Although it makes an awesome feeder, the All Season’s Wren Casita edible birdhouse is the perfect nest site-for more than just wrens. Some folks have inquired how to re-seed them for extended use as feeders. I suppose peanut butter might work as a good base… but the manufacturer sure isn’t giving away their secret so fast!
So just how does one encourage nesting? It’s all about habitat, so start by offering a fresh water source. No fancy-pants birdbath needed, (unless you’d like one in your yard) something as simple as a plant saucer filled with water works great. On the deck, step, rail, tree stump…wherever! Drill three holes in the sides of a plastic one and make a quick hanging bath should ground predators lurk in your yard (cats). Optimal depth is just 2-3 inches for birds to bathe and wade comfortably. If your dish or saucer is deeper, consider a large rock in the center for birds to perch, or lining the bottom with river rock, or a few layers of pebbles.
Next… nesting materials! Again, you can do this one yourself, no fancy store-bought kits necessary (but we do offer some cool ones). Figure out a vessel to hold the materials; a suet cage works great, as does a mesh produce bag from the grocery store (like the kind apples come in). Then start to gather the goods! Some favorites include:
- Decorative mosses like Spanish, sphagnum, green sheet moss, raffia, and that dried straw stuff. Pluck some from one of your house plants!
- Feathers are adored by tree swallows, and bluebirds have been known to add a few here and there as well. Really cheap at a craft store, or any un-dyed feather duster will do-preferably clean.
- Bright cotton yarns, save these from anywhere you can
- Pet hair is huge favorite of chickadees, titmice, wrens and others. (Not recommended if treated with flea/tick medication)
Live anywhere near a horse farm? Horse hair is the best, and we give it away in the spring! The key is to get the materials out before nesting season actually starts. That way birds see it and become familiar, knowing that when it’s time, the goods are right there for the pickins! Avoid placing materials in any birdhouses as avian amigos prefer to do their own decorating! Simply hang from a branch where they’ll see it. Also, don’t pack the vessel too tightly, as you’ll want the materials to dry quickly after a rain shower.
Offering nesting materials will absolutely encourage nest building around your yard, and extend the use of that edible birdhouse!
Thanks for housing the birds 🙂