Dead trees, or snags, are valuable to a wide variety of wildlife. Unfortunately, many people assume snags are of no value and routinely cut them down. In some places, this practice has caused cavity_nesting bird and mammal populations to decline. Though nest boxes may provide alternate nesting sites for some cavity_nesting birds, they are not suitable replacements for dead trees. Here's why: Snags provide homes for woodpeckers. Woodpeckers use snags for drumming, nesting, roosting, and feeding. Woodpeckers hammer their bills against the resonating surface of dead tree trunks to make a loud drumming sound; this is their courtship and territorial "song."
Position the house so its opening does not face into direct sunlight or prevailing winds. Full or partial shade will help keep the house cooler, and a more protected location will be safer. If necessary, a longer overhang above the entrance can also help provide shade and shelter. Angle the house so rain cannot easily run into the opening or through ventilation holes. Some bird house models include an angled face to ease water runoff, and a larger roof overhang can also help keep the interior of the house dry. The house could also be positioned in a more sheltered area, such as underneath the eaves of a roof or against the trunk of a large, full tree that will help protect the bird house.