Sunday, February 5th, 2017...2:50 pm

TheGardenLady’s Birdhouses

[Disclaimer: The birdhouses in this video are not TheGardenLady’s birdhouses]

This GardenLady has been trying to “decorate” her garden with birdhouses. I have had birdhouses for a long time, but I keep looking to add more.

The curious thing is that not all my birdhouses have attracted birds. For example, my son nailed a half dozen unpainted nesting boxes to as many trees. I never saw a bird even look them over let alone move in. But my squirrels sharpened their teeth on them so now even if there were a new bird in town, he or she could not use them. (see here)

I then bought a darling ceramic birdhouse. It did not have a removable roof or base or any way for me to clean it out. I had read that it is important to clean out birdhouses. But because it was so charming, I hung it on a branch outdoors anyway. One little bird had the same aesthetic as I and moved in immediately, filled it with twigs and had her family in it. A bird moved in each year after that until I saw that the twigs the birds had brought in reached almost to the ceiling. So, helpful me, I got tweezers and pulled out of the small entrance opening as much of the nesting material as I could reach so that, I thought, birds could fit back in. That year I cleaned it, no bird moved in. But the following year (was it desperate?) another wee bird brought twigs in and rebuilt the nest inside that darling birdhouse. I learned my lesson and never helped with the housekeeping of that house after that. Birds continued to live in that uncleaned ceramic house until the chain rusted and broke and the birdhouse fell. (see here)

Then I started adding to my birdhouse collection. I bought a cute little birdhouse that looked like a country store. It had all sorts of things on the front porch for sale, things like a bundle of hay. I thought it was cute but my squirrels must have hated it. Every day I came out that birdhouse was missing. The squirrels had pushed it over and thrown it down the hill so many times that the birdhouse fell apart. Did that mean I have to ask my squirrels for decorating advice?

Now I have three cutesy birdhouses on a tree all painted to look like some type of building in the community. No squirrels have objected. But neither have birds shown any interest.

Then I bought a very plain unpainted birdhouse from an elderly gent who makes and sells them from home. A friend discovered and recommended his bird house because the first day she hung hers, a bird flew in to nest. I was not as lucky as my friend, I had no takers for a month. But now, a bird is overwintering in it. And I have the pleasure of watching it as I sit and drink my coffee.

Why do I want more birds in my yard? There are numerous reasons besides their prettiness and song. Among other things, birds eat insects so that you don’t need (as much) pesticides. They eat the seeds of weeds so that it keeps the weeds down. Some birds pollinate flowers and watching the birds is not only educational but is also a stress reliever.

Today I read that the United Kingdom has a National Nestbox Week. Their Nestbox is what we in the states call a Birdhouse. National Nestbox Week starts on the day we celebrate Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14th and lasts till Feb. 21st. What a lovely idea!. We should march to demand our government name a National Bird House week here in the states to encourage more birds to come into our gardens. And even if we don’t get such a National holiday, we should still add bird houses to our gardens. I wish I were clever enough to make my own. (see here and here)

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