Welcome back. By now your yard is full of bird feeders, songs, and feathered friends darting about. Are you ready to watch these same birds prepare their nests and raise their young? If so, it isn’t hard! You can now share all aspects of the birding family. Watch the courtship, nest building, laying eggs, feeding the babies, and finally watching the children leave the nest. We love watching the young Robins and Doves learn to fly uncertain short distances. Then one day they seem to amaze themselves and take off in full flight!
Just as certain foods attract certain birds, there are a few things to know about attracting nesting birds. Different birds have different nesting needs. There are ground nesting birds, tree branch nesting birds, tight shrubbery, and hollow cavity nesting birds. Each of these will desire a different type of nesting area or bird house. If you already have trees and shrubs in your yard, you are off to a good start. Ground nesting birds usually build their nest in the cover of grasses or low shrubbery. For others, a man made nesting platform or birdhouse will attract families of birds to your yard. In addition to the nesting platform and birdhouse, help the birds out with pieces of string, straw, hair, paper bits, and other lightweight nest building materials. Remember, we are making them feel at home here.
Different birds will also require other things. Not all birds will use the same shape, size, height, or door opening sizes. As with bird feeders, it pays to know what type of birds you wish to attract. Once a bird has noticed your birdhouse or nesting platform, things heat up. Activity increases and a nest is soon built. You may monitor the nest carefully and take pictures along the way. Just be careful and attentive to the adult birds, knocking gently on the birdhouse to allow the adult birds to leave. Then open the house for a peek or to take pictures. Carefully close the birdhouse and wait a week or so before disturbing the family again. A wonderful bird house spy camera is now available to monitor the nesting family continually without opening the birdhouse or disturbing the nest. These are available to be mounted inside birdhouses or near open nests and provide sound as well as video. You can watch the family nesting process from start to finish.
While decorative bird houses are pretty, they are not always best for the birds. Natural wood at least 3/4 of an inch thick is best and provides insulation from the heat. Always clean the bird house or platform and wash with soap and water after the nesting season ends – usually in July. This way winter birds may use the bird houses and bird platforms for roosting and they will be clean for the next year’s nesting season.
These birds can be attracted to bird houses and usually have 2 to 3 broods per season. Eggs incubate for 11 to 14 days:
Chickadee, Wren, Woodpecker, Bluebirds, Tufted Titmouse, Nuthatch, Flicker and many more.
These birds are attracted to platform nests and will also have 2 to 3 broods per season: Robins, Doves
Good luck and enjoy the families of birds that will return year after year.
By David R Price
More birding articles, festival schedules, and more – Fancy Flyers
David Price is an avid amateur bird watcher and outdoor photographer. Related birding information, festival schedules, pictures, products, and stories can be found at http://www.fancyflyers.com under Bird Tales