I’ve been monitoring my many gourd birdhouses and waiting to see those little birds bring nesting material into their new homes. It has been a cold spring, but I am seeing some birdhouse scouting around my home in New York.
Gourd birdhouses make cozy homes for your neighborhood birds. Many think “Purple Martins” when they hear “Gourd Birdhouse”, but many birds will nest in gourds! Cavity nesters are the most likely to take up residence in a gourd. These include swallows, chickadees, wrens, woodpeckers, great crested flycatchers, titmice, screech owls, kestrels and nuthatches. Though each bird has its own requirements for habitat, entrance-hole size and cavity dimensions, I have found many birds are not picky, particularly the Wrens!
Hang your birdhouse outdoors in early spring before the birds arrive. Attach it to a post or tree with plenty of space between houses. If you don’t have a suitable tree, use a Shepard's hook or hang it on your porch. I’ve had had people bring birdhouses home and have residence immediately, and others have to wait a year, until the next season.
Familiarize yourself with the habits of the type of bird(s) you are trying to attract as they may have different preferences regarding nesting. At the end of the season, clean out the old nest material and store your birdhouse in a dry spot. If properly preserved and stored in the off season, it may last for years.