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Hand-Made Birdhouses: Bring Life to Your Porch and Yard

One way to bring the outdoors a little closer, even when you’re inside, is to build a birdhouse. Bringing songbirds, migratory species, and even hummingbirds within view of your kitchen window is simple and inexpensive, and it can also provide lasting benefits to your garden and your local ecosystem.

What Do Birdhouses Offer You?

Your yard is your own private green space, like a park that you can enjoy from the comfort of your porch, and wildlife can improve your personal patch of the great outdoors no matter how big or small your yard may be. A birdhouse draws birds into your space. When birds make their home on your property, they get used to having human neighbors. Although this isn’t enough to compromise their natural predator-aversion instincts, it does help amateur and professional bird-watchers enjoy more interactions with these animals. During the nesting season, birds spend lots of time guarding their young, and you can watch with your own family as a new generation of babies grows every year.

Feeding the Birds

Bird feeders can help to attract a variety of finely feathered friends. Placing a feeder within easy view of your kitchen, bedroom, or living room windows can ensure a good view of nature’s colorful display. Different seed mixes attract different kinds of birds, so this should be taken into account when choosing what type of feed to put out: If your area tends to see more of one type of bird than another, you might decide to cater to what those birds are most likely to eat, or you might put out a different type of seed in the hopes that you’ll attract new birds to the area. If in doubt, black oil sunflower seeds are a good choice for most types of birds.

How Do Birds Help Your Garden?

Whether they nest in a house or come to visit a feeder, birds can also help your garden. They enjoy eating the seeds from the weeds in your yard just as much as they like store-bought seeds, so attracting birds to your yard can mean less weeding. Many bird species also eat grubs, snails, and other garden pests.

What Do Birdhouses Offer the Environment?

Birds you watch from your porch may be international travelers. Migratory species are essential links in the food chain for multiple ecosystems, including the one you live in. As humanity’s needs demand more and more development, many birds lose their nesting grounds, food sources, and cover from predators, but putting up a birdhouse can help these threatened animals to thrive. Birds control pests, and many help spread native plants through pollination. They also carry seeds and help ensure that you have lots of healthy, beautiful blooms to enjoy the following spring.

How to Create Your Own Birdhouse

No matter how crafty or handy with tools you may be, there is a birdhouse design perfect for your situation. Most traditional birdhouses are made of wood; you can either get creative with sticks you find outdoors or buy lumber at the hardware store. If you have wood left over from another project, such as building a new porch or shed, you can easily transform the scraps into a lovely home or feeder for birds.

Recycled materials also make great feeders and houses. Large plastic bottles are a favorite, but you can make a good, attractive birdhouse out of just about anything with a bit of ingenuity.

  By Alan Bernau Jr.

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