing a separate predator guard and then having to attach it with screws or glue.

If you want to protect your birdhouse from predators, you can install a wooden block on the wall.

Whereas, any wooden birdhouse can have a metal plate, often made of stainless steel, attached to it through screws so long as there isn’t any overhang on the plate’s edges.

A predator guard can be used in conjunction with a birdhouse to ensure the safety of the birds living there.

I wouldn’t say that a predator guard is necessary, but it can certainly come in handy if any predators show up and cause problems near your birdhouse.

Made in wood block with hole

Wooden birdhouse predator guards might be as basic as a plank of wood.

It would be around 4 inches by 4 inches and about an inch thick; the exact dimensions would depend on the style and size of the birdhouse, but you can rest assured that it will be square in shape, because who has time to mold a block of cedar.

The protections against predators made of wood are usually cemented in place, so they can’t be removed easily.

It’s not attached to the birdhouse, so you can screw it on and take it off as needed.

When you buy a wooden predator guard from a shop or online, it will almost always come with glue, making it a permanent part of your home.

Gluing or screwing on a wooden predator guard to the front of a birdhouse ensures that the entry hole and the hole in the predator guard are perfectly aligned.

For added protection from predators, a wooden guard can be constructed alongside the birdhouse, or one can be whipped up in a jiffy in the workshop if need be.

Can be metal plate

Predator Guards Bird Houses-2

Predator guards made of metal for birdhouse entrance holes serve the same purpose as a block of wood but are indestructible.

Squirrels and larger predatory birds are not likely to peck or chip away at a steel plate, therefore a block of wood will be left unharmed.

A metal plate can keep predators from entering a birdhouse, and it can also be used to prevent unwanted birds from entering the structure. That’s a reference to the fact that birds who decide to make the birdhouse their home will frequently make adjustments to the entrance hole to make it more comfortable for them.

To prevent the birdhouse from deteriorating at this vulnerable spot, a steel plate has been installed around it.

Because a steel or wooden predator guard would be attached to the birdhouse, there would be no perch for the birds to rest on.

While steel solutions prevent rust, rust removal may be necessary in the future.

When purchasing a steel predator guard for a birdhouse, you have the option of purchasing the guard as-is or a set of metal plates in various sizes in the hopes that one of the sizes will work for your birdhouse’s entry hole.

Reach of predators is harder

Whether it’s constructed of metal or wood, a predator guard atop a birdhouse will serve the same purpose: to protect the nest’s inhabitants from harm.

Larger birds can break into the eggs to devour or kill the young if they can stick their heads in, while squirrels can reach in via a smaller entrance hole and steal the eggs.

Imagine the same thing being applied to a thick block of wood, except that the entry hole is doubled in size, resulting in a box that is up to an inch thicker on the inside than the outside.

For the time being, the occupants of the birdhouse are safe because now the predators have further to reach inside.

Only a predator guard made of wood will do to protect the birds in your birdhouse from unwanted visitors.

In light of this, you can either construct one yourself or purchase a cage-like predator guard [like the one shown in the featured image] that has an opening at the top and an inner cage that birds can land on to enter the opening, but which prevents predatory birds, squirrels, or snakes from reaching the underside because of protruding spikes.

Birdhouse with or without options

Predator Guards Bird Houses-3

You may be in a scenario where you don’t have to worry about the birds in your birdhouse being threatened by predators, in which case you may devote your attention to discouraging unwanted birds from using the opening.

Even so, you should be wary, as its potential predators might sneak around when you aren’t looking.

To decide whether or not to include this predator guard in the design of your birdhouse, you’ll need to consider the aesthetic preferences of both you and any potential residents.

A wooden block or metal plate attached to a birdhouse won’t affect the structure in any way, so there’s no reason not to do so.

A steel plate can be easily screwed on, or a solid block of wood can serve as a permanent predator guard for your birdhouse.

If you’re worried about predators getting inside your birdhouse, you could always just cover the front with a metal plate that’s the same size as the entrance hole.

If you want your birdhouse to look nice even after the birds move in, you need prevent them from expanding the entrance hole.

Affix by gluing or use screws

It’s totally acceptable if you decide against employing a predator guard since you don’t think you need one.

If you want to be extra cautious, though, you should install a predator guard on your store-bought or DIY bird house before the first inhabitants move in this spring.

In the same vein, if there are birds using the birdhouse as a nesting site over the winter, you should leave them alone.

Attaching a solid block of wood as a predator guard requires measuring twice, cutting once, and drilling pilot holes for the screws.

The birdhouse is protected from breaking or splintering by not undergoing any more cutting or screwing.

If you want to keep the wood from splitting, I suggest using no more than four screws, spaced out by no more than half an inch, in each corner.

Even better would be to attach a steel plate as a predator guard, as this would be both quick and easy to do.

Summing up

A predator guard is a simple device installed on a birdhouse to protect its inhabitants from the dangers posed by birds that are naturally attracted to the birdhouse.

It’s only relevant for those unfortunate enough to have to deal with backyard predators like snakes, squirrels, or birds of prey.

A wooden predator protection block or steel plate attached to your birdhouse for no other reason than to serve as a decorative accent is perfectly fine with the birds.

Putting a wooden block over your entryway with a hole in it that’s the same size as the hole in the block will make it so that any potential predators would have to reach further to get to you.

While a steel plate’s protection from predators isn’t quite as good as a simple wooden block, it does have other uses.

A steel plate placed over the entrance hole will prevent any predators or tenants from enlarging the hole to gain entry, as well as any alterations the occupants may make to make it more personalized.

If the birds in your region are never in danger, you don’t need to install a predator guard on your birdhouse, but it certainly won’t hurt.

Up to four screws can be used to secure a predator guard made of wood or steel, but why not just glue it in place to make it permanent?

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