Are you thinking of taking care of finches? Do you want finches to visit your yard? Then one of the essential things you must have is a birdhouse.
Continue reading to learn how to build a finch birdhouse and how to shop for one.
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Finches are small to mid-sized birds. They belong to the Fringillidae family. Aside from their colorful plumage, they are characterized by their stout conical bills. They also have round heads and elongated bodies.
Finches are highly popular companion pets known for their aerial antics and amusing interactions with each other.
They are chatterers, capable of making soft ‘peep’ sounds. They’re unlike parrots who are known for their loud screeches. Therefore, finches are ideal for people who don’t want to disturb their neighbors.
Types of Finches
There are different types of finches, among them:
Brambling is a short finch about 14 cm in length with a wingspan of around 25 cm.
Its feathers are colored black, brown, grey, white, and orange. Its legs, meanwhile, are colored brown or pink.
Bramblings eat seeds during the winter and insects during summer. They are commonly found in woodlands and farmlands.
With its bright pinkish breast and cheeks, the male bullfinch is easy to identify.
It also has a white rump and black cap and tail.
The adult female bullfinch, meanwhile, has brownish legs and a black, short beak. Its feathers may have colors ranging from blue, black, brown, and white.
This is one of the most common types of finches, particularly in Britain and Ireland.
It has patterned plumage, which enables it to easily blend on the ground.
Chaffinches are known for their loud and varied calls. Don’t be surprised to hear them before seeing one. Chaffinches also don’t feed on bird feeders and instead like to hop under the bird table.
4. Common Rosefinch
Also called the scarlet rosefinch, this type of finch are sized like sparrows.
They have forked tails and pale bellies.
They breed mostly in northern Asia.
This is a chunky finch noted for its large head and bill.
The latter is used in extracting seeds from conifer cones. They like to stay in large flocks.
The adult male crossbill has a brick-red plumage while females are greenish-brown. They live mainly in the woodlands.
With its yellow wing patch and colorful red face, the goldfinch is a stunner.
It is also sociable with a delightfully sounding song. It likes to visit feeders and bird tables.
The goldfinch has a long beak, allowing it to extract even the most inaccessible feeds from teasels. They can be found almost anywhere, from trees, bushes, orchards, gardens, and parks.
This small finch is well-loved for its colorful physical attributes and friendly disposition.
It is a typical garden visitor who likes to rummage for food in urban gardens.
The greenfinch also endears itself to people with its loud, wheezing song. It tends to show off in a flash of green and yellow when in flight.
One of the largest finches, the hawfinch is best known for its large and powerful bill.
Unlike the greenfinch, it is hard to spot because of its shy demeanor.
The hawfinch can go up to 18 cm in length. Its wingspan can reach up to 33 cm. Its legs are colored brown and pink. The feathers can have varying colors like black, blue, orange, gray, and white.
9. Lesser Redpoll
This small finch loves hanging upside down and feeding in trees. It is colored brown with patches of red on the head and breast.
It’s small, with a length of about 11 cm. Its wingspan is around 20 cm. It is commonly found in farmlands, woodlands, and urban areas.
One of the most popular types of finches, the linnet is known for its melodious song.
Adult males have crimson breasts and foreheads. Females have browner foreheads and breasts.
Linnets like flying in large flocks during the cold season. It feeds mainly on seeds and insects.
Basic Guide in Building A Finch birdhouse
In building a birdhouse for finches, you’ll need softwood, such as spruce, cedar, or pine. Softwood is ideal because it is durable and breathable. It also has excellent insulating qualities.
You’ll also need the following:
- Drill bit
- Framing nails
- Spruce wood board (¾ inch thick, 5.5 inches wide, and 4 feet long)
- Tape measure
Here’s the step-by-step guide:
- Start by marking the cut-outs on the wooden board. From the bottom of the board, mark 5.5 inches then mark 9 inches.
- Mark 8 inches from the second mark, then 6 inches from the third mark. Continue with this marking order for the succeeding two points.
- Repeat the markings on the other side of the board. However, the fifth mark should only be 6 inches after the fourth mark. The sixth mark is 8 inches after the fifth mark.
- Use the marks to line up the cuts. The first piece is cut from the base of the board. It will serve as the bottom of the birdhouse. The second piece is the top part of the birdhouse.
- The third piece is the back of the birdhouse, while the fourth is the front. The fifth and sixth pieces will serve as the sides of the birdhouse.
- Get the fourth piece. Cut it so that it will become 4 inches wide instead of 5.5 inches.
- Using a drill bit, make a hole on the fourth piece. It should be 2 inches in diameter. This will enable the finch to get in and out of the birdhouse.
- Get the first piece. Using two nails and a hammer, attach it to the non-diagonal side of the fifth piece. Do this, too, with the sixth piece.
- Slide the fourth piece in between the fifth and sixth pieces. Fasten it by nailing on both sides of the birdhouse.
- Lastly, line up and nail the second piece. You may also opt to use screws instead of nails for this part. This way, you can remove the top part and clean the birdhouse at the end of the nesting season.
- You may also put a nail below the hole at the front of the birdhouse. This will give the bird a platform to stand on.
- It’s also advisable to put a hook on top of the birdhouse if you want to hang it from a tree. Lastly, don’t forget to drill holes on the bottom part. This will serve as the drainage of the house.
What to Look for in the Best birdhouse
If you’re not the type of person who likes do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, you may find buying a finch house a better option. You can find birdhouses for finches sold online or at brick and mortar pet stores.
But what should you look for in a birdhouse? The following are some of the factors to keep in mind:
The birdhouse should have proper ventilation and drainage.
This should keep your bird safe and healthy. Proper ventilation prevents overheating while having drainage holes can prevent drowning of the birds.
The birdhouse should be made of safe and sturdy materials.
Wood is the best material for a birdhouse. You’d want a house made of decay-resistant materials such as cedar or redwood.
Moreover, the wood should be at least a quarter of an inch thick. Anything less than that may result in heat build-up, which can be harmful to finches, especially to the young.
Avoid buying a painted birdhouse as finches don’t find it attractive.
A birdhouse must have a predator guard.
This is a necessary safety feature. It prevents predators like cats from reaching into the birdhouse and grabbing your bird.
Don’t buy a birdhouse consisting of metal materials.
Metal can increase the temperature inside the birdhouse during summer. This can, in turn, kill the nesting birds. Moreover, reflective metal has a tendency to attract predators.
The birdhouse must also have an entrance hole.
Make sure that the entrance hole should have a diameter of 1.5 to 2 inches.
Other Tips to Attract Birds to birdhouses
Birds are more attracted to houses with hole entrances. Therefore, you’d want to have a birdhouse with a hole that is of the right size.
For finches, the ideal hole is 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter. Bigger holes can put the finches in danger of being attacked by predators.
The location of the birdhouse will also have an impact on its appeal to birds.
In the case of finches, these small birds prefer to nest in houses located in the middle of a yard. The birdhouse should be out of reach of predators.
Finches are lovable and amusing small birds. While widely available in pet stores, finches can also visit your yard if you have an attractive birdhouse.
Creating a Finch birdhouse is an easy DIY project that you can do on your own. You’ll need a wooden board and several basic carpentry tools to get the job done.
You can also buy a Finch birdhouse online or in pet stores. Keep in mind the tips shared in this article so you can get a birdhouse that’s attractive for finches!
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Do finches use birdhouses?
Yes, finches nest in birdhouses. They like it in the same way that they love hanging out in trees.
Do you also know that birdhouses for finches are a common sight in cities and towns? This proves that finches like to nest in them.
2. What attracts birds to a birdhouse?
Setting up a birdhouse at home does not always mean that a finch will move in. You have to make the birdhouse more attractive to the bird.
How would you do it? One is to put food in the birdhouse. If you want finches to come, place foods such as seeds. Black oil sunflower seeds are always an excellent choice.
Finches will also move in when the birdhouse has an ample supply of water. Finches bathe three to four times a day. They also drink frequently. Hence, the birdhouse should have an adequate water supply.
Make sure that the water bowl is not only clean but also shallow. This can prevent young finches from getting drowned.
3. Where should I put a birdhouse?
The location of the birdhouse is critical in attracting finches. Birdhouses are best situated in gardens, yards, cultivated fields, and golf courses.
The height of the birdhouse is equally important. It should be placed five to 10 feet above the ground. However, it must not be near trees as cats and squirrels may get inside.
4. Why won’t birds use my birdhouse?
There may be several factors behind your birdhouse being empty. Check the location. Is it near trees? Is it too close to the ground?
If you answered yes to either question, it might be due to the birdhouse location.
Finches may not be coming in because the birdhouse is not safe from predators. Cats, for instance, can easily jump into a low-lying birdhouse.
Finches may also stay away from foul-smelling birdhouses. Paint, for one, can deter finches from staying in a birdhouse.
5. What direction should a birdhouse face?
As a rule of thumb, a birdhouse should be positioned directly opposite to where prevailing winds come from.
It also helps if the birdhouse is placed away from the sun in the afternoon. This will provide a much-needed relief from the afternoon heat.
6. Do birds like hanging birdhouses?
Birds like hanging houses as long as these are conducive to nesting. In short, the birdhouse should be comfortable for the birds.
You’d want a hanging birdhouse that does not sway when the wind blows. This can be dangerous to birds, and they’ll certainly avoid it.
7. What colors are birds afraid of?
Birds, finches, in particular, are scared of the color red. And this has been proven scientifically.
You also don’t want a birdhouse that’s dark-colored because it can trap heat. This can make the house less attractive to birds.
8. Should you paint the birdhouse?
Most experts suggest otherwise. Birds prefer to nest in natural-looking houses.