About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Best bird houses at Wild Birds Unlimited

With migration under way and the sun shining, it is time to think about housing. March is a great month to take stock of what repairs need to be made on old houses and where you can place new ones.

Properly designed nest boxes, placed in the appropriate habitat can truly benefit the birds and also provide a focal point for people (big and little) to learn about nature. It’s great fun setting up the boxes and then monitor all of the nesting activity throughout the season.

I just had customer come in to the Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing store that was cleaning out his bird houses and discovered one with an entrance hole that had been expanded by a Red Squirrel. He purchased metal portal guards to keep the hole size large enough for the birds but small enough to keep the predators out!

Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing has a variety of houses right now. There are some pottery, wood, recycled plastic and more to choose from. Most of the wood houses are made out of hand chosen white cedar scraps right here in Michigan. You couldn’t ask for better quality and at a great price.

Just like feeders, it’s best to find a house that is designed well and easy to clean. Look for homes with an easy clean out, proper ventilation, drainage holes, and with the proper design.

Not all birds are going to use birdhouses. Depending on where you live, some birds that use houses are House sparrows, wrens, chickadees, titmice, woodpeckers, flickers, bluebirds, Tree Swallows, Purple Martins, Screech Owls, American Kestrels and Wood Ducks.

But you can also help the birds that like to build their own nests by providing nesting material. We DO NOT recommend dryer lint. There may be perfumes and soap residue, but more important it isn’t a good nest building material. Lint hardens after getting wet providing a poor nest for baby birds.

However there are several different nesting materials that we DO recommend. Clean pet hair or cotton yarn cut no longer than 3 inches. You can also purchase natural cotton balls and Birdie Bells full of feathers, straw, and cotton at our Wild Birds Unlimited store in East Lansing, MI.

In the end, whether the birds are collecting twigs, leaves, feathers, cattail fluff or cottonwood down, moss, bark, pine needles, mud, or spider webs from the yard or the nesting material we offer, it's fun to watch as different birds collect different construction materials and look for places to build in the spring.

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