A little guide to bird boxes and bird baths

Bird Boxes

Like food and water, shelter is also a necessity of life to live happily for me and you. The same is for the birds. Although, the shelter is not a necessity to live happily for a single bird but a pair of birds. Most of the time they need shelter to reproduce and increase their family members. In wild, most of the birds make their own nest at different places with different biomaterials, however, some birds can’t make them and they have to lay their eggs in the nest of other birds.

The increasing population of humans and day by day expanding areas of human society has also caused a severe loss in the habitat of wild birds and they don’t have many places to make their nests in the wild. As a result, there are a lot of interaction incidences between humans and wild birds. To compensate the loss of habitat of these beautiful creatures, we can provide them with artificial bird boxes, so that they may enjoy their life without hindrance and increase their population without being disturbed.

If you’re going to provide a resting area for birds for a short period like a few days or a few weeks then you can make a bird house for them. The bird house is a simple bird box without any nesting material in it. Bird houses are decoratively marked with different colours on them.

You can buy a birdhouse from the market or online or you can make one in your own house. You just need to make a single wooden box with a hole in front of it. You may decorate it with different colours and artworks. A bird house is not a permanent house for birds and they usually stay there for a short period. Most of the time they don’t come back to a bird house in the next season.

You can use a bird house if you’re living in an area where a lot of migratory birds come. Migratory birds sometimes need a place in the night to stay. You can use a large bird house or a bird house with more than one compartment to accommodate them.

Some birds make their own nest and some use the leftover of other birds. They usually build their house in shadow and covered areas. Some birds like woodpeckers use dead stems of trees to make their house.

Due to the increase in human population and the number of invasive species’ birds, the habitat of native species has been reduced to a significant amount. You can provide bird boxes so that they may live and reproduce there.

As there Is a lot of variation in the different species of birds so they need different types of bird boxes to have an optimum living experience in a bird box. Before providing or making a bird box, you should search about the types and needs of native bird species shelter in your area.

The first thing in accommodating birds is choosing or making a bird box. Bird boxes come in different sizes and different types for different species. However, some basic things that you need to consider before selecting or making a bird box include hole size, ventilation, the thickness of the wall, the material used, opening, the slope of the roof etc.

The hole of a bird box should be as large as the targeted species can easily pass through it and it should not be extremely large, a large hole will allow the entrance of big birds in the box. There should be some small holes to provide ventilation to birds in the hot weather. The wall of the bird box should be at least ¾ inches so that it provides insulation in a cold area. The material of the bird box should also be taken in consideration as birds have direct interaction with this. It should be of natural pieces of wood and the processed wood should be avoided as it may harm birds in different ways.

The box should be rectangular and you can select or make its opening side on any side. Another thing that you should consider is the ease of watching inside the bird box as it’ll help you to check the contamination level inside the box and you will be able to clean it in time. There should be a slop of the roof so that the rainwater and the dust may swipe on their own.

After selecting or making the right bird box the next thing is selecting the right place for the bird box so that birds may reside in it. You should consider a shadowed place to put the box there. Location of such place also matters so you should research the habitat, nest height and direction preferences of the targeted species.

The other thing is the face of the bird box. By keeping a bird box in a particular direction, you should consider the wind direction and it should not be faced toward the fast winds. Another important thing is the amount of sunlight that the bird box will receive at that particular place. It'll be thoroughly researched.

You should not put a bird box in an area where herbicides and pesticides are used as they decrease the number of insects in that area which are sometimes the main source of feed for them. Moreover, these herbicides and pesticides can directly harm the birds as they are toxic.

The bird box can be mounted with a pole or a tree. You can use predator baffle to keep the birds protected if you’re going to mount it on a pole. After attaching the bird box with a pole or tree, you should be sure about the security of the bird box that it may withstand with severe weather and winds.

The only result you want from bird boxes is the accommodation of birds inside them and you can’t get this unless you have placed it at the right place and at the right time. You should search about the nesting behaviour of the targeted bird to be the bird in your bird box. Most of the birds make their nest in early or mid spring so that their young ones may get enough food after hatching although the exact time varies according to the species of the bird.

Monitoring and cleaning the bird box is also important if you want your favourite bird to reside in your bird box. If your bird box is discovered by invasive species you should keep cleaning the nesting material. This practice will encourage invasive species to leave the box and it’ll be empty for native ones.

When the targeted birds have resided in your bird box then you should keep monitoring their progress. After the hatching process has been completed you can enjoy the chirping of young ones. If you want to see them when the adult ones are there, first, gently tap the box so that the adults may come outside and you can see the progress. You can do this once or twice a week this practice without disturbing them. After the birds have evacuated the bird box, you should clean the box as soon as possible so that the growth of fungus and other insects may not occur in your bird box. If you complete the cleaning process in time you can enjoy watching two to three breeds in a season.

Bird Baths

If you are living in a hot area then the birds of your area may have a problem getting water. They have to fly a lot to get a source of water for drinking and bathing. You can help them by keeping a bird bath in your backyard so that they may enjoy a bath without hindrance. Bird baths are of different sizes and different materials.

The most commonly used bird bath is made up of cement or earthenware. Although metallic bird baths are also available these are not recommended as they become hot if you’re going to keep them in the sun. Cemented and earthenware bird baths absorb water and become cool by the process of evaporation, moreover, the water remains cool inside these birdbaths if you’re not going to use a fountain for the birds.

Bird baths are usually attached with a pole from the underside as they are above the ground. Bird baths without poles are also available in the market and you can also use them if you have a heighted place to keep them.

There is a bowl above the pedestal or pole in which the water is present for birds to take bath and drink. You can place a bird bath in a cool place but it’s not necessary as such places can’t be seen by birds from height. After placing the birdbath and adding water in the bath you should keep monitoring the water level and contamination level in the bowl and keep changing it as soon as the contaminants increase or filling it as the water level decreases.

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