Why Aren’t Birds Using My Nesting Boxes?

Nothing sounds better than getting woken up at the crack of dawn by the sweet melodies that the birds will sing. As luck would have it though, none have taken up residence in the bird box that you put out. Why is this?

There are a variety of reasons, but let’s take a look at some of the most common.

The Timing.

The affairs of birds are firmly determined by the season that is prevalent at the time. For this reason, birds will tend to look for new accommodations as spring begins to set in.

For most people, they will now go out and try to put up birdhouses at this time, but you could already be late. While you are putting up a birdhouse in spring, the bird will have already scouted a location and moved into it. Just because it is winter, it doesn’t mean the bird will not do some reconnaissance before moving.

The best time to set up a bird house is in late winter and early spring.


Similar to how you would have chosen to live next to your place of work, or in a good school location for your children, the bird will also look at its options before making your nesting box its own for the seasons to come. First and foremost is proximity to sources of food and water.

The next is predators. While birds are beautiful, they are a part of the food chain. If a bird recognizes that the placement of the nesting box is close enough for predators like cats to get to, they definitely will not nest there.


A bird is very specific about the place it will nest. Among the many things it will look at I the cleanliness of the location it is scouting. If you had birds in your nesting box before, it would be best to clear out any debris that was left behind by the previous occupant.

If you put out a nesting box, check it for debris that may have been blown in by wind. Birds will usually check out the location and if you had forgotten to keep it clean, they will simply fly away.

The type of the nesting box.

In a lot of cases, the nesting box you may have put out may not be the correct type for the birds that are prevalent in your area. Some birds may prefer open nests, while others may be looking at cavity nests.

If your nesting box hasn’t attracted any bird yet, you may need to look at what birds can be found in your area and provide the right nesting box for them.

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