All About Birdhouses

These Top 14 Frequently Asked Questions Cover It All!

By Richard Worden

Birdhouses are probably the most effective way to attract a few feathered friends into your backyard and get them to start living with you. Birds make great neighbors, considering they eat pests, and you get to wake up the sweet chirping noises every morning. There is though more about birdhouses than meets the eye, so read on to learn all about birdhouses...

Birdhouses are artificially-constructed spaces to accommodate birds, where they can build nests, lay eggs, and nurture their young. The primary function of a birdhouse is to protect birds from predators and external elements while giving them a safe space to live.

In this article, I’ll cover all about birdhouses in more detail and list a few options for you to choose from if you plan to set up one in your backyard. Read on to find out how to maximize your birdhouse’s chances of attracting birds!

all about birdhouses

Do Bird Houses Attract Birds?

Most people are skeptical about doing the work of setting up a birdhouse. Many worry that they’ll go through the trouble of setting up a birdhouse only for no birds to show up.

Birdhouses attract birds if they're built with specific considerations in mind. The structure needs to be placed in the shade so it doesn't get too hot during the day. There also needs to be readily-available sources of food and water nearby, so the birds feel safe building a nest here.

It's also best to paint the birdhouse in brighter colors for two main reasons:

  • Birds rely on their sight more than other senses.
  • Darker colors will absorb more heat during the day.

Should Birdhouses Be Taken Down in the Winter?

While birdhouses are used chiefly during nesting season, it would be helpful to your feathered friends if they had access during the cold weather.

Birdhouses should not be taken down in winter as they can help protect birds from adverse weather conditions and freezing temperatures. If anything, the birdhouse should be reinforced and adequately sealed to prevent cool air from entering.

You can use various materials to seal any holes in the birdhouse. However, it's best to avoid industrial glue or other chemical substances that might release harmful toxic fumes. all about birdhouses

Should Birdhouses Be in the Shade?

Where you set up a birdhouse will determine how attractive it is to the birds who visit your backyard. And most birds are looking for a space that won't get too hot in the afternoons.

Birdhouses should ideally be placed in the shade and facing east, away from the midday Sun. This setup ensures the house is comfortable throughout the day, and the birds won't have to deal with high temperatures.

Aside from being in the shade, the birdhouse should also be significantly elevated and camouflaged to conceal it from predators. Birds are highly cautious animals and will avoid setting up a nest if they feel that predators can easily reach the birdhouse.

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Everyone loves birdhouses, especially birds! Yet, they can have their downsides. Here's an article of ours which explains the pros and cons of birdhouses that you might not have thought about.

Should Birdhouses Have Ventilation?

A birdhouse isn't simply a box you set up in your backyard. Remember, it's a home, and just like your house, it would be impossible to live in if you couldn't breathe!

Birdhouses should have ventilation for proper air circulation within the structure. The best way to ensure appropriate ventilation within a birdhouse is by drilling holes under the roof on the sides of the frame.

Aside from ventilation gaps, drill holes on the bottom of the birdhouse to ensure proper drainage so your feathered friend's house isn't waterlogged during the rains.

Should You Paint Birdhouses?

Using the right colors on your birdhouse can help it fit snugly into your backyard. However, you want to be cautious about the colors you're using.

You should paint your birdhouse using non-toxic paint material. It's best to avoid darker colors as they can cause the structure to heat up during the day. You also want to avoid colors that are too bright as they could attract predators.

Of course, predators are always a threat, irrespective of the colors you choose for your birdhouse. To combat this threat, you want to place your birdhouse in a safe, unreachable spot, preferably hanging from a tree branch. This setup ensures predators can't get to the structure from the ground or through the trees.

Should Birdhouses Have a Perch?

A part of owning a birdhouse is the freedom to set it up and construct it the way you want it to look. And for most people, that involves adding a perch to the structure. However, this may not be the best idea for your feathered neighbor.

Birdhouses should ideally be built without a perch attached to them, as birds do not require a perch to use the home. They can always cling to the roof or sides before going in. A perch actually makes it easier for unwanted guests like other birds or predators to enter.

Although you may have wanted to incorporate a perch into your birdhouse, only undesirable birds use them, so it’s best to avoid them.

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Wondering what's involved with owning a birdhouse? Or maybe you own one but want some tips on it's care? Then visit this helpful page of ours dedicated to everything you need to know about caring for birdhouses.

Do Birdhouses Need To Face a Certain Direction?

When learning all about birdhouses it's good to know that some species of birds prefer to have their homes facing a certain way, probably because most birds have a certain sense of the Earth's geomagnetic fields. However, it can be challenging to determine which direction the birdhouse should face.

Birdhouses should be built facing away from the prevailing winds in that area. You also want to ensure that the house faces away from the excruciating rays of the midday sun. You can check the direction of prevailing winds in your area and build the structure accordingly.

You can protect your friends from the cold by facing the house away from prevailing winds.

Why Do Birdhouses Help the Environment?

While birdhouses seem like a kind-hearted act towards animals, they go a long way in helping the environment we live in.

Birdhouses help the environment because birds help with pest disposal, plant pollination, spreading seeds, and weed control. Having birds in your backyard ensures their continued survival and improves the ecosystem through constant interaction with the plants here.

What Birdhouse Colors Attract Birds?

Most birds are known for their keen eyesight, so it's natural to assume that painting your birdhouse a particular color will attract more birds to your backyard.

There aren't any particular colors that attract birds, as birds aren't too picky about colors. Instead, they're looking for a home that's camouflaged and hidden from predators. As such, it's best to paint your birdhouse in dull colors, like tan, brown, or gray, to avoid unwanted attention.

Why Won’t Birds Use My Birdhouse?

So you've set up a birdhouse, ensured it's camouflaged, and even painted it in dull colors so no one has to worry about curious predators. And yet, you find that birds aren't visiting this new shelter. Why is that?

Birds are likely not using your birdhouse because there’s no clean water or food nearby, you’ve put too much nesting material inside, there’s too much bird seed inside, there are obstacles that prevent the birds from entering, or there’s not enough shade for the birdhouse.

While it may seem like a tall order, it only takes a bit of extra effort to ensure your birdhouse meets the specifications of even the most timid birds. And if you want your backyard to be home to the most peaceful neighbors on Earth, it's worth the effort.

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Do birdhouses get dirty enough to need cleaning? If so, when and how often should I do this? Be sure to check out our article about cleaning your birdhouse which will answer all of your questions.

Do You Put Anything in a Birdhouse?

Ventilation holes, adequate drainage, and the right direction are all essential for building a comfortable birdhouse. However, when learning all about birdhouses, is there anything extra you need to add inside the structure to make a bird's stay more comfortable?

Avoid putting anything like nesting material or other stuffing inside a birdhouse. While some birds won't mind a bed of wood shavings or sawdust, most birds will remove any material inside the structure before building their nest. By putting things inside, you only add to their labor.

It's also best to clean out the structure and remove old nests once the mating season is over and before new birds come to claim the house.

What’s the Difference Between a Nesting Box and a Birdhouse?

I've been talking about birds building nests in a birdhouse. However, nature conservationists use the term 'nesting box' to describe the kind of structure we're talking about. So is there a difference?

Birdhouses are typically set up for aesthetic purposes and to provide a home and are often used by birds for a single nesting season. On the other hand, nesting boxes are designed to accommodate more enormous nests, and birds tend to live here for more extended periods than in birdhouses.

Can Bird Houses Get Too Hot or Too Cold?

When constructing a birdhouse, you must consider accounting for possible temperature changes. While a birdhouse is designed to shield birds from temperature extremes, building them haphazardly may make them uncomfortable for the birds.

Birdhouses can get too hot or too cold, depending on their construction. If the structure is facing prevailing winds and isn't shielded in some way, it may get too cold. Alternatively, it will become too hot if the birdhouse absorbs too much heat due to a darker color and lack of ventilation.

While birds are adaptable animals, they also feel extreme temperatures, and it's essential to keep a balance to avoid damaging the eggs or the hatchlings.

Best Birdhouses To Attract Birds

Now that you've learned all about birdhouses and how to set one up let's look at some of the best birdhouses on so you can select one for your home. Note: We will receive a small commission from any sale.

suqefan bird house

Suqefan Statues
Hanging Bird House 

This structure is ideal if you're looking to attract birds like the wren, hummingbird, and finch. The birdhouse is designed with environment-friendly materials and safe paints, so your feathered friends can stay safe. Additionally, this piece fits snugly into your backyard, giving it a warm spring vibe without standing out too much.

Home Bazaar Novelty Cottage

Home Bazaar Novelty Cottage 

Suppose you're looking for something fancier to gift your new neighbors, consider this beautiful, luxurious, cottage-style birdhouse from Home Bazaar. While it's a little pricey compared to other models, the design, easy installation, cleanup features, and high-quality materials make it worth the price.

The roof is constructed using materials that naturally keep the interior cool even on the hottest days.

Plain Enterprises Birdhouse Gazebo

Plain Enterprises
Birdhouse Gazebo

Now that we've shown you an expensive birdhouse, let's look at the other extreme–this neat and simple birdhouse is priced below $5. The advantage of this model is that it comes without any painted surfaces, so you can add your design as you see fit. The only drawback of this model is that it has a perch, and you may want to remove it before setting it up.

Tfwadmx Grass Bird Hut

Tfwadmx Grass Bird Hut 

This pack of three birdhouses is made using natural grass, handwoven to a cute, tear-drop shape. These can be hung easily on your porch or strung from a tree branch in your backyard.

These houses are much smaller than traditional birdhouses and are best for robins, wrens, finches, and chickadees. They're also made from eco-friendly material and can be safely disposed of once the bird is done nesting. 

Same Young Set  Shoe Birdhouse

Same Young Set 
Shoe Birdhouse 

This set features on Amazon's Choice and has been highly recommended by several customers. The structure comes in the shape of a shoe, making it a great addition to your backyard. It's a little larger than most other homes and can accommodate a wide variety of birds.

This birdhouse has an opening at the bottom so you can quickly clean old nests and debris.

All About Birdhouses...Final Thoughts

And that's all you need to know about birdhouses! Having a group of birds make a home in your backyard is a pleasurable experience, and there's no better way to start the morning than to be greeted by the sounds of excited chirping.

Remember to keep these things in mind when setting up your birdhouse so you can create a safe and healthy environment for your feathered friends.

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About Me

About the Author...

Richard Worden, a dedicated bird lover for over 20 years, I love to share my in-depth knowledge and passion for birds. Read more About Me and my expertise in this field.

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