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Building Bird Houses to Attract Birds (Infographic)

  • by
  • Gene Caballero
  • April 16, 2021

It’s true, while some birds will build a nest anywhere, others are a bit pickier. Some birds like houses on the ground, others like to build them high in the trees. Whatever the case, if you want to build birdhouses to attract birds to your backyard, then keep reading. 

What do birds look for in a birdhouse?

Birds enjoy homes that are close to trees, protected from prevailing winds, and of course, a place with a way to get in and out of the house.

What are the elements of a great birdhouse?

A good birdhouse will be naturally colored, wooden, have a roof that overlaps the sides, and a few holes at the bottom to let water drain. 

How big should I make the door of my birdhouse?

A birdhouse opening size is important. You want to be sure the hole is big enough for the bird to enter and exit, and small enough that larger predators can not get in. 

Should I add a perch to my birdhouse?

NO! Perches on birdhouses can give predatory birds an unfair advantage. Therefore a perch should not be added to your backyard birdhouse. 

Where should I put my birdhouse to attract chickadees?

Chickadees like to make their homes among a group of small trees, or in a thicket. 

Where do bluebirds like to nest? 

Bluebirds like to nest in an area where there are plenty of insects to eat. 

Where should I put a birdhouse for house wrens?

House wrens will nest nearly anywhere, including in trees, or along the side of a house. 

How can I build a home for purple martins?

Purple martins like homes that are high and in an “apartment style” house on a pole. This will keep them loving your home year after year. 

What nesting materials can I leave out for birds?

A few great nesting items for birds are string, yarn, cotton fibers, dried grasses, twigs, fabric straps, and even human or animal hair.


At the end of the day, you can build a great birdhouse that will attract plenty of birds to your backyard. Thanks to the University of Illinois Cooperative extension for this great infographic.



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