If you have a birdhouse, prepare for guests. With warmer weather around the corner, our feathered friends are seeking out places to build their nests.

1. Clean out nestboxes at the end of each season.

Make sure there is a hole for venting hot air, another for draining rainwater and a panel that opens and closes for cleaning. Clean them at least once a year. Birds won’t nest in houses not clear of last year’s litter.

2. Help birds create homes with materials from your garden.

Don’t put nesting material inside the birdhouses. Leave it outside the house and let birds find it themselves.

3. Attract birds with proper birdhouse placement.

Place birdhouses four to six feet above the ground. Not only do birds like that height, but the shorter distance to the ground is easier on fledglings during their first flight.

4. Hang birdhouses in shady spots.

If a house is made of metal, hang it in a shady area. Otherwise, it will absorb sunlight and make the inside too hot. A yard with shrubs and bushes is bird-friendly. Birds like to have safe zones for cover if they think a hawk is flying by.

5. Keep birds safe from predators.

Birdhouses with perches can encourage predators, such as cats, squirrels, and larger birds, to get a foothold inside. Try to place birdhouses where you can see them, maybe from a kitchen window.

Colorado Master Gardeners offer many ideas to landscape a yard with a bird in mind, read it here.