10 Birds That Use Birdhouses (5 Interesting Facts)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

You can attract cavity-nesting birds to your yard by placing birdhouses, but not all bird species will opt to raise their families in an enclosed structure.

Birdhouses and nest boxes are used by hundreds of different kinds of birds worldwide, so knowing which ones are likely to become tenants will help you get ready to be a bird landlord.

10 Birds That Use Birdhouses

1. Wrens

Birds That Use Birdhouses

When it comes to birdhouses, house wrens and Carolina wrens are among the most accessible.

A 4-by-4-foot or 4-by-6-foot foundation with an 8-inch high hole positioned 6 inches above the floor is sufficient for this bird.

The color should be earth tone, and it should be placed between 5 and 10 feet high on a pole or hung from a branch in a tree.

A tiny tree in the middle of the yard or near the open yard’s edge is preferred for a house wren’s nest.

If the birdhouse is hidden correctly in its native habitat, Carolina wrens will use it.

2. Bluebirds

Birdhouses are used by all three species of bluebirds (the eastern, western, and mountain).

You can build or buy a house that is 5-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ x 10″ high. It should have a hole of about 1-1/2″ and be centered 6″ above the floor.

The house’s color has to be an earth tone, and it should be placed between 5 and 10 feet high facing an open field.

Bluebirds live in wide, grassy areas where they catch insects to feed their young.

So the birdhouse should be facing or near an open field where they can locate food is the best location for their homes.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on birds that you can teach to talk

3. Chickadees and Titmice

A wide variety of chickadee and titmouse species will make use of birdhouses.

The birdhouse should meet the housing requirements of about: 8-inch high with 4 inches by 4 inches or 5 inches by 5 inches base; a 1-inch hole positioned 6 inches above the floor.

The color should be earth tone and placed 4 to 8 feet high in a small tree thicket.

These birds prefer dense natural habitats like thickets, or tiny tree stands to build their nests.

4. Tree Swallows

A tree swallow will live in a house similar to a bluebird house in terms of size, location, and color, but it must be near water.

Tree swallows, like bluebirds, feed on insects high in the air, usually over open fields or lakes.

Therefore, homes for these birds should face this type of natural habitat.

5. Purple Martins

Birdhouses for Purple Martins, on the other hand, are solitary structures.

You’ll have to construct them at various levels based on how many birds you wish to draw.

A protective roof should be included on these birdhouses, which are typically circular in shape. 

The birdhouse should be placed at the height of 10 to 15 feet, around 40 feet away from other impediments, such as trees and buildings.

Long grassy lawns or fields should surround the house because these birds hunt insects on the wing.

In addition, purple martins like to sit on or near power wires, which could make the habitat even more enticing to them.

6. Wood Ducks

Wood ducks, one of the few cavity-nesting ducks, may build a nest in a tree but will happily live in a house if given a chance.

The measurement for the house is of a height of 10″ x 10″ x 24″ and a hole that is four inches wide and three inches high (elliptical), to be centered 20″ above the ground.

Paint the house an earth tone color and set it on a post 3–5′ three to five feet over open water or on a tree 12–40′ high near water.

Furthermore, the house’s flooring should be covered with three to four inches of wood shavings for nesting.

Forests, lakes, rivers, and streams are preferred habitats for these tree ducks since the ducklings will be able to leave the tree home and return to their parents’ territory.

So placing the birdhouse close to this location makes it more doable.

7. Screech-owls

They utilize a birdhouse similar to a wood duck house in the summer to build their nests, and in the winter to store their eggs.

A roosting owl will spend the evening sitting in an entrance hole.

Owls will use birdhouses installed on trees to nest or to roost in early spring or winter in woodlands with old trees.

8. American Robins

Robins may use a three-sided birdhouse as a refuge because they frequently build their nests on the ledges and downspouts of people’s houses.

The birdhouse should be of a height of 6″ x 6″ x 8″, and the front should be opened. The color has to be earth tone to be placed on a structure, arbor or tree.

Barn swallows and phoebes both use this type of refuge, which can be found either beneath a deck or in a barn.

The birdhouse should be close to its natural habitat, with mature trees and grassy lawns suitable for earthworm hunting.

9. Woodpeckers

Most woodpeckers build their nest in tree cavities. However, species like the downy, woodpeckers, northern flickers, red and -headed woodpeckers can nest in birdhouses.

If you want to raise a Northern Flicker, you’ll need a house that’s 7″ x 7″ x 18″ high; hole: 2-1/2 inches, centered 14″ above the ground.

It should be placed 8–20′ high on a tree trunk and filled with wood shavings.

The Red-headed woodpecker should be 6″ x 6″ x 15″ high; hole: 2″, centered 6–8 inches above the ground.

Also, place it 8–20 inches high on a tree trunk with wood shavings on the floor.

To accommodate a downy woodpecker, you’ll need a nest that is 4″ x 4″ and stands 10″ high.

The hole should be 1-1/4″ in diameter and should be placed 6–8″ above the ground.

The tree trunk should be 8–20′ high and the nest should have 4″ of wood shavings on the bottom. 

Note that birdhouses installed on mature trees in the center of forests are more likely to be occupied by woodpeckers because they are woodland birds.

10. Tufted titmouse

The tufted titmouse is a regular sight throughout the Natural State in wooded areas and along forest boundaries.

Most Arkansans are familiar with titmice, small crested birds that frequent sunflower seed and suet feeders throughout the state.

April and May are the two most popular times to lay eggs. There are three to nine eggs in the cup-shaped nests constructed of moss, leaves, and bark strips.

Their housing should be 1/2 inches wide by 5 1/2 inches long, 8 inches deep, and have a hole size of 1 1/4 inches.

The box should be placed 5-15 feet above the ground

It is best to place the house in a wooded location with many deciduous trees so that birds can easily find it.

Forests, parks, and neighborhoods with large, mature trees are among the most desirable ecosystems.

When building a nest box, make sure the hole facing the entrance is oriented away from strong winds.

Ensure the boxes are at least 600 feet apart if you’re using more than one to keep territorial birds from competing with each other.


Crafting your birdhouse is an option, but you can instead buy one from a bird supply store or the National Wildlife Federation’s catalog for less money.

Because you build or buy a house does not guarantee that birds will frequent there.

Attracting them to the place also matters.

Photo of author

About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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