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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The direction of a birdhouse's entrance hole


 
   
You could put up a birdhouse (or “nestbox”) at the right height, with the right design and in just the right place, but birds still may turn down your invitation. Maybe it’s the direction that the entrance hole faces. Avoid facing it into the prevailing winds, or the direction from which most spring storms come. In north Texas that means the hole should face generally east (anywhere from SE to NE is ok). In Texas’ heat, you don’t want the hot, west sun to shine inside a birdhouse - ever.

            The Cornell Lab of Ornithology did research, proving that more birds fledge from boxes that face east. In fact, several friends have reported that Bluebirds have laid eggs in boxes already. It’s certainly not too early to put one up since many birds produce several broods – all summer long. Generally it's the older birds (with more experience) that produce early or very late broods. Putting a house up now should help them get used to its being there.
 
Many Texas birds don't even use birdhouses, preferring to build their own nests. So please put out plenty of nest-building material too.

 

OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.

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