There are many different types of birdhouses available: from simple designs to those with more complex features. The best type for you will depend on your space, preferences, and budget.
In this article, we will explore the different types of birdhouse designs that are available so you can find one to suit your needs.
Wooden birdhouses are perhaps the most common type of house. These are relatively cheap, easy to find and can be made from a variety of different materials such as pine or cedar wood. They can either be mounted in a tree or attached to a pole or another object.
Wooden houses include various features such as removable roofs, mesh windows and an elevated base which allow insects to enter for the birds to eat. This type of house is mostly used by bluebirds and other small species.
Wooden houses have several benefits: they are aesthetically pleasing due to their variety of colors; they can be made relatively cheap from recycled materials; easy to clean if required.
Wooden houses have a few potential drawbacks: they can be expensive from some sellers due to being made from more costly materials; may not last as long as metal or plastic ones.
Metal houses are perhaps the most expensive type of birdhouse. They can be purchased from a variety of sources but tend to cost more than wooden houses - especially those made with copper or brass. These types should last several years and often have elaborate designs.
The only potential drawbacks to metal houses is that they may rust if they are not cared for - especially if they are left outside for extended periods.
The most basic type of birdhouse, plastic types can be purchased relatively cheaply and may only cost a few dollars each. They are easy to clean and maintain but will need to be replaced fairly frequently - after just a year or two of use. Plastic houses tend to have more elaborate designs than other wooden ones.
These are perhaps the most common type of house for people to make themselves and can be used as a fun craft project with children. Plastic houses have several potential drawbacks: they may be difficult to clean; will need replacing fairly frequently due to wear and tear; cannot be painted so may not appeal as much aesthetically.
Ceramic birdhouses are another common design which uses small clay pots instead of mason jars. They can be found relatively cheaply, especially used ones and cost between $1 and $5 each depending on the seller. Some designs have a hole in them for easy removal to clean but most do not which means you will need to use a drill.
These are perhaps the most fragile of all the birdhouse design types. They can be expensive if made from clay or metal and will need replacing regularly due to wear and tear.
Ceramic houses have several potential drawbacks: may be delicate so break easily; cleaning is difficult without damaging the house; can be expensive to replace.
These are perhaps the most modern type of birdhouse design and may only cost between $3 and $5 each. They consist of a wire frame with holes punched in it for the birds to enter through and then suspended from a tree or other support structure using string, twine or a hook.
These are perhaps the easiest to clean as they can be removed from their support structure and have a wire frame that makes it easy to brush away any dirt or debris. These do not last very long, however, so will need replacing every year or two.
Woven wire houses have several potential drawbacks: require regular cleaning to prevent mold growth inside the house; will need replacing regularly because the framework is easily damaged by birds, wildlife or weather conditions.
Straw bird houses consist of straw woven together in a variety of different patterns using wire. They tend to be some of the most attractive designs and can be purchased for as little as $5 or $10. Straw houses are perhaps the most fragile of all types and may only last a year or two before they start to deteriorate.
These have several potential drawbacks: straw is flammable so cannot be used in locations where there are forest fires; will need frequent cleaning due to interiors being difficult for birds to clean themselves; will need replacing regularly due to wear and tear.
These are perhaps the most popular birdhouses and tend to cost between $5 and $10 each - depending on the seller, design of the glass house or whether it has an entrance hole already cut out. Glass houses can be purchased from a variety of sources including local stores, garden centers and even online.
These are perhaps the easiest to clean and maintain as you can just wipe down or scrub with soap and water - removing any dirt from around the house's entrance hole. Glass houses have several potential drawbacks: may not appeal to birds; will need replacing regularly because they shatter easily if hit or touched; will need cleaning regularly because they are difficult for birds to clean themselves.
These are perhaps the largest of all birdhouse types. They can be found at garden centers or stores selling outdoor supplies and may only cost a few dollars each. Hollow logs are popular because they tend to look very attractive in many backyards. They can be placed upright or sideways depending on the preference of the owner and have a variety of sizes available.
These are perhaps the easiest to clean since you can simply remove the house from its log support structure and use an electric drill with cleaning attachments to clean out any dirt in the entrance hole or around it. Hollow logs do, however, tend to be very fragile so will need frequent replacement.
Hollow logs have several potential drawbacks: cannot be placed next to trees or other support structures because they are easily knocked over; cleaning is difficult as the entrance hole is hard for birds to clean themselves - leading to mold growth inside the house; may not appeal to birds due to being dark and lack of light inside.
These are perhaps the most common and economical birdhouse design with shingles costing only about $2 each. They consist of a wooden frame with three or four holes drilled into it for birds to nest in and then hung by string or twine from a tree branch. These can be purchased at local garden stores, farmer's markets or online.
These are perhaps the most attractive of all birdhouse designs as they consist of bamboo stems that have been woven together with wire and a variety of interesting patterns. A hole is cut out at the bottom for birds to enter and then hung by string or twine from a tree branch, pole or other support structure in the garden. These can be purchased at local garden stores, farmer's markets or online.
These are perhaps the largest of all birdhouse types as they tend to have long lengths of piping and may have several different pipe lengths connected together in various styles - including a tube that is placed on the ground with a roof over top. A hole is cut out at the bottom for birds to enter and then hung by string or twine from a tree branch, pole or other support structure in the garden. These can be purchased at local garden stores, farmer's markets or online.
Nest style birdhouse
Nest style birdhouse is designed for smaller bird species such as chickadee, titmouse, tree swallow and wren with a specialized entrance hole to accommodate only “dippers” who are birds that nest in holes.
Nest style birdhouses are available for hanging or pole mounting and have a rounded roof. They tend to be more decorative than perch style birdhouses but some can be as plain as a pipe with hole in the bottom.
Tree house design birdhouse
Tree house design birdhouse is designed for woodpeckers and larger species of birds such as the blue jay, oriole, sapsucker, nuthatch. Many have multiple chambers or levels and additional features such as a perch area that extends outward from underneath the tree like a branch.
Pole House Design Birdhouses
The pole house style of birdhouse comes in two designs, one that is mounted on top of a wall or post with two large hooks and another design where it hangs from an old PVC pipe mounted horizontally to a tree branch or other support structure and then covered with wire fencing material.
Birdhouse Pole House Designs are a nice choice for areas where space is limited or privacy is desired.
Stake type birdhouse
This design is very similar to the pole house style birdhouse except that it is mounted on top of a 4" or 6" PVC pipe that has been pounded into the ground. It can also be mounted on a fence post or tree branch.
Major drawback with this design, just as many of its other designs, is that it needs to be cleaned and maintained often which is very difficult as the sloped roof is hard to clean.
Tube birdhouse design is one of the most popular types of birdhouse design. It comes in 2 basic styles - a tube with wire mesh over the top or an open hole style without any covering and simply has a perch inside that birds use to land before exiting through the opening on the bottom.
Hinged type birdhouse
Hinged type birdhouse is designed for larger birds with larger nest requirements such as bluebird, cardinal, titmouse and wren. This style of the birdhouses are available for hanging or pole mounting and have a sloped roof. They tend to be more decorative than perch style birdhouses but some can be as plain as a pipe with hole in the bottom.
Gourd style birdhouse
A gourd birdhouse is a bird house made from natural materials such as wood, gourds or bamboo and a fake one made of man-made materials such as plastic. They are sometimes decorated with dried flower garlands or ribbons. The gourd style birdhouse is fashioned like the fruit and often painted bright colors to attract birds.
Tin or aluminum styles
A tin, aluminum style birdhouse can be made tin cans or recycled metal to provide the frame for the house. Birdhouses constructed from these materials are designed to reflect natural tree cavities and have entrances like that of a woodpecker hole.
They are often covered with a shiny coating such as aluminum candy tins or spray paint to reflect sunlight during the day and are painted black at night. These birdhouses often have traditional woodpecker type entrances and fake birds made of wood or metal attached as decoration.
I want to build birdhouses; how do I start?
You should first decide on the type of birdhouse designs you would like to construct. If you are working with children, it can help them select a design they really love. They will look forward to making their very own birdhouse and being caretakers of the bird.
Do I need a lot of expensive tools?
No, you do not need any special tools to build a birdhouse. However, it can help if you have some basic carpentry skills like knowing about using boards and nails or other basic wood-working techniques and tools such as hammers and drills.
I'm having trouble choosing the right wood for my birdhouse; what should I do?
When selecting wood to construct your birdhouse, it is best to select solid hardwood or other durable material such as cedar, cypress or redwood. One of the reasons why you should opt for this kind of wood is that they give off noxious fumes when exposed to moisture. This helps prevent insects like termites, ants and beetles from destroying the birdhouse.
I want my local birds to have a place to live; does anyone know any suggestions on how I can attract these kinds of birds?
In order to attract these kinds of birds, you should create a birdhouse design that has a perky appeal. One way is to add vertical strips or ends with triangles or other shapes on it in dark colors like black and reds. If using natural wood, then sand the pieces first before painting them. You can also be creative with the designs and paint them with fun colors through stenciling or painting. The birds will surely be attracted to it.
How can I properly care for the birdhouse once I have made one?
Normally, you do not need to take special care for it; just make sure you put it in a well-ventilated area and away from direct sunlight. Also, you should not paint inside the birdhouse because it can easily get spoiled by rainwater. You also need to check if there are any holes that would hamper nesting activities of birds in your area as this will make your birdhouse useless.
Do all birds prefer using birdhouse designs?
No, not all birds prefer using birdhouse designs. Some use natural spaces such as between branches of trees or in the hollows of large trees. Others make nests on cliffs and others like pipistrelles have been known to be crevice nesters. These kinds of birds do not usually use birdhouses.
There are many designs you can choose from. Start by thinking of what kind of birdhouse looks best for your property and then decide which design will suit it best. If you built one yourself, the experience will not only be an educational activity but also a fun family project. Who knows? You might get addicted to building birdhouses as a hobby and you might create something really spectacular for other people to see.