One of the most fun ways to add personality to your backyard is with the addition of a decorative birdhouse. Birdhouses come in thousands of shapes, colors, styles and themes. No matter what your hobby or style, you’ll be able to find just the right house to showcase it.
Style versus function when choosing a birdhouse
Different birds require different sizes for their nesting box. Entrance hole size is a deciding factor over whether or not certain birds will nest in your birdhouse and if they will be safe there. For this reason, the most important question to ask yourself before choosing a decorative birdhouse isn’t about style. The number one question is:
What type of bird do I want to attract to my yard?
The most common decorative birdhouses are made for Purple Martins, Wrens or Bluebirds. However, decorative houses often have larger entrance holes and need an entrance restrictor plate added to keep out House Sparrows.
Keep your measurement guides handy when choosing a decorative nesting box and you’ll be sure to pick one perfect for the birds you want to help.
Birdhouse Mounting Style
Take a look at the mounting style for the birdhouse you’re considering. Ask yourself if it should be pole mounted, hung or tree mounted. Then think about whether or not the decorative house can be altered in any way to fit the birds you want to attract. For example, the 18 Holes Birdhouse pictured here can be pole-mounted or hung. However, to hang it, you’ll need a few birdhouse accessories.
Keep in mind the first point, the type of bird you’re after will determine how the box should be mounted. Pole-mounting works great for Bluebirds, Purple Martins and others, but Wrens prefer hanging boxes.
The “decorative” in decorative birdhouse
The accents and colors of a decorative birdhouse will sometimes be a factor for which birds choose to use your house. Keep these general color guidelines in mind:
- Bright colors like oranges, reds and pinks attract Orioles and Hummingbirds.
- Blues and greens work well for attracting Bluebirds and Jays.
- Choose natural earth tones for most other birds.
- With the exception of Purple Martin Houses, white should be avoided. White is a signal of danger for most birds and will cause them to avoid your birdhouse.
Decorative birdhouse safety concerns
Whichever style you choose, keep in mind that the inside of the nesting box should never be treated or painted. This includes the edge of the entrance hole and anywhere the birds wings will touch.
If the birdhouse you choose has a perch, in general it should be removed. Most birds do not need it and predators can use perches to reach vulnerable eggs or chicks.
Follow this easy guide for choosing a decorative birdhouse with just as much style as you have!