Birdhouses are a must-have staple in the backyard. One of the best ways to truly enjoy your birdy friends is with a shadow box birdhouse. This allows you to enjoy the presence of neighbourhood birds from the comfort of your home. Shadowbox birdhouses give you an interesting look at the inner workings of a bird's nest. This article will look at exactly how to build a shadow box birdhouse and where to place it.
How To Build A Shadow Box Bird House
There are two ways of building a shadow box birdhouse. The first option is to build a birdhouse from scratch or the second, buy an already built birdhouse. Both methods will work for this project and what you choose should be based on your comfort level. The birdhouse should be a simple design meant to house only one bird family at a time.
If you choose to build a birdhouse from scratch leave the back of the birdhouse open for viewing. One thing to think about is how messy birds can be. If you want to avoid a messy window then consider making a half wall on the viewing side of the birdhouse. This would involve having a half wall on the bottom portion of the back wall and the top portion is open.
If you are buying a premade birdhouse you will need to remove a portion or full portion of the back wall. You can do this by disassembling the birdhouse or with a jigsaw. The important part is that the birdhouse is sturdy after removing the back portion. If you notice it has lost some structural integrity consider adding some braces.
For fastening the birdhouse to a window you will need suction cups. Aim to get industrial-strength suction cups and use at least four cups placed on all edges of the birdhouse. The more suction cups the better. Keep in mind the sunlight and weathering will cause the suction cups to lose stickiness. This means you should change your suction cups out early every spring.
For the hole size on the front of the birdhouse, you will need to look into what type of bird you are trying to view. Below is a list of bird types and the hole spacing needed.
1.5” (3.8 cm)
Plexiglass or Chicken Wire
Because the back of the birdhouse is missing you may want to consider using a plexiglass or chicken wire back to protect your windows. Both can be easily installed using silicon or all-purpose glue. If you choose to use plexiglass then you can simply make it level with the birdhouse backing.
With chicken wire you will want to make sure the wire is recessed inside the birdhouse to keep the birds off the window. There are a few benefits to keeping the birdhouse off the window. The first is that your windows won't get messy and the second being that you are more likely to have birdy friends.
With the recessed chicken wire method, you are able to reduce vibrations that may be coming from inside. When you reduce the vibration from the window on the birdhouse then you are less likely to scare off the flighted friends.
Placement Of A Shadow Box Bird House
The placement of the house is key to success with a shadow box birdhouse. The two factors to consider are sunlight and indoor traffic. You want to keep the birdhouse out of any direct and intense sunlight. This is to help reduce intense heat which is uncomfortable to baby birds.
The second factor is placing it in an area low in indoor traffic. Birds will be sensitive to noise and fast movements. This means you will want to place the birdhouse in an area that is not next to any sound sources. Sound sources can include TV speakers, radios, home alarms or major seating areas.
If you can cats or children be sure to place the birdhouse in an area that is out of reach. If the new birdy family is continually tapped on or peered at they may decide to move out. An office window or a high bedroom window are both perfect spots to place your birdhouse shadow box.
Bonus Items To Place Near Your Birdhouse
Two bonus items to place near your birdhouse would be bedding and food. Food sources should be geared towards the type of birds you are aiming to attract. For bedding, you can supply DIY bedding dispensers or something from a store. Place both the bedding and the food within 20 ft of the birdhouse. Both these objects will send a signal that the area is perfectly designed for the bird of your choice.
There you have it, you officially have designed your first shadow box birdhouse.