Now Is The Time . . .
Bluebirds used this house in 2010.
. . . To Hang Critter Houses!
What a great Christmas activity. You can only watch so many Bowl Games, right? A lot of our followers on Twitter are pointing out that getting out bird houses and bat houses up NOW is the way for these native friends to find and "buy in" come spring. Actually, for the birds, houses should be up by February. But there is no harm in starting early!
It's also a good time for cleaning out houses or making modifications. The house shown at left was used by bluebirds this year. I was thoroughly appalled, since it was NOT a proper
. No hole depth protection, not a very deep box... appalled, I tell you!
So immediately after they vacated the premises I added protection to the hole. It is still not as deep as it really should be, but it's better than nothing. The box was really intended to be just decorative--so much for my intentions! So my advice to those who wish to provide roosting options and nestbox options is--pretend they might use anything and everything you put up. Then make sure that what you put up will provide a safe haven.
If you would like to build your own fabulous bluebird house, some good information on siting (with a link to a great plan) is available from
. I really haven't seen a bluebird house that makes any more sense than this one. And make yourself a few of them. Having out multiple birdhouses gives them additional "cover" in addition to making those hard-to-please females happier.
And don't forget the bats! But don't waste money on butterfly houses, unless you just want one as yard art. They will serve no useful purpose as a "house" for butterflies, who would much rather find shelter in your wood pile. Just get those other critter houses up, and congratulate yourself on providing "natural pesticides" that won't give you cancer. Cheers!