Birds That Use Bird Houses

What Birds Will Use Your Bird Houses and Nest Boxes?

Blue Tit at Bird House
Blue tits will readily use nest boxes. David Friel

Adding bird houses to your backyard is a great way to attract cavity-nesting birds, but not all bird species will choose an enclosed house to raise their families. There are hundreds of bird species throughout the world that will readily use bird houses and nest boxes, however, and knowing which species are most likely to become tenants can help you prepare to be a bird landlord.

Bird Species That Use Nest Boxes

Many different types of birds will use bird houses, including:

Chickadees and Tits:Ducks:Finches and Sparrows:Flycatchers and Warblers:
  • Ash-throated flycatcher
  • Black redstart
  • Great crested flycatcher
  • Lucy's warbler
  • Pied flycatcher
  • Prothonotary warbler
Nuthatches and Creepers:
  • Brown creeper
  • Brown-headed nuthatch
  • Red-breasted nuthatch
  • White-breasted nuthatch
Swifts and Swallows:Thrushes:Woodpeckers:Wrens:Birds of Prey:
  • American kestrel
  • Barn owl
  • Eastern screech owl
  • Lesser kestrel
  • Tawny owl
  • Western screech owl

Attracting Birds to Bird Houses

Of course, just because a bird species has been recorded as using bird houses does not mean they will move in as soon as a house is available.

Backyard birders who make their property more attractive to the birds will be more likely to attract nesting birds. Proper feeding, a fresh water source and bird-friendly landscaping will make the area more attractive to nesting birds, but the bird house or nest box should be placed in a more private area of the yard away from the busiest concentrations of birds.

Adding nesting materials to attract birds will also advertise the yard as an ideal location for bird families.

Choosing the right bird house is also essential to attract nesting birds. Different birds prefer different house sizes and styles, and the right size entrance hole can help make certain species welcome while ensuring that larger birds don't take over the house. A safe bird house design will also help keep nesting birds secure and sheltered.

By knowing what birds are most likely to use a bird house and how to make your backyard attractive to nesting birds, it is easy to become a bird landlord for many breeding seasons to come.

Photo - Blue Tit at Bird House © David Friel