Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v04n03)
Right in my Own Backyard - Affordable Second, Third or Even Fourth Homes - by Brandt Carter
posted: Feb. 09, 2007
Affordable Second, Third or Even Fourth Homes
Do I have a deal for you: you can own more than one home! Best yet, the investment need not break the bank. In addition to your own home, you can add multiple dwellings and become a real estate mogul with bird houses in your yard.
From decorative to purely functional bird houses, you can provide shelter and a place for feathered friends to have their young. There are a few facts that are important to know before choosing or making a bird house:
1. The hole determines the size of birds you attract, e.g. a 1" hole accommodates only house wrens
2. The size of the house also correlates to the size of birds you will attract
3. The type of house determines the species that will come, e.g. a multiple condo attracts purple martins.
4. The house locations also figure into the species you will draw, e.g. bluebird houses go on fence posts in open fields.
5. All houses need drainage and ventilation.
6. Functional birdhouses don't have perches.
Birds that most likely will rent the real estate you provide include:
- Wood Ducks
- Hooded Mergansers
- Common Mergansers
- Common Barn Owls
- Barred Owls
- Eastern and Western Screech Owls
- Northern Saw-whet Owls
- House Wrens
- Carolina Wrens
- Tufted Titmice
- American Kestrels
- Eastern Bluebirds
- European Starlings
- Purple MartinsRed-bellied Woodpeckers
- Northern Flickers
- Red-headed Woodpeckers
- Downy Woodpeckers
- Hairy Woodpeckers
Notice that cardinals, mourning doves, blue jays, rock doves, robins, and cedar waxwings don't nest in cavities or houses. They build nests in hedges, shrubs, and trees.
This Spring, if you get the urge to add to your real estate holdings, just put out houses for the birds. They are affordable, non-taxable, easy to maintain, and highly appreciated.