Build a birdhouse ready for spring nesting

Your birdhouse tenants may change every year but they always keep themselves to themselves…

Although, having said that, if you grow fruit in your garden, the birds will definitely ‘help’ themselves!

If you want to save some for you, protect your fruit with ‘bird-friendly’ netting. ( garden birds can easily get tangled in ordinary netting )

Where to set up your birdhouse

Location is the most important decision you’ll make if you want to attract birds. If you already feed birds in a particular area, build a home there! Otherwise here are a few things to note when deciding on the location:

1. Not too close to your veggie/fruit plots

2. High enough to be safe from animals but not too high to be able to enjoy the entertainment!

3. Go for semi-shade or shady area, not direct sunlight.

4. Not too close to a regular path or play area. Birds like a little privacy!

5. A birdhouse close to hedges or trees is good.

And of course, the birdhouse must be made secure from cats and other climbing creatures. If you do have cats prowling around, unless they are very lazy and the birds are extra bold in your region, you may have to get inventive with locating your bird feeders or houses!

Ready-built or DIY?

Building a simple birdhouse can be fairly straightforward if you have basic DIY skills.

Use solid un-treated wood. The birdhouse needs to feel sturdy and safe. Most birds don’t like a front step ( perch! ) so it’s not worth having one. We had a family of nuthatches once who made it their business every morning to tap away little by little until they’d removed the perch completely. Fascinating to watch though!

Once you’ve finished your wild bird home, don’t be tempted to paint it in wild colours however creative you feel. Paint with an environment-friendly paint/preservative keeping to natural colours. And it’s not advisable to paint around the entrance hole or the inside surfaces. Even if the paint is environment friendly, the birds won’t like it!

If you fancy a quick fix on this, browse the beautiful designs available. Have a look in your local garden centre or online.