A useful guide to housing birds in Indiana for 2022

A useful guide to housing birds in Indiana for 2022

A useful guide to housing birds in Indiana for 2022

Despite the icy conditions that exist over and over again, birds such as wrasse, bluebirds, chickadees, titmice, nuts, redheads and other woodpeckers will begin to hatch nesting sites within six weeks. But unlike other backyard birds, these species all have a special need: they breed only in cavities, such as hollow trees, fence posts, pumpkins – or nesting boxes provided by humans.

Imagine the competition as our native singers struggle to overcome double issues. First, they find few dead or rotting trees or other natural cavities, especially since most people cut down dead trees and cut off dead branches. Second, because of the already scarce cavities, they face hundreds of rival non-native starlings and sparrows, who also struggle, sometimes to death, for the same coveted nesting sites.

More:Classes can help hopeful birders start 2022 on the right wing

But you can help. Install proper nest boxes. And now it’s time for boxes, also called birdhouses, to be part of the landscape in mid-February.

A male bluebird clings to the opening of a nest box in which he and his mate have chosen to raise their family.

Some people like to build their own nest boxes, and online plans specify the parameters. For expert – and accurate – advice on nest boxes, their construction and care, check out the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at nestwatch.org/learn/all-about-birdhouses/.

If you buy nesting boxes, note two types: those for humans and those for birds. Birds do not want cute, decorative or painted. Search instead

  • Robust construction (3/4 inch walls) of untreated, unpainted pine or cedar
  • Extended pitched roof and recessed floor
  • Rough or grooved interior walls (so kids can climb out)
  • Adequate drainage and ventilation holes
  • Smooth openings (to avoid excessive feather wear)
  • Easy access for monitoring and cleaning
  • No outdoor perches

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