How to Hang a Bird House Safely
Hanging a birdhouse can turn any backyard into a nesting bird's paradise. But it's not as simple as you might think. To properly and safely mount a birdhouse, there are restrictions and recommendations you should take into account.
While there are many reasons to hang a birdhouse in your garden or yard, perhaps none is as important as compensating for rampant habitat loss. The American Bird Conservancy has designated habitat loss as the biggest contributor to declining bird populations. Due to urbanization, deforestation, logging, draining of swamps and more, many nesting birds are finding there just aren't enough natural habitats to call home.
That's where you come in. By properly mounting a birdhouse, you'll not only beautify your outdoor space, but you'll also create a safe space for local birds to nest and take it easy.
Nesting birds are the same as the average house shopper. They're all about location, location, location. To attract birds to the houses you've so carefully chosen for them, you'll need to be whip-smart about where you place them.
In this article, we'll reveal precisely how--and where--to hang a birdhouse correctly. We will help you select the best location in your yard for mounting birdhouses, and provide all the tips and tricks you need to encourage birds to settle down and nest. We will also detail precisely how to screw a birdhouse onto a variety of services, including more difficult ones, like trees.
1. Keep bird houses away from bird feeders, baths
In general, you'll want a birdhouse that is far away from any other bird feeder or bird bath on your property. While it may seem cute to provide the birds with a resort-like area with all these amenities in one place, it only increases the risk of predators in their home. Please make sure there is a fair amount of distance between baths, feeders and bird houses.
Need precise instructions? While some sources recommend 6 or 7 feet, others say a whopping 30+ ft. of distance is best. The more distance you can give, the better.
2. Select a low-traffic area
No offense, but nesting birds want to be where the people (and predators!) aren't. The quieter, calmer and lower-traffic the area, the better. Please take some time to survey your outdoor space when choosing a location for your birdhouse.
Do you walk by often? Does the gardener trim that tree weekly? Does your Goldendoodle burn off his energy playing fetch nearby? These are all reasons to pass on a certain location! After all, you aren't just placing a piece of decor. You're creating a real habitat for birds that truly need it.
Of course, you'll need to do a bit of research if you wish to attract specific species of birds. Purple martins and bluebirds, for example, don't mind exposure. But most birds do prefer a private space away from all the action.
More tips: Avoid clustering birdhouses together. Most feathered flyers prefer to lay their nests away from other birds.
3. Face entry hole opposite prevailing winds
Another important consideration when deciding where to hang a birdhouse: wind! Make sure the entrance hole of your birdhouse does not face prevailing winds.
Many people in the United States like to face their birdhouses east, which is usually opposite strong winds and the intense afternoon sun.
4. Pick the perfect height
When it comes to hanging birdhouses, one hard-and-fast rule is elevation. Your birdhouse must be at least 5 feet above ground. This protects vulnerable birds from most ground-roaming predators. There's no need to go above 12 feet high: birds don't want to live in the penthouse!
As for the rest of the predators? Make sure the entry hole of your birdhouse is the correct size. An appropriately-sized entrance hole should help keep flying or climbing threats out of the birdhouse.
You may want to tailor the height of your birdhouse to attract certain types of bird species. For example, five feet is the perfect height for attracting wrens, nuthatches and chickadees. Prefer purple martins? Try 10 to 15 feet. Bluebirds? 6 feet should do the trick.
Other heights attract other types of birds, so do a little research on the right elevation for your birdhouse.
5. Select a sturdy place to mount your birdhouse
There are many places to secure a bird house. Your mounting structure could be a pole, a brick wall or siding, a fence post, wooden siding, or even a tree. Here's a little more information on each option, you can make a wise decision and mount your birdhouse properly.
To mount a birdhouse to a metal pole, you'll either need a screw-on birdhouse, or you'll need to purchase the hardware required to add this feature to the house. The pole you choose should be at least five feet high once staked into the ground. You can buy an auger to attach to the pole to ensure its underground grip is safe and sturdy.
Twist the auger-covered pole into the ground clockwise until it is sufficiently stabilized and the auger is concealed. (No auger? No problem! Just stake the pole at least a foot into the ground, but know that it will never be perfectly stable.)
Finally, rotate the birdhouse clockwise into the pole using the birdhouse's screw. Keep rotating it until it is properly affixed and correctly positioned. When you perform your annual birdhouse cleaning, simply unscrew the birdhouse.
Brick is an outstanding surface to hang a birdhouse on because its complex and varying textures make it a challenging terrain for predators to scale. If you have brick siding on your home or a brick-paved fence or half-wall, you can absolutely attach your bird house to it.
Same goes for fence posts and wooden siding, although they don't boast the same predator-repelling properties as bricks.
Mounting a birdhouse to a flat surface is easy. Especially if your birdhouse came ready-to-install, like all Happy Gardens birdhouses do! If that's the case, simply follow the instructions that came with your birdhouse to quickly mount it to a flat surface.
If your house came without mounting hardware already affixed to it, you'll have to do this yourself. Locate the extending post attached to the back of the house. On this post, about two to three inches above and below the birdhouse, make marks with a pencil. These two Xs indicate exactly where you'll need to drive screws.
Now, holding the house up against your flat surface, screw the screws using a Philips head screwdriver. You may need a second set of hands to securely hold the birdhouse while you mount it.
A little tip: while nails or screws both work for birdhouse mounting, we prefer screws. After all, you'll need to remove the mounted house for a yearly cleaning. Nails can make that pretty difficult year after year.
Finally, you can mount a birdhouse to a tree trunk as long as it's in good shape and stable. A little warning: tree trunks can be easy for predators to climb, so you'll need to keep the entry hole to the house quite small to keep unwanted visitors out.
Hanging from a tree
Since affixing birdhouses to a tree trunk isn't the safest best, you're probably wondering if hanging a birdhouse is a better alternative.
To hang a birdhouse, find a well-located, sturdy branch, then secure a hook to it. Next, hang the house using a very short piece of wire, rope or chain.
Do birds like hanging bird houses? Not if they're unsteady. Birds tend to avoid houses that swing or sway in the wind.
Where to buy birdhouses
You can find birdhouses at antique stores, big box retailers and everywhere in between. At Happy Gardens, we're exceptionally proud of our collection of unique handcrafted birdhouses. Our collection, which Oprah added to her Holiday gift list, has something for everyone.
About Happy Gardens
Happy Gardens curates an online collection of unique, thoughtful garden decor and merchandise. Whether you've been searching high and low for an adorable birdhouse, a unique wind chime or a charming rain chain, Happy Gardens has what you're looking for. After all, each product we stock and sell has been chosen to fill your outdoor space with charm and cheer.
Our beloved collections include a remarkable variety of top-rated, beloved products including rain gauges, painted bird houses, funky wind chimes and cool garden ornaments and statues made from metal, stone and more. Plus, our new line of merchandise is bright, exciting, and great for gift-giving. Check out our wine glasses, tote bags and mini planters for all the garden, bird and plant-lovers in your life.
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