What You Should Put Inside a Birdhouse – The Ultimate Guide

What is your birdhouse missing? Should a birdhouse be empty or are there things you can put inside to attract more birds? There are many different things that can go inside of birdhouses to help make them more appealing to these flying creatures. In this article, we will discuss what types of items should go inside of birdhouses if you want them to successfully attract birds.

What food to put in a birdhouse to attract birds

Placing the right kind of food inside or near your birdhouses can attract birds to nest in your backyard. For example, bird feeder seeds are a popular food for the smaller birds that want to live in bird houses. Other bird foods include: birdseed mix, sunflower seed, and peanut butter sandwiches or crackers with nutella spread on them.

Birds like peanuts too. Peanuts should be unsalted. They can be either dry roasted or boiled.

Birds love to eat fruit. Fresh fruit should be put on the outside of the birdhouse to attract birds. You want to easily be able to remove any uneaten fruit that starts to rot. The best fruits for birds are berries, bananas, apples, grapes, cherries, oranges, and plums.

Many birds also enjoy eating oats, millet, flax, corn, and cereal. The best cereal to use is cereal with little to no sugar. A recipe for homemade bird treats could include raisins, oats, corn flakes, and cranberries.

Correct placement and protection to keep unwanted guest away

Anytime you put a birdhouse in your yard it needs to be in a place that protects the birds from predators. When placing food in your birdhouse, you also need to make sure pest like bugs and ants can't get to the food or won't be attracted to it.

Placing dry food such as nuts and seeds can be a good way to keep pest away. Many bugs look for food that is moist. Usually, when food is moist it will give off more of an odor, which will attract bugs to it. Many bugs also need the food to be moist to consume it.

Putting dry food in your birdhouse is a good first step, but you also have to keep it dry. Placing your birdhouse in an area where it will stay dry or at least not allow water to get inside of it, will keep the food dry.

If you are going to use food that is moist, particularly fruit or vegetables, you should put it outside of the birdhouse. One problem with putting food outside of the birdhouse is that other animals and pest can get to it. Hanging the fruit from a tree limb and moving it often can keep many bugs and ants away from it. To keep squirrels and other interested parties from eating the fruit, you can put it inside a wired bird feeder.

Do you need to put anything in a birdhouse

You don't have to put anything in a birdhouse to attract birds and get them to nest in it. An empty birdhouse can attract birds into your yard. Some birds prefer to get their own nesting material instead of having it provided for them. If you put nesting material in the birdhouse they will remove it and replace it with their own.

Some homeowner's like to take the approach of always cleaning out a birdhouse when a bird moves out. Most birds, even the ones that will use nesting material that you place in the birdhouse, won't mind an empty birdhouse. They will go out and gather their own material.

Most birds will also forage for their own food. It usually doesn't hurt to put food in the birdhouse, but you don't have to place any in it. A good option is to put a bird feeder close by. The feeder will attract many birds. The ones interested in nesting will then visit your birdhouse. They can then visit your bird feeder anytime they want food. This will also keep them coming back after they are finished nesting.

Nesting material

You should only put bird-safe materials inside a birdhouse, like cotton rope or sisal twine for birds that use these types of nesting material. You can also try filling the bird house with moss to create an inviting place for them.

Grass clippings are an easy item you can add to your birdhouse that birds will love. You can also put small twigs inside the house.

Any kind of natural fiber will work. Things like cotton, cotton balls, and wool will help birds fill their nest to keep things warm.

Other things to consider when preparing your birdhouses for nesting

The size of the birdhouse will determine how many bird species will come to the birdhouse. If you have a large bird house or an open floor design, larger birds like orioles and woodpeckers can make nests in it.

If you are interested in attracting more bird life into your yard consider placing multiple birdhouses around the property with different types of nesting material inside them for the bird types that prefer those materials.

If you are building your own birdhouse, make sure it is well ventilated to avoid moisture from collecting inside the bird house and potentially harming the birds nesting there. Covering holes with wire mesh will also help reduce any predators looking for an easy meal. If you cannot find a bird-safe birdhouse, bird enthusiasts have succeeded in attracting more bird life into their yards by putting bird feeders and birdbaths around the property.

  • Water - the easiest way to provide water is with birdbaths or bird feeders that have built in bowls for supplying fresh drinking water.
  • Maintenance- make sure your birdhouse has plenty of ventilation and that you put the bird house in an area where it will be sheltered from harsh weather.
  • Cleanliness - bird droppings can quickly make a birdhouse smell bad, so to keep your bird houses smelling fresh and clean, wipe them down with soap and water every week or two. You might also want to wash out old nesting material before adding new.
  • Location - place bird houses away from trees and other obstructions so that the roof isn't a favorite resting spot for squirrels, who will just climb up to find your bird feeder. It's best to put birdhouses in an open area where they'll be sheltered but still visible - this way birds can feel safe landing on the roof and entering the birdhouse.
  • When to put birdhouses up- spring is a great time of year to put bird houses up, when nesting material will be in plentiful supply from early berry bushes or deciduous trees that have just shed their leaves. You can also place birdhouses out during winter months - all you need to do is make sure that the bird house has a roof to keep it from getting snowed on.

Are cotton balls safe for birds?

Cotton balls are safe for birds. They are not toxic to them, and they can build nests with it. Natural cotton should be used. Don't use any cotton that has been chemically treated.


A birdhouse is a perfect place to put nesting material and food for birds. What you choose will depend on the type of bird that visits your bird feeder or garden, but there are some general guidelines about what you should include in any bird house. You should use proper nesting material. This can be straw, dried leaves, paper shreds, hay pieces, or even items from around the home such as old towels or pillow cases. You can choose from an array of food items including bird seed mix with sunflower seeds and millet; peanuts (shell removed); suet cakes made up of beef fat mixed with cornmeal and frozen berries.

Ultimately, you don't have to put anything in your bird house. Some birds like it empty. Either way, you should periodically clean the birdhouse out so new guest will feel welcomed.