how far apart should bird houses be placed

Eastern Screech-owl, Red Morph

Which birds will nest in your box will depend in part on the vegetation surrounding it, as different bird species have preferences for different types of nesting habitat. Remember: right box, right place. For instance, bluebird nest boxes ought to be positioned in open areas. Refer to the habitat requirements page for specific information.

If you have enough space and want to draw in a range of species, you might think about matching up your nest boxes. This entails putting boxes on poles spaced 15 to 25 feet apart in pairs. Alternately, you could stack two boxes on top of one pole. Even though they will chase away members of their own species, birds like bluebirds and tree swallows will build their nests close to one another. The benefit of pairing boxes is that more birds of both species can live in harmony together in the same area.

A word of caution: Although cultivated fields, yards, gardens, and golf courses may make excellent nest box habitats, stay away from areas that use pesticides or herbicides. Not only do these hurt birds, but they also reduce and occasionally eradicate insect populations, which serve as many cavity-nesting species’ main food source.

Where Birds Come to Life

how far apart should bird houses be placed

If you need assistance organizing your boxes, you’ve come to the right spot!

Tree Swallow Feeds Nestling

Make sure your boxes are set up well in advance of the start of the breeding season. It can take some time for birds to find them, so don’t give up if they don’t start nesting in them right away.

  • In the south, place your nest boxes by February.
  • Place your nest boxes by mid- to late-March if you live in a northern region.

Which species may use the birdhouse will depend on the type of habitat nearby. For instance, tree swallows are more likely to use birdhouses near water, but house wrens prefer to use ones in gardens. While chickadees prefer wooded areas, eastern bluebirds prefer to nest on the edges of open fields.

Many of the most popular and common songbirds in New Hampshire can find excellent habitat in yards and gardens, and building birdhouses is one way to encourage many of these species to make their home there. While certain songbird species do not utilize birdhouses, those that do, like house wrens, Eastern bluebirds, black-capped chickadees, and tree swallows, frequently do so when the birdhouses are built and positioned appropriately.

The location of your birdhouses will also affect whether or not they are occupied. Given that certain bird species are territorial and won’t permit other birds to nest too close by, try to place birdhouses at least 25 feet apart. Of equal importance is the height of the birdhouse. Bird houses should be five feet above the ground, if not higher, for the majority of species.

Ensure that your birdhouses are up well in advance of the beginning of the breeding season in the spring. Mid to late March is ideal. Your birdhouses can still be used to raise a second brood later in the summer or the following year if you don’t get them up early enough.

Recall that installing birdhouses is not the only way to draw birds to your yard. There are plenty of other options. A healthy habitat for our feathered friends must include planting a wide variety of trees and shrubs, supplying clean water, and promoting insect populations without resorting to needless pesticide applications.