Creating a Holiday Home for the Birds

While some bird species migrate south in the winter, there are many species that stay year-round in the Pacific Northwest. These include Juncos, Jays, Sparrows and Tawhees. As leaves and temperatures fall, it becomes more difficult for these birds to find food and shelter. Creating a bird-friendly garden not only helps our feathered friends, but can benefit your backyard micro-ecosystem.

Garden Benefits

Having birds around will benefit you and your backyard in several ways. For starters, birds eat insects such as aphids, mosquitoes and snails. They act as a natural pest control that can save your garden from harmful insecticides. Smaller birds,such as sparrows and finches, eat weed seeds, reducing the need to use chemicals in your garden and the pain of pulling weeds. Further, hummingbirds are great pollinators that can enhance the size and color of your blooms by spreading nectar from plant to plant.

Human Benefits

There are also intellectual, psychological and economic benefits of being bird-friendly gardener. Creating a bird-friendly yard with native plants requires more time outdoors - and what is more relaxing than fresh air, fragrant flowers and the satisfaction of a well-kept garden? As you spend more time watching your birds, you will begin to notice migration patterns, plumage changes and courtship behaviors. You’ll also begin recognizing familiar faces and relishing the arrival of new ones.

As for mental health, a study by Daniel Cox at University of Exeter found a positive relationship between good mental health, plentiful birds and vegetation in neighborhoods. This relationship included reduced likelihood of depression, anxiety and stress.

A well-maintained, bird-friendly yard also benefits the resale value of your home.

Our birdhouses our vented, feature removable roofs and have little peg-ladders to help chicks climb up to fly the nest!

Tips for Creating a Bird-Friendly Yard

  • Provide food, water and shelter. Place birdhouses at least 20 feet from feeders and baths. Keep them high enough to keep them safe from predators.
  • Clean your birdhouse once per year by removing the old nest, scrubbing the interior with a stiff brush and a mild bleach solution. This will kill mites and other parasites. The roofs on our birdhouses are removable.
  • Landscape with native, environmentally conscious plants that require less water and are more disease resistant. Use diverse, layered vegetation (plants and trees that grow to different heights) to provide shelter for a variety of bird species.
  • Birds love red berries and will choose those above others. Examples of native shrubs with red berries are Aronia, Barberry, Cotoneaster lacteus and the hips of Nootka Rose.
  • Other berry-producing shrubs include Symphoricarpos (Snowberry), Mahonia (Oregon Grape), Pyracanthus and Vaccinium.

5 thoughts on “Birdhouse Blog

  1. Reply
    Sariah Meagle - January 29, 2019

    Some decorative wooden birdhouses might look splendid in the garden since you mentioned that birds act as natural pest control and we need birds to keep the roses alive. Since you mentioned that birds require us to spend more time outdoors, I might find that it could help me get into a better mood if I see some of them in pretty birdhouses and frolicking about the roses. I’ll be sure to clean the birdhouse once per year as you suggested so I’ll buy one that’s easy to clean to make things hygienic for the birds to stay in as well.

  2. Reply
    Shayla Cademis - July 22, 2019

    I never realized that smaller birds eat weed seeds and act as natural pest control! My husband and I have been trying to keep up with a garden this summer, but there always seems to be more weeds and pests than we can keep up with. We’ll have to look for some cute birdfeeders to put in our yard to help us out!

    1. Reply
      Sam Wigness - July 23, 2019

      We just brought in a great new batch of handmade birdhouses – definitely come in and check them out!

  3. Reply
    Thi Hoang - July 9, 2020

    It seems the materials that are used to make the birdhouse and design of the birdhouse may influence what types of bird they attract. There are decorative ones that are great for decor but mine don’t seem to get any bird to nest in them. They come to use my birdbaths and eat my grass seeds on the lawn, but not build their home. I would love to find some information sources on the net on this topic. Perhaps the styles shown on your page are more appropriate for the purpose

    1. Reply
      Kim Anderson - July 9, 2020

      Thi Hoang,

      Providing a bird-friendly environment is an interesting pursuit. The birdhouses offered at Wells Medina Nursery are created by a local artisan who is a bird enthusiast. Feel free to come look at our bird houses. View the components. See the unique varieties. In addition, we have booklets highlighting native birds that can assist you as you create a friendly place for our feathered friends.

      Kim and the Wells Medina Staff

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