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Setting up birdhouses or nesting boxes in your own back yard

Updated on October 9, 2014

How many nests should you put up in your backyard or aviaries?

If you have, a small backyard with two trees then only put one nest in each tree. In addition you could put another one in your front yard under a porch or similar. Too many will create disharmony in your home.

As to the birdhouse that could mean several things to different people in different countries.


It could mean a nest in a tree. Nests vary in size depending on the type of bird that lives in your particular area. Finches or small birds require small nests, which can be man made from pine, jar-rah, or a hollow log. Some birds will line their nests with different types of fiber, twine, leaves, and dead grasses.

While larger birds enjoy a different type of nest. Most prefer nests already made from similar materials and the bottom-lined with either mulch, sawdust or similar. When using sawdust make sure not to use pretreated timber, as this could be poisonous to the birds. Make these with varying size openings with a perch in the front allowing the bird to rest before entering. Another good idea is to make a lid opening, to give you access for cleaning and disinfecting at the end of each breeding season.

You need to give a lot of thought as to placement of these nests. Do not put them anywhere, that cats could cause them harm. They also need protection from the wind rain and heat, and other predators. So work out which way the weather comes from and face the opening the opposite way.

Secure the nest correctly, as you do not want to find the baby birds and nest tossed on the ground at the mercy of your cat or dog.


This depends on the size of your yard, and the type of birds you wish to keep in captivity. Some people build Birdhouses or Aviaries as some call them, right across the whole back yard of their property. Depending on what type of birds you wish to keep will decide on the size of the aviaries.

If you wish to breed small birds, you will not want anything smaller than one meter by one meter and at least two meters high. I do not believe in keeping birds in prison like cages they need room for flight. Larger parrots, like the ring neck, or king parrot need a flight area at least one meter wide by three to five meters long and two to three meters high. They have a large wingspan so need suitable space.

Whichever birdhouse you choose, make sure, they are safe. Cleanliness is very important if you wish to enjoy seeing the birth of healthy birds. Allow more nests than required to avoid fights for a particular nest. Prevent contamination of their water, by not placing them underneath their perches or roosting posts, as this could lead to their premature deaths.

Whichever type you decide upon, you have to use commonsense when creating birdhouses in your back yard. Above all, enjoy the wonderful pleasure they will bring to your life.


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    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Johnr54, yes that is a problem that is for sure. thanks for stopping by

    • johnr54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 9 years ago from Texas

      Good advice on keeping your birdhouses out of harm's way. Too many times we set them up just thinking about where we can see them, and not the bird's safety.

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Glad to be able to help you. Good luck, but watch out for predators. Eileen

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 9 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Eileen, excellent article, I was debating how many I should put, this will give me some idea. Luckily we have plenty of trees in the backyard and different varieties of birds, I am going to try with a few at the beginning and see how it goes. Thanks again Eileen. Cheers :)