Bat House

Place the house on a dark wall or chimney if possible, or on a pole. If using a pole, two bat houses placed back to back is preferred. Place the house as high as possible, preferably 12 feet or more above the ground. Bats like a house that is warm inside so face your house south or southeast to get at least 8 hours of sunlight.

Place your bat house away from any tree's, tree branches, wires or any obstacle they may hinder bats. There should a minimum of 20 feet from nearest obstacle. Keep the access uncluttered from branches or wires, to allow bats easy flight access and be sure to protect the house from predators such as cats or squirrels.

Think about getting two! The reason for mounting two bat houses is because males and females of many bat species typically divide into nursery and bachelor colonies for much of the summer. Males often spend the summer alone or in small bachelor colonies.

Butterfly House
The Butterfly House should be located in or close to your garden and away from prevailing winds. Hang or mount your Butterfly House three to five feet above ground in a tree, on a wall or on a pole. It should be in direct or partial sunlight.
Place some crushed leaves on the bottom of your house, this gives off an attractive odour to many butterflies. Dried willow, birch, elm, nettle, and/or thistle leaves work best.

Also place large pieces of bark, collected from fallen trees or old wood piles, in a vertical position inside your butterfly house, this will give them a place to perch.

Butterflies will only be attracted to your garden if you have plenty of their favourite plants for food and egg laying. Some of their favourites include Butterfly Milkweed, Meadow Blazing Star, 'White Profusion' Butterfly Bush, Sage, and Thyme.

Owl House
Northern Saw-Whet Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owls extend across most of southern Canada, from Nova Scotia through to British Columbia. The population also extends north along the Pacific Coast to southern Alaska, and down through the Rocky Mountains as far as California and even into Mexico. They prefer to roost in dense conifers, often relatively young cedars, spruces, and pines. Commonly the trees chosen for roosting are along the edge of sizeable woodlots, and both the forest and adjacent more open areas are used for hunting. They seek out tree cavities or woodpecker holes for nesting, but will readily nest in suitable nest boxes. Areas near water seem to be favoured for nesting.

They are smaller owls, only about 20 cm in height.

Eastern Screech Owl
The Eastern Screech Owl is found east of the Rocky Mountains, anywhere from Southern Canada right down into Mexico. Almost any habitat with sufficient tree cover will do for this cosmopolitan owl. Eastern Screech-Owls nest in holes and cavities, but never dig a cavity themselves. Thus, they depend on tree holes opened or enlarged by woodpeckers, fungus, rot, or squirrels. They will readily nest in suitable nest boxes. Eastern Screech-Owls live and breed successfully in farmland, suburban landscapes, and city parks.

Western Screech Owl
The Western Screech-Owl resides in the mountainous regions of western North America from south-central British Columbia, eastern Washington and Oregon, most of Idaho, western Montana, and extreme northeastern California. This owl is found in woodlands, deserts, riparian forests, and parks or large gardens in suburban areas. Western Screech Owls nest almost exclusively in tree cavities. They will readily nest in suitable nest boxes.

Both species are small owls, usually only 25 cm in height.

Mount the nesting box between 10' to 30' above the ground on a mature tree with the entrance hole facing north. Place 2 or 3 inches of wood shavings on the bottom as nesting material.

Bee House
Female Mason and Leafcutter bees like to nest in narrow holes or tubes. They do not excavate their own nests. They begin the process in the spring making several back and forth trips to nearby flowers to gather pollen and nectar. Once the pollen provision is large enough, she backs into the hole and lays an egg directly upon it. She then collects either mud or leaf sections depending on the species and seals off the partition. She repeats this process until she has filled the nest hole with a series of offspring. The female bee can select the gender of the egg they lay by fertilizing the egg, or not. Unfertilized eggs are males, while fertilized eggs are females. She lays the females at the back of the hole and the males towards the front. In the event of predator attacks (Woodpeckers being the foremost) the males are sacrificed first, hopefully leaving the females to reproduce next year.

The egg hatches in about a week, and consumes the food provision. It then spins a cocoon around itself and enters the pupal stage. After a month, it develops into an adult bee and goes dormant through the fall and winter.

In the spring, males emerge first and wait for the females to leave the nest. When the females emerge a few days later, they will mate with the males, and then get right to work gathering pollen for the next generation of bees. Their only job done, the males die after mating.

Female Orchard Mason bees die off in early June, after pollinating early spring fruits and plants. The Leafcutters are just beginning their nesting cycle in June and will work through to early September pollinating summer flowers, veggies and herbs.
Mount houses facing south to southeast to receive morning light to warm the houses. Place it at least 3 feet above the ground so you can easily watch the activity.

Squirrel House
The Eastern Gray Squirrel is a tree squirrel found in the southerly portions of the eastern provinces of Canada and the eastern and midwestern United States. Gray squirrels (which can be gray, black or white) are typically found in extensive mature hardwood forests—especially oak-hickory — often with dense understory vegetation. They are found less often in coniferous forests. Gray squirrels are tolerant of human presence and often live in urban or suburban areas with large mature shade trees.

Red squirrels can be found in most parts of Alaska and Canada. It is also found in the Rocky Mountain states and in the eastern United States south to northern Virginia and west to Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. They prefer coniferous forests—pine, spruce, or fir—with mature trees preferred over low-growth ones. In suburban areas, they are often found in small pine plantations or woodlots, interspersed with some hardwoods.

Squirrel houses should be placed away from human dwellings 10 – 20 feet from the ground, depending on your capabilities. The tree should be at least 10 inches in diameter for stability. If you can, place the house beside a branch for easy access. Make sure the entrance to the squirrel house faces south into the sun and away from prevailing winds. Place a handful or two of dry leaves in the bottom to start the nest.

Bluebird House
Eastern bluebirds are found east of the Rockies, and range from Canada to Mexico and Honduras.
These small birds have many competitors that include the house sparrows, starlings, wrens, chickadees, swallows. The chickadees, swallows and martins are not harmful and tree swallows are even believed to protect the bluebirds from predators when they are nesting nearby. House sparrows and starlings, however, are known to harm and kill Eastern Bluebirds and should be removed if found in the nest boxes.

Bluebirds like to nest in open fields, fence rows, abandoned orchards, large lawns, golf courses, parks, roadsides, and pastures.

Bluebird boxes can be mounted on poles, fences, or trees. Poles with predator guards installed tend to offer the best protection from predators such as racoons and snakes. Boxes should be mounted 4 to 5 feet above ground and facing away from prevailing winds, and 50 to 100 metres apart. Try to place the boxes close to trees, shrubs, or fences. Bluebirds will use them when feeding and when young ones are learning to fly.
If sparrows have taken over your box, try mounting a second box 5-15 feet away from the first. Sparrows will only nest in one, leaving the other for the bluebirds.

Clean your bluebird house after each brood has left.

Chickadee House
Black-capped Chickadees are year round residents in mixed deciduous and coniferous forests. They are found both at forest edges and deep within forests. They are also common in rural and suburban areas containing scattered trees, such as old fields, thickets, and parks. They are cavity-nesters and use existing cavities including old woodpecker or other natural holes and nest boxes. Black-capped Chickadees will also excavate or enlarge their own cavities in rotten wood.  Very sociable, they are often found in small flocks throughout the year and in larger mixed flocks with other small birds throughout the winter.  Houses should be mounted 5 to 15 feet high in partially shaded areas, forest edges or meadows.
White-breasted Nuthatches inhabit mature deciduous and mixed deciduous-coniferous forests. Nuthatches prefer to nest near open areas and forest edges and in open areas with large trees, such as parks, wooded suburbs, and yards.  Like the Black-capped Chickadee, White Breasted Nuthatches are year round residents in their territory.  White-breasted Nuthatches nest in natural tree cavities, abandoned woodpecker holes, or nest boxes.  They get their common name from their habit of jamming large nuts and acorns into tree bark, then whacking them with their sharp bill to "hatch" out the seed from the inside.  In winter, White-breasted Nuthatches join foraging flocks led by chickadees or titmice.  Houses should be mounted 5 to 20 feet high away from buildings.  Face the entrance hole away from prevailing winds, placing about an inch of wood shavings on the bottom of the box.

House Wrens inhabit forest edges, shrub lands, swamps, fields, farmlands, suburban parks and yards.  House Wrens will readily take to nest boxes, or you may find their twig-filled nests in old cans, boots, hats, or an assortment of other odd locations.  Their nesting and feeding habits are easily observed as these birds tend to be somewhat tolerant of humans, and their relentless searching for insects during the nesting phase can be an asset to the backyard gardener.  Houses should be mounted 5 to 10 feet high near trees or tall shrubs. Wrens are sociable and will accept nest boxes quite close to your house.  Unlike the Chickadee and Nuthatch, House Wrens are only summer residents, and will migrate to southern US or Mexico for the winter.

 
Winter Roost Box
Place your roost box in a sheltered spot with the entrance hole facing away from prevailing winds, southward if possible.  Mount on a pole, post or tree between 6 and 15 feet high.  If possible, mount a metal baffle below to keep predators away.