As I look out my back window, I see a glorious sight. Dozens of tree swallows are swooping and gliding, eating insects and perusing the newly refurbished nesting boxes located around our property. Whether you have several acres or a small plot, there’s good reason to make these birds welcome.
“What?” you may ask. “They’re cool and all, but why bother to attract them to nest?” Well, here’s a reason – mosquitoes! Here’s another one – no-see-ums! These birds will eradicate most, if not all, of these pests from around your home.
Imagine, sitting outside on a summer’s evening not covered in Deet. Leaving your windows open and waking up welt-free. Plus, they’re pretty. What more do you want?
So how do you do it? What does it take?
Not much, really. They will happily settle in an old tree cavity, so almost any nesting box will do. We’ve even picked them up at garage sales. We have 18 boxes now and they will all be used at least once this spring and summer. Often a second pair of birds will nest in the box once the first pair is finished with it.
It’s good if they are hinged, so that you can clean them out later if you want to. They need to be several yards apart; we have one or more on each side of our buildings and some in trees. Place them about 8-feet off of the ground. We like to attach tree branches or dowels so the birds have a place to perch and we can get a good look at them. Our cats enjoy looking out the window and seeing them, too!
In a short amount of time, a few weeks, you will hear little babies trilling in the nest and the parents will be feeding them like crazy. Congratulations! Your pest control brigade has just tripled in size.
Here’s to an itch-free summer.
Photo 1 (c) Boris
Photo 2 (c) TrilbyKat
- ▼ 2008 (10)