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Plans for a Bluebird House

Bird-watching can be a relaxing and rewarding pastime. There's no better way to attract beautiful--and sometimes elusive--bluebirds to a backyard garden than to supply them with something they are in desperate need of: a home.

History

Bluebirds make a welcome addition to any backyard garden.
With the disappearance of natural habitats, bluebirds are relying on man.

Man-made bluebird houses have been invaluable in helping the bluebird species to thrive. Traditionally, bluebirds made their homes in the natural cavities of dead and decaying trees. With the expansion of human territory, many of these natural habitats were destroyed, making it necessary for man to step in. The standard design of bluebird houses were created to mimic their natural habitats.

Features

Bluebirds often raise more than one family in a season.

Bluebird houses are often made to closely resemble a natural nesting area. That means using rough wood or bark exteriors, and mounting the box high enough off the ground that the birds will not be concerned with predators. Unlike other species, bluebirds do not require perches outside their nests, and excluding perches will encourage only bluebirds to use the house. A hinged wall will make it easy to clean out one nest in preparation for another.

Locations

Orchards are ideal locations for bluebird houses.

Just as important as the appearance of the house is its location; bluebird houses should not be placed within 100 yards of each other, as the birds will not tolerate competition.

Size

A bluebird house is relatively simple to build.

Typical plans for a bluebird house will specify that the box be no bigger than 5 inches by 5 inches, with an entrance hole that has a 1.5 inch diameter. From the entrance to the bottom of the house, the birds will need about 6 inches to build their nests.