Window Bird Houses… Peek-A-Boo!

by Steve White
Contributing Writer

For years, birders have enjoyed the pleasure of actually witnessing, up close, the multiple stages of baby birds through the use of a nest box that attaches itself to a glass window. What makes this bird house so unique is the ability to view the parenting birds by watching from inside your home. These window houses are built without a back panel or through the use of a clear Plexiglas panel, so that when you use suction cups to attach the nest box to the glass, you can “peek-a-boo” inside the bird house.
There are many species of wild birds that will take advantage of these special window bird houses. Sparrows, chickadees, nuthatches, swallow and titmice have been known to take advantage of this free housing offered by humans. Location is the key to attracting these species. Entrance holes for any nest box must face away from the prevailing winds and rains. In the upper regions of the USA, the optimum directions for placement are south, east and west. No matter which direction you choose, it is most helpful if shrubs, bushes or small trees are nearby for protective cover.
Place the window bird house at least 5-6 feet off the ground, away from leaping cats, squirrels and other nest box predators. Choose an outside location away from constant human activity or a busy street. Bird feeders should never be placed near any bird house. The feeding frenzy that occurs at bird feeders is stressful to active parenting birds and some wild bird species will prey upon the eggs.
The use of perches is not recommended for wild bird nest boxes. The clinging birds that will use your bird house prefer to cling to the edge of entrance holes, just as they would in the natural world. There are no perches in the wild and successful backyard birders know that any success in attracting wild birds to their backyard is directly attributed to mimicking nature in any way possible. Perches simply provide an easy resting place for chipmunks and squirrels so they can raid the nests.
After choosing your best outside location for your window bird house, it is most important that you have a 2-way mirror film to place inside your window so that you can see the birds and they can’t see you during the daylight hours. This special film is especially necessary if children are present, as curious eyes may create undue stress and parents may abandon any window nest box that does not employ some method of hiding the human faces peering into the back of the bird house.
Wild bird species starting multiple nestings from mid-February to the end of August, so you can successfully install any bird house during this time frame.
Enjoy your birds!

Wild Bird Depot is located on Rt 11 in Gilford, NH. Steve White is a contributing author in major publications, a guest lecturer at major conventions in Atlanta and St. Louis as well as the host of WEZS 1350AM radio show “Bird Calls” with Lakes Region Newsday @ 8:30AM. Wild Bird Depot has donated over $5,000 to local rehabilitators and local nature centers since 1996. Be sure to check out our blog “Bird Droppings” via our website www.wildbirddepot.com. Like us on Facebook for great contests and prizes.

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