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Keeping Predators away from your Birdhouse

Feb 28, 2008
Every living thing in this planet of Earth is part of the ecology. In this biodiversity of species of plants and animals, nature will have formed its unique food chains for each of these species. Every species of plants and animals will have another kind of species that feeds on it. This, of course, will also happen to the visiting birds that have chosen to nest in our birdhouses. Some people have placed their own decorative birdhouses in their own backyard and discovered that after a while, squirrels, raccoons and cats started coming into their backyard, with their eyes of course staring straight at the decorative birdhouses and no, they aren't interested in your nice cute birdhouse design.

Are there any steps we can take to prevent predators from preying on the nesting birds in our birdhouses ? In this article, we explore some of the ways we can implement to prevent or minimize attacks on your birdhouses and make it safer and more attractive for visiting birds to nest in your birdhouse.

BirdHouse Entrance Size

Different kind of decorative birdhouses have different birdhouse entrance opening sizes. Besides selecting a birdhouse based on its exterior designs, you should also choose a birdhouse that have a birdhouse entrance size about the size of the species of birds which you want to attract to your birdhouse. This is important because the birdhouse entrance size should only allow the birds to go in and out of your birdhouse and it should keep out bigger predators from entering your birdhouse. If the birdhouse entrance size is too big, you will attract bigger predators like cats who may attack the birds inside the birdhouse and will harm young baby birds or bird eggs. To select a perfect birdhouse entrance size will require you to have some knowledge on the species of birds you want to attract in your birdhouse. This information should be readily available in your local library or you can consult your local pet shop if you are unsure.

What if you have an existing birdhouse and its entrance hole size is too big ? You could reduce the entrance hole size by glueing or nailing an additional piece of wood at the entrance hole.

Birdhouse Perches

Some decorative birdhouse designs have perches in front of the birdhouse or around the birdhouse to beautify its overall design and make it look like a real house. Birds do not use the perches and do not need them to get in and out of the birdhouse. On the contrary, perches may be used by predators to get to the birds in the birdhouse. They can hop onto the perch and in result, have access to the interiors of the birdhouse.

If you have an existing birdhouse that have perches on them, you may remove them to make your birdhouses safer to visiting birds.

Safe Mounting Options For Birdhouses

Most people will mount their birdhouses on branches of trees. The problem with this type of mounting is that cats or raccoons can climb the tree and have access to the birdhouse. An alternative to this method is to place your wooden birdhouses on metal or PVC poles. These poles however, will usually not be found in a typical pet store. They can instead be found at your local hardware store. Before going to the hardware store to get the poles, you may want to select a good new position to place your birdhouse. The new position should preferably be located away from places where the predator can climb on and jump onto the birdhouse. You will also need to measure how high you want to place the birdhouse. Head over to the hardware store and ask them to cut a metal or PVC pole to your desired height.

Some people apply slippery grease to the poles to make it more difficult for animals to climb the poles, however, take note that if you do this, you should only apply non-petroleum based products and only apply it at the base of the pole because when escaping birds come into contact with petroleum based products accidentally, their feathers get wet and sticky making it very hard for them to fly away for a quick escape when attacked.

Keep clean around the birdhouses

Some backyards are literally littered with food. Left over barbecue utensils and rubbish, pet foods all over the backyard are some of the examples of leaving food open which attracts animals to your backyard. To prevent this, clean and keep all left over backyard barbecue equipments and keep pet foods inside the house so as not to attract animals to your backyard. Cleaning left over rubbish which contains meats also prevent attracting larger meat eating birds to your backyard.

All these factors will make your birdhouse in your backyard be safer to visiting birds.
About the Author
Alvin is a avid bird watcher and is interested in helping people decide how to build bird houses or buy birdhouses .
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