Relocating birdhouse and other questions
Before I started feeding birds, I located my birdhouse (I think it's a wren house) under the overhang of my garage, the entrance of the birdhouse facing east. I've had it there for several years. It has remained unoccupied, and I've gone as far as to add nesting material that other birds took out for their own use...LOL. I realize now that I made the mistake of placing my feeders just several feet away from the birdhouse this past year, so I need to relocate my birdhouse.
The only place I have to relocate it is in my tree, which will also provide shelter. I was thinking of just using green covered craft wire (for making wreaths) from the craft store, or I can purchase chain from the hardware store. Any suggestions?
I think I also need to widen the opening to 1.25 or 1.5 inches. I read that I DO NOT want wrens nesting in my yard, and a wider opening will discourage wrens.
Should I remove the nesting material I added? Do I remove it annually once it's occupied? My late cattledog used to get baths in the driveway in summer months, and when he was shedding there would be piles of fur afterwards. Much to my satisfaction, I noticed that within 1/2 hour, the birds grabbed it for nesting material. Less for me to clean up.
I've also seen other birdhouses with metal plates surrounding the opening...is this to discourage animals from chewing the opening for accessibility? I have a wooden feeder, I noticed the squirrels are chewing around the openings....I've literally opened my back door to throw my flip flops across the yard to scare the squirrels away. Neighbors must think I'm crazy. LOL.
I also read to place bird houses in trees high enough that squirrels can't get to them. ??????? I don't get the logic behind that...squirrels can climb and access almost any branch, I would think.
I have birds flocking in my yard today...not much action in previous months. Perhaps they are stocking up on calories before the impending snow storm? I saw one female cardinal checking out my three day new suet feeders.
One more question...how long will my homemade suet mix keep in the freezer? Will it be good next year? I suspect I may not use it all before spring arrives.