Nesting Ledges. American Robins, Say's Phoebes, and Barn and Cliff Swallows will not use nest boxes, but they will next on platforms that are open on three sides. Platform nest ledges should be 6ν inches wide, 6ν inches long, and at least 8 inches high. Nest ledges can be easily fastened under the eaves of houses, buildings, bridges or on trees. They may be placed near a window where the behavior of birds using them can be easily observed. Place the nest ledge 8–16 feet above the ground.
Unwanted Tenants. Don't let your birdhouses become homes for Starlings or House Sparrows! These birds were introduced into the contiguous United States from Europe during the mids and early 1900s. Both species spread throughout North America and have become serious agricultural and urban pests. In addition, both species compete with native North American birds for cavity_nest sites and thus may harm native bird populations. For example, nest site competition by Starlings and House Sparrows has been blamed, in part, for the population declines of the Eastern Bluebird, a cavity_nesting bird.