*This article has been updated for accuracy, 2017
If you build it, they will come. Not that any of us have endless amounts of time to stare out our windows at birds, but it is really nice to hear them as you go about your day, and once in awhile spot an unusual or beautiful bird. I think that stylish birdhouses and bird feeders are a contribution to the bird world. Consider them Habitats for Ornithology. We’ve found a selection of birdhouses and bird feeders for you to peruse. They make great presents for your weekend hosts.
This hand-painted pink wren house, made by Louisville Stoneware, isn’t fazed by frost or dampness. It is a special edition and 10% of the profits are donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation which raises funds for cancer research. $65.
Adorable Plaited Nesting Containers, made from plaited fern, sea grass and coconut. Very cozy for small birds. $27 for a set of 3.
Love Wrens? We love this Duncraft Eco Friendly Wren House $39.95, comes with a side cleanout, 10 inch vinyl coated, steel hanger. Made in the USA
The little wren house pictured here is made from recycled plastic so it is indestructible. $29.95
We love these glossy ceramic ‘Egg’ birdhouses that come in eight colors. $155 at J. Schatz
Other birdhouse resources:
Birdnest.com sells birdhouses divided into types of bird, which makes it easy to buy the right one if you have specific species you want to attract. Not being birders, we would make our decision based on the look of the house and hope that we liked the bird that wanted to live in it.
They also sell lots of birdhouse kits for you DIYers.
If you want to build your own with free plans, go to Free Birdhouse Plans.
Like the glossy egg shaped ceramic bird houses, there are also similar glossy ceramic bird feeders for $165 in the same eight colors.
We love to watch hummingbirds feed. This hummingbird feeder is $16.99.
Notes about Birds & Birdhouses:
If you live in North America, this site can tell you all you need to know about each bird species you will encounter.
- Make sure your birdhouse is right for the birds and climate in your area.
- Birdhouses should be made of weather-resistant woods and not metal. Metal houses get too hot for the birds.
- The birdhouse should have drainage in the bottom to prevent rainwater from collecting.
- Birdhouses should be easy to clean.
- Perches by the entrance can be problems as they encourage predators.
Notes about Bird Feeding and Seeds:
In order to keep the balance of nature, birds should not be fed in the summer. That is the time for them to eat bugs, and humans appreciate that. Feed birds in the winter when bugs are scarce.
Keep the feeders clean. Empty them about once a month and wash them in a solution of 9 parts water and 1 part bleach. Rinse and dry well and refill with seed.
It’s hard to keep the squirrels away, but do your best to find the feeder that is “squirrel proof”. Don’t place feeders near trees or shrubs that squirrels can use as launch pads onto the feeder.
Choose a feeder that is easy to fill and clean and weather resistant.
It is nice for the birds to have a source of water nearby. You can provide a bird bath if there are no other options.
Identify the birds in your area and choose seed with them in mind. Sunflower seeds are favorites of finches, bluejays, cardinals, chickadees, doves and sparrows. Corn is enjoyed by cardinals, blackbirds and starlings. Suet (animal fat) is loved by woodpeckers, chickadees and titmice. Go to birdwatching-bliss.com for more information.
The ‘bird master’ is Roger Tory Peterson. Check out his Field Guide to Birds of North America.
Birds in Your Backyard: A Bird Lover’s Guide to Creating a Garden Sanctuary by Robert Dolezal.
Do you have a favorite feeder or birdhouse? Any recommendations for food? Let us know in the comments.