Quirky Birdhouses | Living the Country Life
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Quirky Birdhouses

Whimsical birdhouses give you a chance to invite aviary acquaintances while adding charming and inexpensive architecture to your garden. Birds don’t really care whether your birdhouses are rustic or modern – they’re looking for other features. Here are suggestions for placement, structure considerations, and maintenance for birdhouses of all kinds:
  • Photography by Rob Cardillo

    Birdhouse with Plumbing

    This birdhouse is made from salvaged barn boards, bits of discarded household plumbing, and old garden tools mounted on a pole cut from branches.

    • Birds perch happily on faucet handles and hose nozzles.

    Date Published: February 15, 2017
    Date Updated: March 31, 2017
  • Photography by Rob Cardillo

    Metal Accents

    Whimsy pervades every design—the roof of a cylindrical birdhouse is made of scrap tin; even the wire it hangs from is twisted into curlicues.

    • Hang birdhouses 5–6 feet high; if they’re too high, you won’t be able to reach them to tend them.

    Date Published: February 15, 2017
    Date Updated: March 31, 2017
  • Combine with Plants

    Birdhouses from around the garden sit for a group portrait in front of a flowerbed full of poppies and larkspur.

    • Garden naturally. If planting for birds, do not use pesticides.

    Date Published: February 15, 2017
    Date Updated: March 31, 2017
  • Set Near Trees

    An A-frame birdhouse with its own garden terrace is nicely located at the edge of a woodland garden.

    • Native trees and shrubs make the birds feel truly at home, and a small pond or birdbath with a shallow ledge gives them a refreshing place to splash.

    Date Published: February 15, 2017
    Date Updated: March 31, 2017
  • Open All Year

    The farmhouse birdhouse has a shady front porch.

    • Leave your birdhouses up year-round; some species will use a birdhouse for shelter in winter.

    Date Published: February 15, 2017
    Date Updated: March 31, 2017
  • Birdhouse Hole Sizes

    Select houses with small holes to invite chickadees, titmice, and wrens—cavity-nesting birds. These species frequently nest in birdhouses with entrance holes about 1–1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrens go in the peep-hole at the top of the weathered red barn birdhouse.  

    Date Published: February 15, 2017
    Date Updated: March 31, 2017
  • Rob Cardillo

    Flowers for a Birdhouse Garden

    A blue birdhouse has its own rose garden (the thorns can keep predators at bay).

    • Grow sunflowers, coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, and other flowers for their seeds and bright summer blooms. Serviceberry (Amelanchier), hollies, and viburnums provide berries for the birds in summer and winter. 

    Date Published: February 15, 2017
    Date Updated: March 31, 2017
  • Durability for Birdhouses

    Choose birdhouses that are strong and weatherproof, with ventilation and drainage holes. A country church birdhouse in the herb garden has a metal roof and a distinctive, fleur-de-lis finial.

    Date Published: February 15, 2017
    Date Updated: March 31, 2017
  • To Perch or Not to Perch

    Experts have various opinions on perches outside the holes. Some believe predators can use them while others say perches are fine. This rustic birdhouse, which has a nail for a perch, hangs from an old leather strap.

    Date Published: February 15, 2017
    Date Updated: March 31, 2017
  • Photo by Rob Cardillo

    Native Plants for Birds

    Grow native plants. Natives attract insects that birds feed their young.

    Date Published: February 15, 2017
    Date Updated: March 31, 2017
  • Birdhouse Mounts

    This birdhouse, mounted on an old pitchfork, can be easily moved to where it’s needed.

    • Don’t crowd the birds. In the country, you may have room for lots of birdhouses. In the city, limit yourself to two or three.

    Date Published: February 15, 2017
    Date Updated: March 31, 2017
  • Keep it Clean

    Remove old nesting material and scrub inside birdhouses, using a mild solution of organic soap, at the beginning of every fall.

    Date Published: February 15, 2017
    Date Updated: March 31, 2017

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