SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN — You might be noticing near your yard or home quite a few nests starting to be built. From mid-April through the end of May, most of Wisconsin’s many bird species will be breeding and building their homes.
For example, robins have already gotten an early start but soon dozens of other types of birds will start this yearly cycle.
Birds are quite resourceful when it comes to nest building. They’ll often use whatever material is around them and find nooks in trees or bushes.
One popular way to help is by building your own birdhouse!
Here’s one birdhouse example that was built by our very own Meteorologist Eric Manges! Pre-cut kits are available online for different kinds of birds and makes for a great stay at home activity with the family.
Some species prefer different house shapes and hole sizes to mimic natural openings leftover from woodpeckers or other tree burrowing animals. Be careful painting, as some paints can be toxic to birds, just plain wood is fine!
Having a way to easily get inside the box is important too. If an invasive bird builds a nest or for next breeding season it can be easily removed and cleared for the next generation.
In this example, the top comes off by removing the thumbtacks. Some types of birds are more particular that it doesn’t sway in the wind or is farther from other established nests — so make sure to do research on what kind of bird you’re looking to attract first. This birdhouse is designed for black-capped chickadees.
Around almost any human development, one common bird you’ll see is a house sparrow. Males can be easily identified with a gray top and a black stripe extending from the beak.
These are aggressive non-native birds that destroy bluebird nests and tree swallow nests.
One way you can help native populations of birds is to look for their nests in your birdhouses. They create a noticeable dome over the egg holding portion of the nest. They are known for building on top of existing nests in bird boxes and bullying out the bird that was there first.
If you have any more questions on when your favorite starts to arrive or nest, there are many resources available form the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Bird Nesting & Breeding Dates According to Wisconsin DNR