If you want to help birds who are having their natural environments disappear due to human encroachment, try helping to build bird houses for them to nest in. But what exactly makes for a good birdhouse?
In a way, the question is unanswerable. A good bird house is different for each type of bird. A good bird house for a wren is not necessarily a good birdhouse for a robin and vice versa. A good birdhouse is built for the species of bird that you want to inhabit it. But there is one main trait that every good bird house should possess – even one as simple as a pop bottle bird house..
Of all the features that a good bird house can have, one of the most important is ventilation – both top and bottom. Every bird house should have holes at or close to the top of it in order to allow hot air an easy escape during hot weather. Without ventilation, birds can suffer from heat stress in birds as the interior temperature of the bird house rises to unbearable degrees. The lack of ventilation is particularly intense when the roof of the bird house is poorly insulated, a major cause of overheating. Birds have no sweat glands and can only get rid of excess heat by panting. In hot and humid atmosphere, however, it can be difficult for them to pant enough to lower their body temperature. Ventilation helps to keep the interior temperature stable by creating cross breezes in the bird house.
Just as important as top ventilation is floor ventilation. By necessity, every bird house has one or more holes in it. Thus in a heavy rainstorm, even a well built one can take on water. Holes or ventilation in the bottom of the bird house prevents water from building up and allows excess water to drain. These holes prevent water from collecting at the base of the bird house which can lead to dampness and mold and fungus build-up. Good drainage will also prevent baby birds from drowning during a heavy rain.