348 IDEAL HOME LIFE
should be just large enough to admit the bird. A larger opening not only looks bad, but it gives a chance for cats and other enemies. Only one opening should be provided for each house or compartment. A perch or doorstep should be provided just below each door.* It is here that the birds often stop to arrange their toilets, and the male bird may tell all the news he has gathered while his wife is cleaning house. The houses should be placed on poles or on buildings in somewhat secluded places. Martins and tree-swallows like to build their nests about 15 feet above the ground. Newly made and freshly painted houses are avoided.
In the last few years there have been bird-house contests all over the country, where prizes have been given for the best or the most built by any one boy. Many original ones have been turned out.
The chimney may be put on according to the drawing or omitted. It is made of a block, and to fit to the roof must be cut out the same angle as the roof. The piece on the back
is fitted in flush with the back of the house, as seen by drawing.
* Where English sparrows are found do not put a perch in front of the door, as it is not necessary for the use of the tenants, and per-, mits the sparrows to annoy them.—The Editors.