Mar 27, 2019 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, April 2019

Which Birds Use Nest Boxes?

Bluebirds number among the species that readily take to human-provided nest boxes.

Don't expect a jay or hummingbird to use a birdhouse you provide. Only "cavity nesters"—bird species that naturally nest in hollow trees or similar secluded shelters—will select a human-provided nest box. And not all cavity nesters readily adopt boxes. Here's a list of some of the birds that commonly use "bird houses":

  • Some ducks, including wood duck
  • Some owls, including barred and screech-owls
  • Some woodpeckers, including downy and northern flicker
  • American kestrel
  • Some flycatchers, including great crested and ash-throated
  • Some swallows, including tree, violet-green, barn, and purple martin
  • Titmice
  • Chickadees
  • Nuthatches
  • Some wren species
  • Bluebirds
  • Phoebes, including eastern and Say's
  • Prothonotary and Lucy's warblers

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  • New to birding...newbie question. We spotted what we thought was a Sapsucker at our patio feeders in December. The folks at our birding supply store told us that Sapsuckers are only here in Summer months and what we saw was a Flicker. I thought I new what a Flicker was and this did not look like a Flicker. It was thinner and more smooth looking but did have the Woodpecker Bill.
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    by Edmund Steinman, Wed, 08 Jan 2020
  • Chickadees are adorable and intelligent. Chickadees have brains that are the most like human brains. Chickadees are personable, lively, and have their own language. Chickadees form lasting pair bonds; and are very good parents. Love.
    by Merl Elton, Tue, 24 Dec 2019
  • I'm still worried about my backyard birds even though myth #3 says they won't starve if I stop feeding in the middle of winter. I'm concerned because I'm moving in a couple of weeks to a new house and the winter's in northern Ohio get pretty challenging. Should I start backing off slowly on there food or just stop when we move?
    by Vince Bove, Sat, 14 Dec 2019
  • Birds make our world a wonderful and beautiful place to live.
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