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70birds

That Nest in Birdhouses

70birds

That Nest in Birdhouses

70birds

That Nest in Birdhouses

Nest boxes simulate tree cavities.

Some birds that nest in tree cavities will also nest inside wood nest boxes if they are the right size.

Some birds that nest on tree branches, cliffs, and rock ledges will also nest on wood platforms.

Birds like birdhouses to be in their favorite places.

 

Too many bird houses can drive off nesting birds, including a specific bird species we want to attract.

For most yards, select just one or two bird species that are known to nest in bird houses in that region.

 

More than 70 North American bird species live in nest boxes or on platforms.

See which birds live near you. Learn about those birds and how to make birdhouses for them.

 

Put the right nest boxes in the right place.

Keep nest boxes clean.

Protect birds from pests and predators.

 

Dumetella carolinensis

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Mimidae
Genus: Dumetella
Species: carolinensis

La. passer sparrow, small bird
La. forma form, kind, species
La. mimus mimic, actor

La. -idae appearance, resemblance
La. dumetum a thicket
La. carolinensis of Carolina

Watercolor painting of a catbird perched among foliage branches and leaves.

About nine inches long. Dark slate gray upper parts. Dull black crown and tail. Underside slate gray. Long erect tail, chestnut underneath.

USGS map shows catbirds generally range in eastern and northwestern U.S. and in Canada.

Catbirds are abundant inhabiting brushy woods, swampy thickets, farms, towns and gardens in the eastern and northwestern U.S. and in Canada, north to British Columbia, Hudson Bay and Nova Scotia. They winter in the southern U.S., Central America and the Caribbean.

Catbird song transcribed to sheet music.

A mocking bird, its varying melodies follow no discipline and it will imitate birds, frogs, cats, chickens, cartwheels, even humans calling to it and it has a harsh cry like the mewing of a cat.

Songs of two catbirds transcribed to sheet music by F. Schuyler Mathews.

They are intelligent birds, friendly to humans. They like baths and love to preen their feathers. They gather together to drive away intruders with loud, obnoxious cries.

Catbirds run along the ground and hunt ants, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, spiders and caterpillars.

They catch moths, flies and other flying insects on the wing. They like fruits and berries, which make up a significant part of their diet. Feed catbirds suet, raisins and various fruits and berries.

Attract catbirds. Plant any of buckthorn, raspberry, strawberry, elderberry, blackberry, blueberry, mulberry, and poke berry bushes; Virginia creeper and choke cherry, sour gum and black cherry trees.

Water color painting of catbird perched in vine foliage with farm and field in the background.

Catbirds build loosely woven nests of twigs, grass, leaves, bark and roots lined with fine grass in bushes, vines and low trees and shrubs sometimes only two feet high and usually less than ten feet high.

Females lay three to six deep bluish green eggs which hatch in about two weeks and young leave the nest in about another two weeks or less. They frequently raise two broods in a season. If a brood is orphaned, neighboring catbirds will feed and raise them.

Gilbert H. Trafton, the author of “Bird Friends”, 1916, recommended platforms open on all four sides for nesting thrashers, catbirds and song sparrows.

A USGS research center web site and an older version of an Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation brochure also included Catbirds and Thrashers as users of platforms. The original brochure said: “These birds will use the nesting platform when natural nesting sites are unavailable.”

“The platforms should be placed in partial shade along main branches of trees or under the eaves of a shed or porch roof.” But in 1993, Catbirds and Thrashers were deleted from the brochure because of a lack of documentation.

Chances are probably slim of attracting catbirds, brown thrashers and song sparrows to any particular shelf.

Try mounting the open platform low behind a bush on a wall or fence so the parents can approach the nest unnoticed, higher if predator cats may be about, amidst a vine covered wall would be ideal.

Another alternative is something similar to the concave shaped cups made of mesh some have made for blue jays. Attach corners to branches creating a trampoline effect and conceal in a bush. Use a net made from natural cloth material, not metal mesh.

Better, just plant lots of vines, shrubs and small bushy trees.

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Dumetella carolinensis

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Mimidae
Genus: Dumetella
Species: carolinensis

La. passer sparrow, small bird
La. forma form, kind, species
La. mimus mimic, actor

La. -idae appearance, resemblance
La. dumetum a thicket
La. carolinensis of Carolina

Watercolor painting of a catbird perched among foliage branches and leaves.

About nine inches long. Dark slate gray upper parts. Dull black crown and tail. Underside slate gray. Long erect tail, chestnut underneath.

USGS map shows catbirds generally range in eastern and northwestern U.S. and in Canada.

Catbirds are abundant inhabiting brushy woods, swampy thickets, farms, towns and gardens in the eastern and northwestern U.S. and in Canada, north to British Columbia, Hudson Bay and Nova Scotia. They winter in the southern U.S., Central America and the Caribbean.

Catbird song transcribed to sheet music.

A mocking bird, its varying melodies follow no discipline and it will imitate birds, frogs, cats, chickens, cartwheels, even humans calling to it and it has a harsh cry like the mewing of a cat.

Songs of two catbirds transcribed to sheet music by F. Schuyler Mathews.

They are intelligent birds, friendly to humans. They like baths and love to preen their feathers. They gather together to drive away intruders with loud, obnoxious cries.

Catbirds run along the ground and hunt ants, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, spiders and caterpillars.

They catch moths, flies and other flying insects on the wing. They like fruits and berries, which make up a significant part of their diet.

Feed catbirds suet, raisins and various fruits and berries.

Attract catbirds. Plant any of buckthorn, raspberry, strawberry, elderberry, blackberry, blueberry, mulberry, and poke berry bushes; Virginia creeper and choke cherry, sour gum and black cherry trees.

Water color painting of catbird perched in vine foliage with farm and field in the background.

Catbirds build loosely woven nests of twigs, grass, leaves, bark and roots lined with fine grass in bushes, vines and low trees and shrubs sometimes only two feet high and usually less than ten feet high.

Females lay three to six deep bluish green eggs which hatch in about two weeks and young leave the nest in about another two weeks or less. They frequently raise two broods in a season. If a brood is orphaned, neighboring catbirds will feed and raise them.

Gilbert H. Trafton, the author of “Bird Friends”, 1916, recommended platforms open on all four sides for nesting thrashers, catbirds and song sparrows.

A USGS research center web site and an older version of an Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation brochure also included Catbirds and Thrashers as users of platforms. The original brochure said: “These birds will use the nesting platform when natural nesting sites are unavailable.”

“The platforms should be placed in partial shade along main branches of trees or under the eaves of a shed or porch roof.” But in 1993, Catbirds and Thrashers were deleted from the brochure because of a lack of documentation.

Visit the open nesting platform page.

Open Platform 

Select to view or print the open platform plans.

Open Platform Plans

It’s doubtful they need assistance in the foliage their nests are often found unless you’re trying to attract them to a particular spot.

Try mounting the open platform low behind a bush on a wall, fence or vine covered wall so the parents can approach the nest unnoticed, higher if predator cats may be about.

Another maybe better alternative is something similar to the concave shaped cups made of netting material some have made for blue jays. Attach corners to branches creating a trampoline effect from natural cloth material and conceal in a bush.

Better yet just plant lots of vines, shrubs and small bushy trees.

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Brown Thrasher

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Watercolor painting of a catbird perched among foliage branches and leaves.

Dumetella carolinensis

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Mimidae
Genus: Dumetella
Species: carolinensis

La. passer sparrow, small bird
La. forma form, kind, species
La. mimus mimic, actor

La. -idae appearance, resemblance
La. dumetum a thicket
La. carolinensis of Carolina

About nine inches long. Dark slate gray upper parts. Dull black crown and tail. Underside slate gray. Long erect tail, chestnut underneath.

USGS map shows catbirds generally range in eastern and northwestern U.S. and in Canada.

Catbirds are abundant inhabiting brushy woods, swampy thickets, farms, towns and gardens in the eastern and northwestern U.S. and in Canada, north to British Columbia, Hudson Bay and Nova Scotia. They winter in the southern U.S., Central America and the Caribbean.

Catbird song transcribed to sheet music.

A mocking bird, its varying melodies follow no discipline and it will imitate birds, frogs, cats, chickens, cartwheels, even humans calling to it and it has a harsh cry like the mewing of a cat.

Songs of two catbirds transcribed to sheet music by F. Schuyler Mathews.

They are intelligent birds, friendly to humans. They like baths and love to preen their feathers. They gather together to drive away intruders with loud, obnoxious cries.

Catbirds run along the ground and hunt ants, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, spiders and caterpillars.

Water color painting of catbird perched in vine foliage with farm and field in the background.

They catch moths, flies and other flying insects on the wing. They like fruits and berries, which make up a significant part of their diet.

Feed catbirds suet, raisins and various fruits and berries.

Attract catbirds. Plant any of buckthorn, raspberry, strawberry, elderberry, blackberry, blueberry, mulberry, and poke berry bushes; Virginia creeper and choke cherry, sour gum and black cherry trees.

Catbirds build loosely woven nests of twigs, grass, leaves, bark and roots lined with fine grass in bushes, vines and low trees and shrubs sometimes only two feet high and usually less than ten feet high.

Females lay three to six deep bluish green eggs which hatch in about two weeks and young leave the nest in about another two weeks or less. They frequently raise two broods in a season. If a brood is orphaned, neighboring catbirds will feed and raise them.

Gilbert H. Trafton, the author of “Bird Friends”, 1916, recommended platforms open on all four sides for nesting thrashers, catbirds and song sparrows.

A USGS research center web site and an older version of an Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation brochure also included Catbirds and Thrashers as users of platforms. The original brochure said: “These birds will use the nesting platform when natural nesting sites are unavailable.”

“The platforms should be placed in partial shade along main branches of trees or under the eaves of a shed or porch roof.” But in 1993, Catbirds and Thrashers were deleted from the brochure because of a lack of documentation.

Visit the open nesting platform page.

Open Platform 

Select to view or print the open platform plans.

Open Platform Plans

It’s doubtful they need assistance in the foliage their nests are often found unless you’re trying to attract them to a particular spot.

Try mounting the open platform low behind a bush on a wall, fence or vine covered wall so the parents can approach the nest unnoticed, higher if predator cats may be about.

Another maybe better alternative is something similar to the concave shaped cups made of netting material some have made for blue jays. Attach corners to branches creating a trampoline effect from natural cloth material and conceal in a bush.

Better yet just plant lots of vines, shrubs and small bushy trees.

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