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Bird house, nest box. Bird house plans.
A bird house is also often called a nest box. It is a man-made structure that provides the birds with a place to build a nest. It is made, almost without exception, of wood. We want to make sure that birds will move in, build their nests and are willing to come back next year. So, let us look at a few of the basic requirements for a functional bird house. You can design your own bird house, buy a plan to build your own or purchase a ready to use model in the store.
Decide what type of birds you want to attract. This is really step one. Different sizes of bird houses suit different species of birds. Very small boxes will attract wrens and treecreepers and very large ones attract ducks and owls. Also, each bird may require a specific bird house location, perch or access opening.
Design. The majority of bird houses are more or less square and many have a sloping roof. Some nest boxes can be highly decorated and complex, sometimes mimicking human houses or other structures. Nest boxes may also contain nest box cameras so that use of, and activity within, the box can be monitored. Many have a hinged top, side or front to provide access for cleaning, bird ringing or, when used for domesticated species, to give the breeder access to the young. Boxes may either have an entrance hole or a full or partial open front or side.
Making your own bird house - material. The preferred choice of material should be wood. Birds will make their nests in hollow trees, bushes, under the overhang of roofs or any other place that will blend in with the colour of the nesting material. A bird house made of cedar or redwood wood will weather to a nice grey. Use 3/4" (19 mm) thick wood which will help to keep the bird house cool. Any thinner material will lead to overheating.
To paint or not to paint. Personally I think that a bird house should not be painted. Let it weather naturally so it will blend in well with its surroundings. If you choose to paint your bird house, only use approved oil paints that are classified as safe for bird houses, or use exterior latex paint. Lead-based paints or creosote are absolutely to be avoided. Never paint the inside of a bird house. Fumes from painting the inside, or using the wrong kind of paint on the outside of the bird house, as just mentioned, can cause sickness or death to wild birds.
Martin house on 12 feet telescoping pole to facilitate
cleaning. Place in open area away from trees
Chickadee leaving nest box