What you should know about birdhouses
What are the birdhouses for?
Birdhouses substitute natural hollows that are constantly disappearing due to "man work". Birds are nesting, sleeping or hiding in bad weather in them. They bear their eggs there and sit on them for two or three weeks until the baby birds are hatched out. The parents are feeding them until they are able to live alone.
Where and how to place the birdhouse?
The birdhouses should be placed in the way that neither the rain nor the wind get inside. In our geographical conditions it means that, the opening of the birdhouse should be directed to the south, southeast or southwest. Not even all day sunshine is not good for birdhouses and birds inside.
It is important to place the birdhouse so that the enemies of birds can’t reach it.
The remote locations are suitable for hanging the birdhouses in parks and gardens. In forests, we need to choose areas without natural cavities of trees. The southern edge forests is suitable for this purpose. It is recommended to have sufficient vegetation around birdhouse as it serves as food for birds.
If possible, it is necessary to hang the birdhouse without damaging the tree. In case you attach the birdhouse to the tree by nails or screws, use them as little amount as possible and don’t forget to hammer/screw them tip up, to avoid water from flowing into the wound. In every case, the birdhouse should be firm enough to not crack or drop on the floor.
The height at which the birdhouse is placed is also important, it depends on for what kind of birds we chose it, e.g. for titmices it’s 3 to 6 m from the ground, for hoopoes it’s from 1 to 4 m, for owls it’s 4 to 10 m ... If the birds do not have a choice, they settle in the birdhouse at a different height.
We shouldn’t attract the birds (by the birdhouses) to the gardens that are chemically treated. We would cause injuries to them and their babies. A well-produced, treated and maintained birdhouse lasts for 10 or more years.
When to hang a birdhouse?
The best time to hang the birdhouse is autumn as they are used for overnight stays during the winter. The winter or early spring hanging of the birdhouses should be finished at the beginning of March, before the return of birds from their wintering places. Even our birds, such as titmices and sparrows choose the appropriate cavities already during the March.
Birdhouse must be cleaned.
Birdhouses should be openable so they can be cleaned. The cleaning should be done after the end of the season (September, October) and during early spring (February). In the padding of the nest remain fleas, mites, ants, beetles, dead baby birds, all of these must be removed including the old nest. Also remove old skeletons of hornets, wasps and bumblebees, if any. Overnighting or overwintering titmices, sparrows and nuthatches in our birdhouses, will be definitely glad. The spring cleaning prepares the birdhouse for the new season. Checking and cleaning it twice a year is usually enough.
What can be found in the birdhouse?
In the padding of the bird nests predominates the material that is "at hand". In the proximity of human dwellings we often find strings, threads, wool, plastic, cotton and so on.
It happens that there are squirrel, marten or bat settled in the birdhouse instead of birds. In such case it’s better to leave the birdhouse with current dwellers and hang new birdhouse.