Each year, the second week of February is known as Homes for Birds week. This week has been chosen as a period of time for people to put up nesting boxes in their local outdoor space in order to promote better biodiversity and conservation of different species of birds and wildlife.
This special week was originally created by the British Trust for Ornithology with U.K. residents in mind at the time. The idea came about over 20 years ago with the goal of providing different types of birds with plenty of places to build their nest. While the initiative is something which is ongoing, this week is a time to really educate others and yourself on the importance of helping nesting birds have a safe place to thrive.
Homes for Birds week always takes place around Valentine’s Day, since this is the time of year in the U.K. where many nesting birds will begin to pair up and prepare for their upcoming breeding season. Now an international event, this week can also be a time to clear out some of the old nesting boxes on your property. You can also provide new places for birds to build their nests when the weather is colder outside, and they require safe shelter.
Regardless of where you live, there are probably at least a few different species of birds in your area that would benefit from the addition of a nesting box or two on your property or in your community. Birds use these spaces for breeding purposes, but it’s also a safe space where they can protect their young and themselves from larger birds and other animals.
You don’t need to have a lot of space or a wooded area in order to install a birdhouse or nesting box. You can simply hang one on a garden hook, attach one to your home or nestle one away in a small tree. It actually becomes fun to watch your birdhouse to see the birds come and go and to see who actually claims it as their home.
When you’re getting started, consider the types of birds that are native to your area. This will help you determine how big of a structure you need to build or buy. The box itself should be large enough to house one or two birds along with nesting material and maybe even eggs/babies. Also give consideration to the size of the hole on the front of the box. Birds should be able to safely get in and out without getting stuck, but they should also be safe from larger birds that would want to poke their head in. You can find plans online for building your own custom nesting box, but feel free to purchase one that is pre-made.
Think about the kind of material that your bird box is made out of. Wood is the best material for this type of structure because of how well it insulates the interior. Plastic or metal can either be too hot or too cold, depending on the time of the year.
When you hang the bird box, make sure it is completely secure, so you don’t have to worry about wind or animals knocking it down. You really don’t need to provide birds with much else besides the box. Birds do an amazing job of gathering together different materials. It’s so much fun to sit nearby and watch a bird come and go, bringing different grasses and materials to create a soft and warm surface inside the nesting box. If you want to help out, you can include some material, but don’t be offended if you see a bird come along and remove it.
A great way to keep birds from trying to come into your home is by providing them with a cozy home of their own. If you do have a bird problem, we encourage you to reach out to our staff for assistance. PestNow of Central Virginia is a veteran-owned and operated local business that offers professional pest-control services throughout Richmond, Fredericksburg and Northern Neck. You get the best of both worlds with our business. We provide you with the support of the nationwide PestNow organization as well as personalized service, individual attention and professional expertise of the local Virginians who own and operate our various locations. We encourage you to use the hashtags #homesforbirds and #homesforbirdsweek to help spread awareness of Homes for Birds week in your area.