Information on Bluebird Birdhouses
- Even the best bluebird house won't attract these colorful birds if it's in the wrong habitat. A nearby hedgerow of shrubs or a few trees is necessary for insect hunting and safety. A bluebird house placed within 100 feet of trees or shrubs will provide a safe place for young birds to try their wings during early flight training. Open spaces and low-growing vegetation also are important. Soft, fragrant grasses provide nesting materials. Among the most ideal habitats for bluebirds are golf courses and parks because they provide open areas divided by rows of shrubbery and trees. Bluebirds are sensitive to pesticides, which also destroy their food supply. Keep your property pesticide-free for the best chance of attracting bluebirds.
- Natural, untreated wood should be used to make a house for bluebirds. Redwood and cedar wood are recommended, but plywood may also be used if it is at least 3/4 inch thick. Pressure-treated wood should never be used for a birdhouse because the toxic chemicals used in its production are harmful to birds. Paint or stain may be applied to the outside of the birdhouse, but the inside should remain unfinished natural wood.
- The exact specifications of a bluebird house depend on your region and the type of bluebirds that frequent your area. In general, a bluebird house should measure approximately 5 inches by 5 inches. The range of mountain bluebirds and western bluebirds often overlap, and a house with round hole about 1 9/16 inches in diameter will work for both species. Eastern bluebirds are smaller and less particular about their home's opening. It can be round, oval or horizontal rectangle. The dimensions of the opening should be large enough to allow entry for the bluebird, but small enough to keep unwanted birds, such as starlings, from entering.
- For easy cleaning, the top of a bluebird house should be hinged or completely removable. The best place for mounting the house is on top of a fence post or support post of some kind, so a back that extends from the main body of the birdhouse, allowing for the use of clamps, wire or nails for security, is preferred. Air vents, drainage holes and a roof with an overhang are also important design elements for a bluebird house.
- A quality bluebird house should protect its inhabitants from competing bird species and predators, such as raccoons and cats. A bluebird house should not have a perch, since bluebirds do not need them and they will only serve as a "welcome mat" to other bird species. After mounting a bluebird house on a pole, grease the pipe or pole in order to prevent predators from climbing up to the house. Another precautionary measure is to make certain your bluebird house has a roof that extends over the entry hole by 1-inch.