There are birdhouses and birdhouses, and being a great one for long-distance drives, I have seen some pretty bizarre examples dotting the lawns of American houses. There were others that were downright beautiful, not to mention some that were downright eccentric. This article pays homage to all those fancy birdhouses, as well as tells you about some grassroots stuff like prices.
Carriage birdhouses: These are straight out of English country estates, and can be quite regal in appearance. Made of reinforced wood, these birdhouses are built to endure fluctuations in weather conditions and temperature. They also facilitate easy cleaning courtesy removable roofs, precisely measured bird entry points, luxury (!) bird chambers, and built-in post mounting capabilities. The ones I saw were roughly 25 inches high, and 10 inches wide and deep. I made further inquiries and found that these birdhouses are mostly available with Copper Verde, Bright Copper, or Cedar Shingle roofs, in a variety of finishes. At an average, they cost about $240.
Mansion birdhouses: These are usually four-sided wooden structures, and luxuriously appointed ones too. The one I spotted had at least eight compartments, all of them beautifully suited for both roosting and nesting. They usually have copper or wooden roofs, which are detachable to facilitate cleaning. On enquiry, I found that these houses are accompanied by mounting bracket and screws, and can accommodate most bird species. Made of smooth finish, rot-resistant wood, the houses contain no toxic chemicals and are so good-looking that no bird that has nested here once will go anywhere else, I'm sure. However, all this luxury doesn't come cheap, and you may have to shell out close to $400 for a piece.
An even larger mansion: I'm talking about those 12-room jobs manufactured by Coates. These have been around for some time and retain their popularity. The ones I have seen are all made either of aluminum or stainless steel, and have hinged doors, ceiling plates, reflective ventilated roofs, a solid top perch, and door plugs. Truly five-star habitation, it's relatively cheap at around $100 apiece.
Cowboy Boot birdhouses: I saw this parked on the lawn of a semi-detached and liked it so much that I rang the doorbell and asked about it. Mrs. Evans, who answered the door, said her fancy birdhouse was hand-made from recycled boots, tin and barbwire. She reported a steady stream of small inhabitants like wrens and chickadees, and the opening suited these small birds perfectly. I later discovered that these models are sold for around $40 apiece.
Bed & Breakfast birdhouses: This was a really cute item, with a split-level bed and breakfast theme. The material, as far as I could see, was wood adorned with metal ivy inlay, with a welcoming plaque above the front door! This is the cheapest fancy birdhouse I have come across, at around $15.
I could go on in this vein, but once you go online, you will find thousands of examples of fancy birdhouses, but remember that fancy does not always translate into pricey. The examples in this article were selected because they satisfy the twin criteria of utility and beauty. Make them yours too.
For more information about birdhouses or related products, choose from one of the following links:
Bird Houses | Bluebird Houses