As the nesting season is winding down, those of us lucky enough to witness, at least some of the process, have now likely watched our fledglings leave the nest and venture out into the world on their own.
There are many that year after year, place bird houses in their yard or around their property only to have the houses sit vacant through the spring breeding season. While there are many factors that could come into play as why birds are not utilizing your bird houses, here are five of the most common problems we associate with vacant bird houses.
The early bird gets the worm and the same sentiment can be used regarding bird houses. If you are the type that waits for warm weather, green grass and blooming flowers to set up your bird houses, you might be too late for the show. In addition to attracting early nesting species, having your bird houses placed early in the season can help get birds comfortable with the location before settling in to raise their young.
Birding is a year-round endeavour to those of us who are passionate about passerines. This includes the maintenance of bird houses.
Many birders will hang or place bird houses and will seldom return to properly clean them out for the following season. Old nests and other debris is a sure-fire way to turn off spring migrants looking for a place to build their nest and lay their eggs.
Birds are very particular about where they choose to nest and are very cerebral when it comes to selecting a location that will keep them safe. In addition to being close to food and water sources, birds will choose a location in which they will feel safe from predators. If your bird house is closely situated to your home or is easily accessible by cats and other mammals, birds will steer clear of the house.
When all else fails, you might just have to do a quick evaluation of the type of bird house and the species of birds in your area. Your area might not be home to a large variety of cavity-nesting species or the hole size or dimensions on your bird house might not properly accommodate your local bird population.
Take an inventory of the birds in your area and choose the right bird house and dimensions specifically suited for those species to ensure future success.