CORRECT DIMENSIONS, PLACEMENT
HOW TO MOUNT YOUR BLUEBIRD BOXES
Bluebird boxes can be mounted on poles, fence posts, utility poles or trees. Posts or poles are the best for providing protection from predators. You can purchase commercially available posts from your local hardware store or use existing fence posts or utility poles. If you use a fence post, be sure to mount the box where livestock can't get to it. When possible, face the boxes toward the next fence post so that the birds can look into the entrance hole from a perch. Mounting on trees is less desirable because of the threat of climbing predators like cats, raccoons, snakes and squirrels.
The bottom of the nest box should be at least 3 feet above ground. Ideally, it should be mounted 4 to 5 feet above ground. There is no single compass direction that the bluebirds prefer to have the box facing. Your main objective should be to deter climbing predators, but allow for easy monitoring. Face the boxes away from prevailing winds. In hot climates, face them to the north or east to avoid direct midday sun. The most important aspect of mounting is to face the box toward some tree or shrub within 100 feet. When the young leave the nest they will make an initial flight to safety.
WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO MOUNT BLUEBIRD BOXES?
Whatever you do, make sure you place your nest boxes in good bluebird habitat. Not even the best bluebird house will attract bluebirds if it is in the wrong place. Here's some guidelines to follow for good bluebird habitat:
PROPER MAINTENANCE OF YOUR BLUEBIRD HOUSES
Please clean your bluebird houses after each brood has left. Remove and throw away any old nesting material and scrub with a 10% bleach solution. Old nesting material left on the ground could invite predators. Let dry completely before remounting. This will prevent parasites or diseases from spreading.
WHEN SHOULD I PUT UP MY BLUEBIRD HOUSES?
Anytime and as soon as possible! Bluebirds start looking for breeding nest boxes in February in the South and by mid March in the North. Bluebirds will use them well into August, producing 2-3 broods per year. Consider leaving your bluebird boxes up all year. When the mating season is over, birds will use the boxes as winter roosts.
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