Bird Life

Why and how to make bird houses

This winter, in Bozevce, we took care of our wild birds, by building some feeders and some houses for them.



Why do we feed them?

Most of the littles birds usually eat insects, or in winter, some seeds. The problem in this period is that because of the snow, the seeds and all the food they usually eat is hard to access. And in this period they need to eat a lot to fight against the cold.



How to feed them?

To feed them we used wheat seeds, because that is what we had now, but sunflowers seeds, different kinds of nuts, and animal fat can also be used, and be good for them.

Image by author

Our feeders offer a surface large enough for the birds to land and to eat on it, and they are covered, to keep the seeds dry.  We hung them on different places (roofs, trees and in our orchard), high enough to be hard for the cats to reach them, and in some places where there are not too many people passing by, so we do not scare them.



Why do we make bird houses?

Winter is the time for birds to find a new place for a nest. Indeed, they have to prepare in spring, and the love season.  With the growing of artificial spaces in both urban and rural areas, and the disappearance of old trees, birds have less and less appropriate places for nesting.



How to make bird houses?

Bird houses can be a simple box, to offer a good shelter for the birds. But be careful, if you want your house to be used, you have to respect some dimensions. Depending on the species of the birds, their needs differ. For example a tit (Parus spp.), the entrance needs to be a hole of 32mm of diameter, and it’s 90mm for a hoopoe (Upupa epops). Also depending on the needs of the species, the place and the height where you put the house will change.

There is a lot of good advise on NestWatch’s website

And it worked!

During the snowy days through our windows, we could see birds around the feeders by the dozen! Thanks to that, we manage to identify some of our land mates, like:

Great tit (Parus major), blue tit (Parus caeruleus), marsh tit (Parus palustris), great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major), middle spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius), yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella), cirl bunting (Emberiza cirlus) and and Eurasian bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula).

We are going to continue to feed them until the end of March, when most of them become insectivorous again, to avoid them being dependent on us. Like this they will be fed until they are able to find food by themselves in nature.

This article was written by Joseph and has been republished from Permaculture As A Path To Peace under creative commons licence CC BY-NC-SA 4.0


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