Written by an area Landscape Architect and birdwatcher with over 30 years of experience with landscaping in north Texas: what works and what doesn't. Emphasis on attracting birds to north Texas yards, and reducing required yard maintenance. Tips, trivia and proven advice for a natural, low-cost approach for this unique and sensitive part of the country.
The term “nest box”, is sometimes used as being synonymous
with the term “birdhouse”. But they aren’t exactly the same. The meanings can overlap, but birds use nest boxes
only for seasonal nesting, mainly in the spring…hence “nest box”.A “birdhouse” is usually more decorative than
functional, and few birds actually make a permanent home in one.They’re shelter from bad weather or
eye-candy mostly. (A friend of mine built
a miniature replica of the White House that sparked conversion and admiration,
but attracted no birds) Build or buy whatever you like, and call it
whatever you want. But whatever you call them, there’s a huge variety available
from good birding supply stores that address birds’ needs (not the homeowner’s) and are sized for north
a lethal chemical to birds? How much insecticide or herbicide will kill a
bird?Unfortunately, this sort of
research is almost nonexistent. We do know that chocolate is potentially lethal
to dogs and avocados will kill parrots, so there’s very likely some things out
there that are poisonous to wild birds. The species and size matters. But lacking thorough research, I’d rather be safe
than sorry. I simply ask myself if the birds would do this for themselves.If the answer is “no”, or if there is a realistic uncertainty, I simply don’t do it.
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.