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How to Build a Birdhouse

Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Birdhouses can be used for decoration purposes as well as for attracting birds. Building one is not very difficult provided you follow certain steps to make it resemble a bird nest. Here we provide some tips for the same.
In recent times, the popularity of birdhouses as a garden accessory has increased enormously. This is partly due to the decrease in the habitat of birds, which results in their declining population. Vast areas of woodlands and forests have been cleared due to human intervention for agricultural and industrial purposes, thus disturbing the wildlife.
According to environmentalists, the population of birds has decreased tremendously in the last few decades. Some of the bird species are on the verge of extinction and are included in the IUCN Red Data List for endangered species. Considering this, building birdhouses is a conservatory step for increasing the number of birds.
When birds are in artificial birdhouses, they don't have to compete for food and shelter and are also protected from natural predators. This promotes their growth and reproduction.
For some birds, it is observed that the percentage of successful breeding is higher in birdhouses than in the wild. Many hobbyists and those who are concerned about conserving birds are fond of building these houses on their own. There are several unique designs, each of which can be used for a specific bird type.

Building Tips

While planning to build a birdhouse, first decide on the type of bird that you want to keep in it. Based on the type of birds (either large or small type), the size of the entry hole should be made.
The hole should not be very big, so as to avoid entry of predators such as squirrels and cats. Certain things that you should keep in mind are the building material (roofing and side walls), drainage holes, painting, perches, and other designs.
Wood is the best building material as it provides a cooling effect during summer. If you are planning to use metal for roofs, you can opt for aluminum. Avoid other metals as they tend to heat up and increase the inside temperature. While purchasing wood, always choose an untreated variety. Chemicals used in treated wood can distract or affect the birds.
The wood should be thick enough to provide insulation during hot months. You can purchase redwood fencing of 4 - 6 inch thickness. Then, mark the wood with a pencil as per the size, and cut the pieces into two roof sections, front and back sections, and two side walls.
Drill drainage holes on the floor and make small holes in the side walls near the roof, to keep the structure cool. Align the wood pieces accordingly. The roof should be aligned in such a way that it overhangs the back. The front side should be easy to open for regular cleaning. Fix the joints with nails and then apply waterproof glue along the joints.
If you want to make the house more artistic, then you can paint it with bright and vibrant colors of your choice. It is always better not to paint it, as birds usually prefer a natural-looking habitat.
If you really want to paint it, you can use colors that match the surrounding environment. Make sure that you paint only its exterior. After completing the construction, ensure that the structure is waterproof, airy, and easily accessible for cleaning.