The "perfect nest box" and the tenant, a native Black-capped Chickadee (photo: Susan Robertson)
The key to attracting native birds to your garden is to offer them some food and the ideal home - and as Michael Stein explains, that means the perfect nest box. (2:00)
CURWOOD: If you want to see birds in your yard - there's no better way than to feed them - and encourage them to hang around by giving them somewhere appealing to live.
Sometimes, though, all one seems to attract are the ubiquitous starlings and sparrows.
So in today's BirdNote®, Michael Stein has some words of advice.
The Perfect Nestbox
[SONGS OF HOUSE WREN, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, AND RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH]
STEIN: We’re hearing a House Wren
[HOUSE WREN SONG]
A Black-capped Chickadee
[BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE SONG]
And Red-breasted Nuthatch
[RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH CALL]
One of these birds might make its home in your yard, if you put up the right kind of birdhouse. They’re all “cavity-nesters,” birds that need a cavity in a tree—or a birdhouse that serves the same purpose—for nesting.
Look for a nestbox that’s plain wood, none of that fancy stuff. Birds prefer their nest sites to be inconspicuous. If the birdhouse comes with a cute little dowel perch, remove it. The nesting birds don’t need the perch. And it just makes it easier for a predator bird to land and go after the eggs or young. Here’s the important part: grab a ruler and measure the entrance hole. It should be 1-1/8 inches. No more, no less, exactly one and one-eighth inches. If the entrance hole is too big, use an adapter to reduce the size. That size will let native birds in, and keep non-natives out. Now hang the box where it’s out of reach of any predator.
I’m Michael Stein
[Written by Frances Wood
Calls and songs of the birds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Black-capped Chickadee song, House Wren and Red-breasted Nuthatch call recorded by G.A. Keller.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org May 2014 Narrator: Michael Stein
CURWOOD: Hop on over to our website, LOE.org for some cute pictures of these native birds.
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