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Bird Houses

Oregon State University, News and Communication Services

As late winter days grow longer, birds get ready to mate and nest. And it is time to start thinking about putting up a bird house or nest shelf.

"Dozens of species of birds will use artificial nest boxes or shelves and may be enticed to set up residence in your yard," said Dan Edge, wildlife specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service.

Bird houses or nest shelves can be made of simple materials or purchased at local retailers. First, you need to decide what kind of birds you want to attract. Then make or buy a bird house suited for that species. Each type of bird prefers a different type of nesting habitat. For example:

For specific information on the types of nest boxes and shelves different bird species will utilize, Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (ODFW) offers free brochures about building houses for many species of birds. For a list of available brochures, write: ODFW Information and Education Office, P.O. Box 59, 2501 SW First Ave., Portland, OR 97201. Also, check for books on bird houses at the local public library, contact your local Audubon group or the local county office of the OSU Extension Service for more information.

No matter how simple or elaborate, the most important features are safety, the location of the house and the dimensions and shape of the house and entrance. A good bird house:

Edge recommends to keep the following in mind when you plan where to put your new bird house:

By Carol Savonen, 541-737-3380
SOURCES: Dan Edge and John Loegering, 541-737-1953

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