“Birdhouse Maintenance – Critical For Healthy Bird Populations!”
Birdhouse Maintenance is the most important thing to think about when deciding to purchase and install birdhouses. Our Unfinished Wood Birdhouses are designed with maintenance in mind! Ensuring you can easily gain access for birdhouse maintenance is critical to prevent diseases and death in birds.
All of our birdhouses are made with the same quality and care and every birdhouse is designed and built to ensure birdhouse maintenance is easy to perform . When looking to buy any birdhouse keep these questions in mind:
- How are you going to open it up for cleaning?
- Will you need a ladder to clean the house?
- What tools will be needed to clean out the birdhouse?
- Are all the individual parts replaceable?
- Are the vent holes easy to access and clean out?
- Does the birdhouse include a predator guard?
- Is your birdhouses located in the best place for your birds?
Unfinished Wood Birdhouses are your best choice for a nesting cavity bird. Never purchase a painted birdhouse unless you plan to use it inside for decoration only. Paint chips WILL peel off over time and both adult and baby birds may ingest them causing sickness and death.
All nesting cavity birds prefer a specific cavity size, hole size, and the entry hole located a certain distance above the floor. Since we are talking about a Bluebird House in this example you want to ensure all your Bluebird Houses have an inside floor dimension of five by five inches. Not 4-3/4 x 4-3/4 inches and not 5-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches. Too much room and the parents have a harder time making a thick nest. Too little room and the baby birds can get to crowded and suffocate each other.
Also the wood should be at least 3/4″ thick. The thicker the wood the more insulation the birdhouse will provide helping to keep the parents and babies cool during hot summer days. NEVER buy or make a birdhouse made of laminated wood such as plywood or OSB (oriented strand board). The glues in these laminates can cause sickness and death in birds.
A better birdhouse allows access into the birdhouse when one of the sides or the front is made to swing up from the bottom. It’s not as important how the box opens as you can open it and clean out all the nesting materials in the fall. Avoid buying a birdhouse that is put together with staples or nails. Getting these houses open for cleaning and maintenance is very difficult or impossible without destroying the birdhouse. The cheap big box store birdhouses you will find are usually made with staples and/or nails.
Birdhouse maintenance starts with cleaning out the birdhouses & here is a list of things you want to do:
- Open the house up and take out all the old nesting material, feces, wasp nests on the ceiling, and anything else in the cavity.
- Replace any worn or broken parts such as the bottom, sides, top, or back.
- The house should have a predator guard on it. This is a block of wood over the entry hole with a hole in it the same size as the entry hole. If it is worn or damaged replace it.
- If your house does not have a predator guard installed we have them for sale for any size entry hole. See Birdhouse Predator Guards.
- Clean out all the vent holes.
- Make sure the birdhouse is level from back to front OR slightly tipped forward by one or two degrees. This is crucial to ensure the baby birds can get out at fledge time. They may times have to climb out and if the house is slightly tipped back they have a hard time fledging and may die trying to get out.
- All houses need to be a certain distance off the ground. Bluebird houses should be at least five feet off the ground to keep predators from getting to the boxes easily.
- Give every screw on the birdhouse a turn to ensure everything is snug and tight.
- If your houses have not seen nesting birds in the past couple years and they are clean and well maintained it may be best to relocate them to a better area. Remember the three golden rules of installing birdhouses? Location, Location, Location!
Cleaning chemicals are not necessary if the birdhouses are cleaned in the fall. Removing the nests and feces in the fall will allow the winter-time cold to kill any additional mites and insects that might still be living on the bare wood. If the floor of the birdhouse is rotted it should be replaced as critters of all kinds can over-winter in this area.
Birdhouse quality, design, and location are important, but for the health and well being of birds from year to year birdhouse maintenance is what most people never think about or perform.
For additional information or available services please Contact The Bird Man. The fundamental philosophy of our business is that we come to you for most all of our products & services including cleaning out birdhouses.