Ways your birdhouses can help the bird population

Plants in your garden can help the bird population, but birdhouses can too.

However, there’s a strategy behind which ones are most effective. The way a birdhouse is designed matters.

“Things to look for are you don’t want any external perches. You don’t want a little perch sticking out underneath the hole. A Blue Jay is going to come along, perch on that, stick its head in, and eat whatever’s in the nest box, so you want birdhouses without a perch,” said Kim Brand, bird-friendly communities coordinator with Audubon North Carolina.

Brand says if a birdhouse is painted, it should be lightly colored. A dark painted birdhouse will get too hot.

She also says a typical wooden birdhouse will work well, but if you have the space, she recommends putting up birdhouses that have openings with different sizes.

“One-and-a-half inch is great for Eastern Bluebirds and then also add some with a one inch or one-and-a-quarter inch hole, those are fantastic for Carolina Chickadees, and also Brown-headed Nuthatch is a bird that is on the decline,” she said.

Brand says the turnaround of the Eastern Bluebird population is one of the best examples of how birdhouses have made a difference in North Carolina.