Fill the feeder, draw the bird bath, and roll out the mini welcome mat because the birds are back! Just like your home, birdhouses need a little spring cleaning each year to keep them habitable and inhabited.
Whether you’re new to owning a birdhouse or you are a professional backyard birder, these tips will help you ready your birdhouses to invite your feathered friends in this spring.
Is Timing Everything?
For cavity-nesting birds, late fall and early winter are the best times to put out your birdhouse. This gives the birds ample time to investigate the house and then build their nest. Some species, like bluebirds, will make the effort to return to the same area, around the same time, year after year.
But truthfully, there is no wrong time to put your birdhouse outside (as long as it’s clean). There are plenty of non-migratory birds that can use the birdhouse as a shelter from bad weather or predators during other seasons. Consider late winter or very early spring your deadline to appeal to nesting birds!
Clean Them Out!
In this case, spring cleaning is for the birds. Before you put your birdhouse out for the season, it’s essential to give them a good scrub. Washing them at the beginning of the season can get rid of any parasites or bacteria that may be hanging around from the last inhabitants. If you decide to leave your birdhouse up all year, just make sure that you designate a time to clean it out to prevent spreading anything amongst your bird visitors.
Breeding season ends around mid-August, so it’s important to wait until your tenants have moved out to begin cleaning. To clean, start by removing any nesting material. Use mild, scent-free soap and water mixture to scrub the inside of the birdhouse thoroughly. Let dry and your birdhouse is ready to be used again!
Where you place your birdhouse will make or break whether birds find it a desirable location to nest. For the best location, find a private spot of your yard that doesn’t experience much traffic and is away from curious cats and other predatory mammals. Make sure to secure your birdhouse at least five feet off the ground with the entry hole away from prevailing winds. These factors will help birds feel safe and warm while caring for their new hatchlings, making it an ideal place to nest.
When deciding on location, it’s always helpful to situate your birdhouse by additional food and water sources. This will help the birds not have to go far for food, all while staying close to their nest.
Enjoy the magic of nature, right in your backyard by being thoughtful of timing, cleanliness, and location with your birdhouses. Doing these simple actions can help bring more birds to your yard this spring, year after year going forward.
Ready to add a birdhouse to your yard this year? Check out our full line of birdhouses and feeders at ECCBOutdoor.com.