Backyard Nest Boxes – Time to Get Started!

It’s not too early to prepare for the nesting birds you want to attract to your yard during nesting season.  If you are interested in a DIY project, here’s one which helps  Northern Flickers 
Northern Flicker
Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel

Flickers are considered common birds, but are suffering a steep decline in population due to loss of habitat as dead trees they rely upon are taken down.  They also face increased competition for nest holes from introduced (and much more aggressive) European Starlings.

These beautiful woodpeckers are found year round from southern Central America north through the US, and they breed well into far northern Canada. These are great birds to have around as their primary food is ants and beetle larvae — and they do a great job of keeping these insects under control.   If you live in an area where flickers breed, help this bird by providing a nestbox. They will start nesting in some areas in late April, and it’s important to get the nest box up way ahead of nesting season, so now is a good time to get started! If you want to build one yourself, check out these plans from Cornell Lab of Ornithology. And make sure you attach a guard to the entry to keep eggs and chicks safe from predators.

For more info on nest boxes for a variety of birds….check out Cornell’s Nestwatch.