4 Expert Tips To Choose A Bird House

Bird houses are an instant way to add charm to any backyard. In addition to the obvious benefit of attracting gorgeous birds, they also come in a wide variety of styles that can add a fun accent to your yard's style. Below we'll cover how to choose the correct style for your backyard, different bird house materials, various mount types and how different bird houses can attract certain species.

Table of Contents Hide

1. Which Style of Bird House Will Fit My Yard?

One of the key benefits of bird houses is using them as an accent in your backyard to achieve an overall look or theme. You have many choices, each of which fits best with a certain backyard style.

  • Barn: A classic look is getting a bird house with a barn style to it. These often have painted barn doors and other additions like a picture of a horse. Choose these for rustic and country looks.

  • Cottage: Another common look is making the bird house look like a miniature cottage, complete with window boxes and a textured roof. Often these come in a fairy-tale cottage theme. Choose these for classic, playful and romantic styles.

  • Geometric: These bird houses play with the outline of the structure in some way, for example, the whole house could have a dewdrop shape. They work well in modern or artsy backyards.

  • Theme building: This category covers anything where the bird house looks like a town building, such as a country store, waterfront resort or church. These look good in classic or country styles, since these types usually mimic very classic Main Street style buildings.

  • Colorful: Anything with multiple colors can be fun for an artsy backyard.

  • Cabin: Some bird houses look like a classic cabin you could find in the woods. These look good in rustic or country styles. 

  • Classic: This category covers any traditionally shaped bird house. They don't usually follow any kind of a theme, often having neutral coloring and slanted roofs. These can go in any backyard style, especially timeless/transitional ones. 

  • Shapes: Some bird houses are made to look like something else, like a large sunflower or an Adirondack chair. Choose these for unconventional backyards that make use of unusual art.

  • Natural texture: These focus heavily on outdoor textures like knobbed wood and moss. These fit right into rustic and natural backyards.

Freestanding Birdhouse Decor Wood
White with Brown Copper Roof Birdhouse
Hanging Wood and Metal Decorative Birdhouse
Classic House Wooden Birdhouse
Mint Green Cottage Birdhouse
Bird Hospital themed Red Birdhouse

2. Which Materials in Bird Houses Are Best?

Bird houses come in a few main types of materials, each with their own uses.

  • Wood: The most common material you'll find in a bird house is wood. The drawback is that the wood must be treated and regularly maintained with new stain or paint. Because bird houses are small, if the wood is not maintained, the house can degrade and fall off the mount before you know it. However, wood gives a natural texture that goes well with the great outdoors. Birds also tend to like wood, especially aged wood, because it mimics tree trunks where they would normally be nesting. Wood also stays cooler than metal. So, this is the go-to material if you want the house to be more functional than purely decorative.
Wooden Birdhouse in Blue and Green
Wooden Hanging Birdhouse in White and Green
Hanging Green Wooden Simple Birdhouse
Freestanding Wood Birdhouse in White
Freestanding Wood Cottage Birdhouse in White
Freestanding Wood Birdhouse in White and Green
  • Metal: Metal can give an antique, industrial or even rustic look if it's treated to look distressed. However, it might be too industrial of a texture for natural backyards. A major drawback is also that these tend to be more on the purely decorative side. As mentioned above, wood is best to attract birds.
Trailer Metal Hanging Birdhouse
Freestanding Metal House Birdhouse with Decor
Decor Hanging Brown Metal Birdhouse
Simple Metal Hanging Birdhouse
Decorative Metal Birdhouse with Bells
Freestanding Small Metal Birdhouse in Brown
  • Mixed materials: If your birdhouse has a very specific theme, such as a stone cottage, the outside of the house may be made of stone and the house could have a wooden base. Or the house may have a metal roof and wooden walls. These will normally go with a certain theme, so get them if you appreciate the decorative elements.

3. How Can I Use Bird Houses to Attract a Specific Bird Species?

You can also use your bird house to attract your favorite bird type. However, keep in mind that most bird houses are made to a standard size to attract most small to medium bird types. The houses themselves tend to be around 12 inches high by 8 inches deep by 6 inches wide, which suits many bird species. 

The main factor to keep in mind is how large the entry hole is. The hole has to be large enough for the bird you want to attract, but small enough to keep out larger birds and predators. For instance, a songbird would use a 1 ½-inch hole and wrens like a 1 ¼-inch hole, according to bird experts.

Certain birds also like certain types of bird house designs. For instance, robins like platforms/shelves and martins like apartment complex-type homes with multiple openings. The important step is to research what type of habitat your favorite bird needs and purchase accordingly. 

You might also search for bird houses by the type of bird you are looking to attract. For instance, if you put in "owl bird house," you might get a bird box made specifically for tawny owls.

Hanging Simple House Standard Hole Birdhouse
Red Horseshoe House Birdhouse
Anchor Blue Birdhouse with Bigger Hole
Bird Castle Birdhouse with Different Holes
Colorful Birdhouse for Small Birds
Large Rattan Birdhouse for Bigger Birds

4. What are the Different Mounting Types in Bird Houses?

A final point of consideration is how the box is mounted. While this feature pales in comparison to what type of bird you are trying to attract or which style you are trying to create in your backyard, it is important to know how you'll get the box up. Below are the main types of mounting styles so you can plan how you'll place your bird house.

  • Hanging: These typically have some sort of wire or rope extending from the top so you can easily hang the house from a branch or hook.

  • Post-mounted: A post-mounted style requires you to screw the box directly to a post, which is often sold separately. However, this is a great option if you have nowhere to conveniently hang the house.

  • Freestanding: These bird houses typically come attached to a stake that you drive into the ground. This is the option to look for if you want maximum convenience.

Hanging Wooden Decor Simple Birdhouse
Hanging Green Waving Birdhouse
Wooden Freestanding Birdhouse Set
Freestanding Wooden Church Christmas Birdhouse
Post Mounted Simple Wood Birdhouse
Post mounted Yellow Wooden Birdhouse

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.