Our lovely birdhouse has been in the garage for eight years – but it only feels like two.
The same year we bought our cottage in the woods we spotted a charming birdhouse at a local fair and snapped it up. It was made by a man with a sweet Kentucky or Tennessee drawl whose card is lost to me but he had a lovely smile and a wonderful selection of handmade bird houses.
Ours is my favorite Gustavian blue and built on an old barnwood platform that sits on a board nailed to a length of porch post.
Both of us immediately loved details like the steps leading up to the white perch and the little extension on the side. But with our renovation, furnishing, landscaping, a lightning strike, underground electrical cable break, appliance repairs, replacements and a host of other things to do, we never got around to placing the birdhouse outdoors.
One obstacle was finding the right person to do such a small job, which includes a lot of digging in very rocky soil, plus figuring out how to anchor it. Then I saw a post by Pam at Our Adventures in Home Improvement and spotted her lovely birdhouses – yes, plural. Pam generously shared her secret for putting them in the ground: use a mailbox anchor from Home Depot! Of course, or du-u-uh, as I’m fond of saying. How logical. So now that I know how to get it done (thank you Pam!), I need to figure out where to put it. But first, a little tour.
This is the side of the extension, with some green paint in addition to the chippy blue and the tar-colored corrugated roof.
The black Gothic window on the opposite side matches the roof. It makes me wonder if this could have been intended as a little country church?
Right now, my first choice for placing it is a mossy knoll on the side of the yard which has a wagon wheel the previous owners left and some scrubby, transplanted azaleas which I’ve sorely neglected as I’m a fourth-rate gardener who lacks sufficient interest in the pruning and fertilizing that make things look good later. Of course, it’s looking a bit barren this week (the grass only turned green two days ago because it is so hair-tearingly cold here – still).
My other thought is to park it on the right of the shed, which is no beauty so why call attention to it? However, it’s brown and the birdhouse is blue and they will look good together.
The shed area looks much better in the summer.
As I’ve been writing this post, a diabolical thought occurred to me. Why not just keep the birdhouse in the sun room, inside the house and repurpose the post eventually for our new mailbox?
Allison keeps her birdhouse collection in the pantry — along with the breadcrumbs. So, while I figure out where to place the house permanently, I found a fancier spot for it than the garage.
Oddly (or perhaps not so oddly) it coordinates perfectly with the table and it improves this corner of the sunroom as a sculpture would. It can stay here until we decide on a permanent place to nail it home.
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I like the mossy knoll. Very picturesque and will suit the bird house, and vice-versa, I think.
But other things to consider: Are there any advantages or disadvantages to the birds either place? (Exposure, noise, shelter, etc.) –And can you see the activity at the birdhouse in either spot from inside the house?
I still like the mossy knoll much better than the shed.
My main consideration would be could you see it easily from whereever you end up putting it. If you spend the bulk of your time at the cottage say – reading on a settee in the sunroom, then make sure you can see it from that vantage point. If it’s in the kitchen, then frame it in the window view.
Jane F says
rhome, I agree about the placement. I know nothing about birds except we have a lot of colorful ones who appear to like our flowering cherry tree that’s in the main kitchen window sightline. No noise here (except geese honking)– it’s a bit like a park with a large eliptical lawn front and back, woods all around the border and wetlands down the cliff in back..
Yes, absolutely can see the activity on the mossy knoll — in fact it’s closest to the house and in the sightline of our sun room.
Thanks so much for weighing in. As clear as I can be about seeing someone else’s house, I’m sometimes fuzzy about my own!
I vote for the mossy knoll too. It would be pretty inside, but think how much prettier to see baby birds emerging!
Jane T says
Bird Nerd checking in here 😉
My first question would be…are you sure this was made to be a functioning birdhouse and not a decorative one? The hole needs to be a certain size for birds to be able to utilize it. If not, and you want to place it outside for decorative reasons, you should cover up the holes.
The hole size is also important because you have a number of predators in your area and you don’t want to invite a snake to climb up that pole and be able to poke its head inside the house for a peek 😉
I vote for the sunroom.
Love the birdhouse, Jane. I would have to keep that one inside. That said, I had several nice birdhouses outside at our last home. DH mounted one on a wooden post, one on a copper pipe. Sadly, building got the best of me and I left both of them (one was a Mother’s Day gift 🙁 ) Maybe I could sneak over the fence and remove in the darkness of night…
JaneT, there was a section of wooden fencing straight out my kitchen sink window. I bought numerous inexpensive birdhouses to hang on either side of a trellis on that section. Some were made to be purely decorative, others built for birds. The birds didn’t care. They made nests in many of them each spring, as well as the window box on the kitchen window and hanging fern on the front porch. The babies did fine, with the exception of the fern nest with its visiting chipmunks. The large church house (now on top of armoire in lower level den) was outside. Huge openings. House wrens built in it often and predators were never a problem.
Jane F says
No idea on function — guess we’d find out fairly quickly if the birds can use it or not. As for predators, too many to worry about. We have non-poisonous black snakes, the coyote, foxes etc. and some I don’t even know about but lots of birds (including hummings) so I expect it’s not super dangerous around here.
Besides, I’d really like to get rid of the nest on top of the automatic outdoor lights at the top of the eaves on the garage because the poop falls down and it’s too high to reach.
lax — We can see the entire yard from either kitchen or sunroom. I spend most of my time in the library on this dang computer. Reading time has become as much of a luxury as caviar and foie gras. Almost unaffordable.
I love the birdhouse!! Since it’s so cute, I might leave it in the sunroom, but would also find another one to put out in the mossy knoll area. It looks like a perfect place for one.
Have a great day! (and thanks for the shout-out) 🙂
Jane T says
As I stated, I am a bird nerd 😉
Not saying birds will not come to a house, but rather there are specific guidelines to providing a safe nesting area. For anyone who is serious about attracting a specific species of bird, there are numerous articles on what to (and not to) do with regard to providing a safe habitat.
Tricia Rose says
What a lovely post – your birdhouse is delightful, and for the rest of the afternoon I’ll be entertaining wonderful visions of happy birds nesting!
Oh, all the real important reasons aside — like concern for predators and size of holes, I vote for the mossy knoll!
I think your shed is cute ;D Thanks for stoppng by my cottage btw… and teh birdhouse does look excellent on your table 😀