Providing houses for swallows, chickadees, snow buntings, waterfowl, and small owls is an enjoyable hobby for any Alaskan who enjoys wildlife around their home or community. Birdhouses built according to specifications, placed in the proper habitat, and maintained regularly benefit both birds and people. But, incorrectly built or maintained houses either will not be used by birds, or worse, become death traps for nesting birds.
Thus, natural cavities are sparsely distributed, particularly in young forests, in areas with low woodpecker populations, and in areas where dead trees have been cut down. In these types of areas, cavity_nesting birds often have difficulty finding nesting and roosting sites and will readily use suitable birdhouses. Properly constructed birdhouses provide nesting and roosting birds the same protection as natural cavities in trees. This includes protection from wind, rain, cold, and nest predators (red squirrels, weasels, ravens, crows, jays, etc.).