Set up a birdhouse (or more!)

Set up a birdhouse (or more!)

Some migratory birds have already arrived, others are in progress. If you want many insectivorous birds in your garden, it is high time to set up new nests and to clean out the old ones.

It is very important that the size of the entrance holes is adapted to the birds you want to benefit and there is a big difference even among the small birds. The robin want the smallest holes, 15-18 mm. Blåmes, flycatcher, redstart and talgoxe 23–25 mm. Sparrow, starling, black tit and tufted tit want even larger holes, 28–30 mm.

If you build your own nests, it is also important to make horizontal notches on the inside of the wall where the hole is located. Otherwise there is a risk that the chicks will not be able to get out when it is time to leave the nest.

That's how easy it is to build a birdhouse!

Attract nice birds to your plot - by building your own bird nests! Here is a simple drawing!

Build a birdhouse so you can watch beautiful birds like these blue tits. PHOTO: Istock

Carving a birdhouse does not have to be that difficult. See the drawing below.

Feel free to do more when you are still on the go, with different size entrance holes for different kinds of birds.

How to hang a birdhouse

Joakim Lax Yle Vasa

It is not difficult to hang a nest box. Check that the nest box is kept in place and protects the nest. Also remember that the tree grows.

1. Where can you hang bird nests?

The right of public access does not apply when it comes to hanging nest boxes. If the nest box is set up in a place other than your own farm or summer cottage plot, you need to ask permission from the landowner. The landowner may remove illegal bird nests. Check with the home municipality which rules apply. For example, the city of Helsinki allows birdhouses to be hung in the city's forests and parks. In general, it can be said that cities and municipalities are positive about birdhouse hanging, but some areas may be planned for other things, so make sure that it is allowed in the exact place you intend, so that it does not interfere with ongoing research, forestry or otherwise.

2. Suspension devices

When building a nest box, it pays to make holes in the back piece through which you can thread a thread. You can also attach a piece of wood across the back of the socket so that you can tie the socket.

If the tree is your own and you know what will happen to it in the future, you can also nail or screw the nest box. Spruce and pine quickly secrete resin around the hole and do not suffer from it. Nails, on the other hand, can help if, for example, you saw the tree for firewood, and of course you should not damage foreign forests.

3. Suspension material

Copper wire with plastic cover is well suited for attaching smaller bird nests. Data cables, such as network cables, also work well. The copper wire inside stretches a bit in warmer weather, and the plastic cover prevents the wire from cutting into the tree. The smaller and lighter sockets, the thinner the cables.

The weight of the birdhouse keeps it in place, even though there may not be a branch to attach to. Just make sure the knot is firm enough and does not run.

4. Suspension height

If the birdhouses are hung up in the forest where you do not have to take into account that people can disturb the birds' nesting, it is enough with shoulder height. In slightly livelier areas, it can be good to have a ladder, so that the nests come up so high that they can be undisturbed. The birds build their nests just as well in lower branches as in the higher ones, but it is unnecessary to climb several meters up the tree.

5. Consider that the tree is growing

It pays to place the knot above the birdhouse itself. That way, the tree can grow, and just by lifting the birdhouse a little, you get space for a coarser tree. Check that the socket is properly attached every year when you clean it.

6. Good conditions for housing construction

By poking a couple of branches behind the nest box so that it is not stuck to the trunk, you avoid water running down into the nest box.

There are also other ways to keep the chicks dry, for example when choosing trees. Birch should be avoided if there are other trees nearby. The trunk of the birch is so smooth that water easily flows down the surface and towards the back of the birch. On a rainy summer, the nest box is constantly damp and cold for the chicks, and a moist nest box also rots faster.

The weather line is not so important, but hanging the nest box so that it is constantly in sunlight is not recommended. A shady southern location is otherwise as good as any other latitude.

7. Remember the relocation

It must also be taken into account that it must be safe for the birds to move out of the nest. It takes a while before they learn to fly properly. Until then, they need some protective undergrowth. A well-mowed lawn provides no protection against crows and the like. Shrubbery also offers a lot of insects that the chicks can practice when they have to learn to get food on their own.

If you want to hang nests for birds other than the most common ones that are found around the house, you should take into account the characteristics of the species. For example, the cubs jump out of the nest shortly after hatching. The soft skeletons of the small down balls can handle even slightly higher falls, as long as there are no sharp stones and stumps on the ground.

However, it is important for the predicament that the approach is free of obstacles. The route must be without branches or bushes in front of the nest box.

8. Cleaning the nest box extends its life

The nests should be cleaned annually. It is recommended to do this during the winter, when it is still cold and fleas and other insects are dormant. They also bite humans and can be transmitted to pets. Remains of old nests should be cleaned away from the yard for the same reason.

A well-built and properly attached nest can last for up to thirty years, but even bird nests that are only up for a couple of years are very helpful for our birds.

5 tips when setting up the birdhouse

Setting up bird nests in the garden helps our birds find a place to live in nature's frugal housing market. A nest box gives both birds a roof over their heads during the severe winter months and creates wonderful life and movement in the garden. In addition, the small birds help keep certain pests away from the crops. We give you 5 tips when setting up the birdhouse

1. The size of the hole determines which bird moves in

Start by choosing what kind of birdhouse you want. The size of the nest box's hole will affect which birds move in. If the hole is, for example, 3 centimeters in diameter, the great tit, blue tit, entitan, pine tit, redtail or black and white flycatcher will soon have made themselves at home in the nest. Hatches with 5 cm holes attract sparrows, starlings, cuckoos and finches to move in.

2. Hang the nest box at the correct height

When choosing a nest box, location is important. Place the birdhouse between 1.5 and 2 meters high on a house wall or a tree in the garden, then the cat will not get to the nest. Place it in a shady place, latitude does not matter. Remember not to hang the nests too close to each other in the garden, most wild birds want space.

3. Secure the box firmly

In order not to risk the nest box falling to the ground if it is windy or raining heavily, it is important to fasten it properly. Use hot-dip galvanized nails or a stainless steel screw if you are going to attach the socket to a tree or the house facade.

4. Use unplaned wood

The birdhouse must be made of unplaned wood so that both the adult birds and their chicks can easily get a foothold and climb out of the nest.

5. Set up the box whenever you want

You can set up the nest box at any time during the year. If you set it up in the spring, you can not count on any bird moving in already the first summer. The birds thrive better in nests that have had to endure the weather and wind and have gained some patina.

How to fix the box:

Good location

Chicks are very good at regulating their body temperature, but it takes a lot of energy to do so. The energy is needed instead for the kids' growth. Avoid overheating by never placing the nest box in a direct southern position and try to hang it in the shade whenever possible.

The size determines

The size of the nest box's hole will affect which birds move in. If the hole is, for example, 3 centimeters in diameter, the great tit, blue tit, entitan, pine tit, redtail or black and white flycatcher will make themselves at home.

Fågelholk Granngården Rödhake

Prefers large rooms

Birds like the insectivores redtail, corncrake and robin want a home with a larger, angular opening. Do not place similar boxes too close together. Then there can be competition between two males of the same species who are reluctant to see others in their territory. The robin eats insects, worms and seeds.

Sweden's national bird

The blackbird is many people's favorite bird and was also chosen as Sweden's national bird a few years ago. It thrives in open nests with projecting roofs, preferably close to the ground where it is often located. It not only has a beautiful voice, but also likes to eat snails.

Allied insectivore

Did you know that birds with cubs ingest hundreds of insects in one day? Good allies in the fight against, for example, aphids in the garden - and also the cubs are very cute. Gärdsmygens holk is extra adapted to the need for a smaller nest.

Spacious nest box

The starling is a very social bird that does not mind sharing the area with its species relatives. It wants a larger entrance hole and a spacious nest box. Here it is no problem to put up several pieces, starlings gratefully accept help with housing and happily eat insects, worms, seeds and fruit.

Clean and tidy

A nest box that is cleaned lasts longer - and if you take care during the winter season, you also avoid fleas and other insects. Empty the bin and throw the rubbish in a bag that you put in the dustbin.

Uninvited guests

  • By hanging your nest box a bit up in the tree, preferably about two meters (or even higher up if you want to increase security), you make it harder for predators to access it.
  • Remove any perches outside the entrance hole,
    because they are a convenient place for magpies and squirrels trying to plunder the nest box.

Text: Felicia Welander Photo: Emelie Otterbeck, klas sjöberg

What kind of food is best for the birds in the garden?

Treat yourself to energy-rich food in your bird-friendly garden. This is of great benefit to the small birds. Bird feeders for unsalted peanuts are a good alternative.

The most important thing is that the food you give the birds is high in energy. Traditionally is sunflower seeds the most popular choice, but it goes just as well with unroasted and unsalted peanuts. Other popular "dishes" of some species are tallow balls, hempseed and apple. You can also do homemade bird food to offer the birds a good combination of the right nutrition and the right fats. They help them survive the winter.