Bird Houses & Feeders


Over the years I have received numerous bird houses as “teacher thank you” presents.  They have been made of many materials (like metal, wood, plastic, popsicle sticks, cloth) and even more shapes and sizes!  Most of these hang simply as decorations in my classroom or around my house.   While endearing and delightful, most are not really suitable habitats for nesting birds.  Which begs the question… what DOES make a proper bird house?

Some components are common to all birdhouses.  It should be weatherproof, sturdy, and well-ventilated with a sloped roof and drainage holes in the floor.   There should be easy access for annual cleaning.  Other components are specific to the type of bird.  Chickadees, titmice, bluebirds, nuthatches, and swallows are backyard birds likely to use a bird house. Starlings and house sparrows are known as predatory species to be avoided! Size of floor and walls, diameter of entry hole, height of placement, and general habitat area are all important.  Clean untreated wood is the obvious, natural choice. Any decorative paints should be non-toxic and of inconspicuous colors.  An outside perch is unnecessary and invites unwanted visitors. The bird house should not be set up until just before the breeding time, to avoid unwanted species moving in. Furthermore, the location should discourage predators such as raccoons, cats, squirrels and rats.  

There are many websites to give directions on the actual specifications.  Choose your desired species, determine the best location, and then… have fun building! HOWEVER, be aware that not all suggestions are good... for instance, using dryer lint is NOT recommended if you use any products like dryer sheets and scented additives!

Bird Feeders are a fantastic way of encouraging birds to visit your yard. There are SO many varieties - both commercial and homemade! Some will hang from trees or poles, others can be positioned right on your window! Some are made for large seeds like sunflower or pumpkin, others are for tiny Niger seeds. There are fruit feeders, suet baskets or logs, hummingbird nectar feeders... oh my! It all depends on the species of birds you hope to attract and who you might want to discourage!

The simplest "starter" is a pine cone spread with peanut butter and rolled in bird seed. Hang it with a string from a nearby tree branch and watch to see who comes! Begin your adventure with some research on your own local birds. It is such a rewarding hobby!




Bird Houses

A special thank you to Hermann Samano for prompting me to finally get this section added!
He writes, "We love to write content that can be helpful to families and later share it with like-minded websites. We just wrote a great piece about birdwatching and building your own birdhouse."

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Nest boxes and Nest structures by Species- "Right Bird, Right House"

Backyard Bird Center (My local bird shop in Port Moody, BC) gives friendly advice!
Looking at commercial birdhouses can give some good ideas.

Driftwood Bay Birdhouses
So beautiful! (I received one for my birthday!)

From whimsical & decorative to practical & useable
240 designs to give you some inspiration!


Bird Feeders

Backyard Bird Center (My local bird shop in Port Moody, BC)
Here are some of the bird food options available.

Cornell Lab "All About Birds"
Feeding birds - Getting started

Cornell Lab - Birds Canada
FAQs about feeding birds

Audubon Birds
11 tips for feeding backyard birds




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This page created March 2021.