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The Ultimate Guide to Attracting Wildlife: Selecting and Placing Wooden Bird Houses


Welcome to our ultimate guide on attracting wildlife to your garden through the thoughtful selection and placement of wooden birdhouses. Whether you're an avid bird watcher or simply looking to add a touch of nature to your backyard, this guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to create a welcoming habitat for various bird species.


What types of birdhouses should I use? 

The type of birdhouse you should use depends on the species of birds you're looking to attract. Different birds have different preferences for the size of the entrance hole, the height of the box from the ground, and even the direction the entrance faces. 


Where should I place my birdhouse? 

Placement can vary by species, but generally, birdhouses should be placed in a quiet, sheltered area away from predators and harsh weather. Some birds prefer their houses to be in direct sunlight, while others like more shaded areas. 


How high should a birdhouse be off the ground? 

The height can range from just a few feet off the ground to over 10 feet, depending on the bird species. For example, bluebirds prefer their houses to be 4-6 feet off the ground, while purple martins like their houses higher, up to 15-20 feet. 


How do I maintain and clean birdhouses? 

Birdhouses should be cleaned at least once a year to remove old nests, parasites, and other debris. The best time to clean them is in late fall or early winter after the breeding season is over. 


Can I paint or decorate my birdhouse? 

It is okay to paint or decorate birdhouses, it's essential to use non-toxic paints and materials. Lighter colours are preferable as they reflect heat, keeping the birdhouse cooler in summer. Avoid using strong chemicals or fragrances that might deter birds. 


When is the best time to put up a birdhouse? 

The best time to put up a birdhouse is in the late winter or early spring before the breeding season starts. However, putting up birdhouses in the fall can also provide shelter for birds during the colder months.


Why are there no birds using my birdhouse? 

Several factors could be at play, including the location, the presence of predators, competition from other birds, or the type of birdhouse. It might take some time for birds to discover and feel safe using a new birdhouse. 


What should I do if invasive species use my birdhouse? 

Invasive species like house sparrows and European starlings can outcompete native birds for birdhouses. It's essential to monitor your birdhouses and, if necessary, take steps to discourage invasive species, such as removing their nests or using entrance holes designed to exclude them. 


What size should the birdhouse hole be? 

For bird enthusiasts in the UK looking to attract common garden birds, the size of the entrance hole in a birdhouse is a key factor. Here are some recommended hole sizes for a few common UK garden birds: 

Blue Tits: 25mm (about 1 inch) in diameter. This size also suits Coal Tits and Marsh Tits. 

Great Tits: 28mm (about 1.1 inches) in diameter. This size can also accommodate Tree Sparrows. 

House Sparrows: 32mm (about 1.26 inches) in diameter. This larger size also works for Nuthatches. 

Robins & Wrens: These species prefer open-fronted boxes rather than a specific hole size. A half-open front is ideal. 

It's essential to ensure that the entrance hole is smooth and without any sharp edges to prevent harm to the birds 


Do birdhouses need ventilation? 

Yes, birdhouses definitely need ventilation. Proper ventilation is crucial for maintaining a safe and comfortable environment for the birds 

Temperature Regulation - Birdhouses can become very hot, especially in direct sunlight. Adequate ventilation helps to regulate the temperature inside the birdhouse, preventing it from becoming excessively hot and potentially harmful to the eggs or chicks. 

Humidity Control - Ventilation helps to reduce humidity levels inside the birdhouse. High humidity can lead to the growth of harmful mould and bacteria, which can be detrimental to the health of the bird occupants.

Air Circulation - Fresh air circulation is important for the health of the birds, just as it is for humans. Good airflow ensures that any fumes or odours are dissipated and that the birds have access to fresh air. 


How do I properly ventilate my birdhouse? 

Vent Holes - Drill small holes near the top of the birdhouse, just under the roof, to allow hot air to escape. You can place these holes on the sides or front and back of the birdhouse. Make sure they are positioned so that rainwater cannot enter. 

Overhanging Roof - Design the roof to overhang the sides of the birdhouse slightly. This not only helps with rain protection but also allows air to circulate under the edges of the roof. 

Gaps at the Top - Ensure there are small gaps where the roof meets the walls of the birdhouse to allow air to flow in and out. These gaps should be small enough to prevent predators from reaching in. 

Construction Material - The material of the birdhouse can also impact ventilation. Wood is a good material because it naturally breathes, whereas plastic or metal might require more deliberate ventilation efforts 



  1. Research Local Species - Tailor the birdhouse to the needs of the species in your area, considering factors like entrance hole size, interior space, and mounting height. 
  2. Use Natural Materials - Preferably use untreated wood like cedar, pine, or redwood, which are durable and safe for birds. 
  3. Ensure Proper Drainage - Include holes at the bottom of the birdhouse to allow any water to drain out, keeping the interior dry. 
  4. Ventilation - Ensure there are small ventilation holes near the top to allow for air circulation. 
  5. Easy Cleaning Access - Design the birdhouse so it can be easily opened for cleaning out old nests at the end of the breeding season. 
  6. Secure Mounting - Ensure the birdhouse is securely mounted to withstand weather and predators. 
  7. Non-toxic Paints/Stains - If you decide to paint or stain the birdhouse, use non-toxic products and avoid bright colours that might attract predators.


  1. Avoid Perches - Perches can assist predators in accessing the nest, so it's best to leave them off. 
  2. Don't Use Metal - Metal birdhouses can become dangerously hot in the sun, potentially harming the birds. 
  3. Steer Clear of Chemicals - Avoid using treated wood or chemical preservatives that can be toxic to birds. 
  4. Don't Place Near Feeders - Bird Houses should be placed away from bird feeders to reduce traffic and disturbance from other birds. 
  5. Avoid Bright Colours - Brightly coloured bird houses may attract predators. Opt for more subdued, natural colours that blend with the surroundings. 6. Don't Forget to Clean - Neglecting to clean out the birdhouse after the breeding season can lead to parasites and diseases. 
  6. Don't Ignore Placement - The location of the birdhouse is critical; it should be placed in a quiet, predator-safe, and weather-protected area.


Take a look at our range of Birdhouses.