Designed for the Species – The size of the nesting box, size of the entrance, height of the hole above the floor, and special features, such as, interior ladder, predator guard or nesting material is provided for the specific species.
Protection from Elements – A slanted roof and recessed floor will allow water to run off easily, keeping the nestbox and its inhabitants dry.
Ventilation – It is important to have ventilation holes at the top of the house to allow some cross-ventilation to keep the interior of the nesting box cool.
Drainage – To keep the nest dry and clean, drainage holes are needed, preferably in the corners away from the density of the nest. A dry nest keeps baby birds healthier and discourages the growth of bacteria.
Insulation – The bird house should be made of substantial material to insulate the babies from temperature changes … whether extreme heat or extreme cold.
Rough Interior – Fledglings need a rough surface inside the birdhouse so they can climb out when it is time to leave the nest.
No Perch – A good birdhouse has no perch because this simply allows predators easy access. Birds need no perches and can easily enter a birdhouse hole without it.
Easy to Clean – It is important that a birdhouse be cleaned out after every brood fledges. Nesting material should be swept out to keep bacteria or parasites from multiplying. In the fall, the nest box should be cleaned out after it is no longer occupied.
Easy to Mount – A birdhouse should mount easily and hang firmly so it does not move around, thus allowing the eggs to roll inside.
Durability – The best birdhouses are constructed to last. Being made of sturdy material, they will not deteriorate after many years of exposure to sun and rain. They should also be secured with nails and screws (not staples) and be designed to repel water.
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