Just For The Birds provides tips for springtime birdhouses
Spring is a wondrous time for bird lovers. March through May is usually the time when people begin putting up birdhouses to attract the elegant creatures and give them a little rest during their travels. When installing new birdhouses, it is always good to know the nesting habits of native birds. Stocking birdhouses and having that unique knowledge is the establishment known as Just For The Birds.
“There are four basic nest locations,” Kathy Coward, of Just For The Birds, said. “Some birds nest in cavities — such as tree holes, birdhouses or the nooks of buildings — some nest in branches of shrubs or trees, some nest on the ground and a few under the ground. The cavity nesters use tree holes and will at times use a birdhouse. Common examples of cavity nesters are woodpeckers, chickadees, wrens, house finches, bluebirds, titmice and sparrows.”
Many other birds build their nests in the open in branches, shrubs or trees. These nests are generally cup-shaped and open to the sky. These birds are referred to as open-cup nesters. Examples of these are goldfinches, robins, mockingbirds, blue jays and cardinals.
Most of the remaining birds build their nests on the ground, either by constructing an open cup or by scraping just a shallow depression in the soil. Common ground nesters are towhees, killdeers and pheasants. A few birds build their nests underground. A common underground nester is a kingfisher.
“You can build a birdhouse or buy one, but remember you need the right dimensions for different species of birds,” Coward said. “The size of the hole and height above the floor are important, as well as the floor dimensions and the total height of the box. Birdhouses need proper ventilation and drainage, and an overhang is desirable for the roof to protect from sun and rain. Perches are not needed, and it does help to have a way to clean the box. If your birdhouse does not open for cleaning, I have found that a bent coat hanger used through the hole will work well to clean out the old nest. Insides of birdhouses should never be painted. Birdhouses made of PVC pipe work really well in our climate and last a long time.”
Coward also advises that birdhouses should not be placed close to feeders, as birds don't like to nest near where others are eating.
“Though you can build or buy the best birdhouse, at the proper dimensions, every bird lover will tell you that birds are like people; they do what they want to do when they want to do it, and many times they don't pay attention to rules,” she said.
For more information, contact Just For The Birds at 281-288-9019; or visit the shop at 209 Main St., Old Town Spring, Texas or online at http://www.justforthebirds.com/. For shipment, depending on the availability, allow two to three days delivery via UPS.
About Just For The Birds
Just For The Birds is a small independently owned shop located in the restored turn-of-the-19th-Century railroad town of Old Town Spring. Kathy Coward is the owner. She began the business in 1994 out of a “labor of love”. She is very knowledgeable with birds and birding having been the former president of the oldest and most respected Piney Woods Wildlife Society from year 2001 to 2005. Just For The Birds offers a collection of gifts for bird lovers of all ages along with products for wild birds, squirrels, butterflies and bats.
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