This article deals around the attracting of natural predators to an area. This is useful in regards to organic farming as predatory animals can be then used to kill pests at a natural way; hereby safegarding the crops that are growing in the area.
Regular and predatory birds[edit | edit source]
Bird houses can be made for predatory birds. These birds can kill small rodents (ie mice), and chase away smaller birds (which ie feed on fruit grown in the vicinity). Certain smal birds can also be attracted and ie used for eliminating certain harmful insects, provided that the birds themselves do not feed on any of the crops grown.
The bird houses need to be custom-designed (especially tailored for the bird species in question). In addition, it also needs to be placed in a suitable area and at a specific altitude. Generally speaking, predatory birds (ie hawks, owls,...) like the bird house to be positioned high up, and have a unobstructed field of view from the bird house, allowing them to spot prey quickly. Smaller birds generally like to be lower to the ground and have the bird house positioned in a more densely vegetated area.
Keep in mind that not all birds are eager to inhabit a bird house, some prefer to make it themselves (ie in dead/hollow trees,...) In this case, we can leave dying trees on-site (rather than chopping them down) in order to provide suitable housing material for the bird.
Finally also take the time of year into account. Some birds migrate and will hence not occupy a bird house untill a certain period. Also, most birds don't require a house at all, they simply need it for nesting (raising new spawn). Some species may thus have more benefit of quiet areas with thick hedges,... so that they can stay on-site for a long time.