Adding shelter for nesting birds is a must for any backyard birder. There are many things to consider when choosing nesting boxes, since different birds have different requirements. You can actually attract different types of birds with nesting boxes based on the size of the entrance hole, the location, and more. A plain wood box that meets their requirements is just as likely to attract birds as more unique birdhouses, but it’s still fun to choose one that adds whimsy to your garden. The question is… will birds actually use it?
We’ve rounded up some decorative unique birdhouses that give your garden style, but also are practical for birds. Here are a few things to look for in any birdhouse, decorative or not:
- No Perch. Many birdhouses include a perch of some type outside the entrance hole. These are both unnecessary and pose a possible threat to nesting birds. Perches make it easier for predators and invasive birds to gain access to the house. Look for birdhouses without this feature.
- Easy to Clean. Good birdhouses should be cleaned out after each nesting season. Choose a birdhouse that makes it easy to get inside and clean, usually through a removable roof or back panel.
- Drainage Holes. Pick a birdhouse with a sturdy roof to keep out the weather, but also one with drainholes in case some rain blows in. In many cases, especially with wood boxes, drain holes are easy to add yourself with a drill, so this may not be a deal-breaker, but it’s something to consider before buying.
To better your chance of attracting nesting birds with these 9 unique birdhouses, or any nesting box, click here for some basic birdhouse guidelines.
Stone Cottage Birdhouse
This little charmer has adorable accessories but still meets the requirements, including a removable back wall for cleaning. One note: It’s probably better to mount this box on a wall or post rather than hanging it from a branch; it will provide nesting birds more stability.
Where to get it: Plow & Hearth ($40)
Natural Milled Log Birdhouse
These custom unique birdhouses are made to order from your choice of pine or birch logs. You can even specify the hole size you’d like for attracting specific species.
Where to get it: Art of the North / Etsy ($18)
Ceramic birdhouses have a long history – pottery used for nesting birds has been excavated from 18th century Williamsburg, VA. These birdhouses are sturdy and stand up to the elements. This one has a bottom that unscrews for easy cleaning, and comes in 4 different colors.
Where to get it: Lowe’s ($40)
Artist Mike Merritt’s unique birdhouses are made from reclaimed materials and feature woven metal sides that provide great ventilation. He has a wide variety of styles available on his Etsy store.
Where to get it: Mike Merritt Art / Etsy ($65)
Who can resist a cheery sunflower? This small wooden birdhouse is perfect for wrens or other tiny birds. It has a cleanout hole on the back for convenience.
Where to get it: Backyard Chirper ($29)
When your best friend is a bird, you don’t mind sharing your doghouse with his pals! Snoopy and Woodstock adorn this adorable birdhouse, which includes ventilation and drainholes and can be hung or mounted.
Where to get it: Donny’s Yard Art / Etsy ($38)
Mango Wood Birdhouse
This simple shape is perfect for small cavity nesters like finches and wrens. It’s made of mango wood, with drainage holes and a hatch in the back for cleaning. Choose from green, orange, blue, or purple.
Where to get it: Home Depot ($35)
Grey Shingled Birdhouse
This lovely creation proves that birdhouses can be well-made, sturdy, and very attractive all at the same time. The real shingles on the roof add a special touch.
Where to get it: Northern Birdhouses / Etsy ($55)
Novelty birdhouses aren’t always great for birds, but that doesn’t have to be the case. This is a good example of one that’s actually designed with birds in mind – notice there’s no perch, and it does provide ventilation, drainage holes, and a cleanout hatch. Whether it will actually “catch” any nesting birds… well, you’ll have to try it and see!
Where to get it: Amazon ($35)
Want to try your hand at building your own unique birdhouses instead? Click here for our favorite DIY projects ideas.