In many allotment gardens are colorful or even natural birdhouses. There are different types of birdhouses, some serve native songbirds as a breeding ground, other birdhouses are only to protect the provided bird food from precipitation, even for bats some people put up nesting boxes.
In this article, you will get valuable tips on how to clean and care for a birdhouse, as well as the appropriate location and size of the entrance hole.
The bird feeder: Welcome feeder for the winter
If you want to provide a birdhouse in the fall and winter, so that birds that stay here find enough to eat, you can start setting up and filling it already in the fall. Songbirds then still find enough food in nature, but at this time of year are already looking for food sources for the winter.
If you had already set up a bird feeder on your balcony or in your garden last year, it’s best to use the same spot again. The birds will remember that there were tasty delicacies here last winter and will already look in the fall to see if this winter can again rely on this proven food source.
In winter, domestic birds need more fat in their food than in summer, so sunflower seeds are very suitable as winter food. However, they do not need to be cracked and peeled, the birds know on their own that only the nutty kernel is edible and peel the sunflower seeds themselves.
Nesting boxes and birdhouses with entrance hole
In spring and summer, songbirds like to settle in provided nesting boxes as long as they are placed somewhat out of the way. If there is too much activity around the birdhouse, songbirds will not settle there to breed.
The size of the hole in the birdhouse is largely responsible for what kind of bird is attracted. Small holes with a diameter of 28 millimeters are best suited for blue tits, while the somewhat larger great tits prefer an entrance hole of 32 millimeters.
The redstart looks for an oval entrance hole, while the entrance slot for bats should be wide and narrow. Especially when the young have hatched from the eggs, special protection is needed on the birdhouse. The holes should therefore be in the upper third of the birdhouse so that birds of prey cannot pull the young out through the hole.
To prevent mold and mildew in the nesting box, several small holes can be drilled in the bottom or near the bottom. This also provides a comfortable temperature balance in the summer.
Of course, pets such as cats and dogs should be kept away from the nest box. It is best to hang this at a height of about two meters, so that martens and other wild animals also have no possibility of harming the breeding bird parents or the chicks.
Clean the bird house: Please do not touch the young!
It can be an immense pleasure for any gardener to watch the birds during the breeding season. Again and again the adults fly out to look for food for their offspring – and in the process rid the garden of unwanted predators quite incidentally.
A few days after hatching, the excited and hungry chirping of the bird chicks can be heard from the nest box. However, please do not open the birdhouse now, even if you are still so curious about the little chicks! Otherwise, it can easily happen that the bird parents abandon their offspring, leaving them to starve.
If the young birds have flown out one day, you can empty the birdhouse and clean it thoroughly. Although the bird parents also ensure hygiene in the nest box, all kinds of germs settle in the abandoned nest, which is peppered with soft down feathers.
When you put the dried birdhouse back up, make sure that the entrance hole faces east. West is considered the weather side, precipitation coming from this direction can get inside the nest box and endanger the birds there.
Even a window in the apartment that faces east can remain open during rain – only in heavy rain with storms there is a risk of rain entering and wetting the window sill inside. Feel free to try