Places birds sleep: A big look at a lot of birdhouses

spatzenfavela sparrow favela birdhouse© Alfred Jansen + Martin Langhorst

Protecting birds is a worthwhile cause for many reasons, but it doesn't hurt to remember the many ways they benefit humans. Birds keep insect populations under control, spread seeds, pollinate plants and in cities, they even help keep things clean by eating dropped food or picking up pieces of trash to use in their nests.

As cities upgrade old buildings, many of the holes, cracks and other nooks and crannies birds have used as shelter are sealed up, which reduces potential nesting spots. Since we're pretty much to blame for destroying their homes, we can help out by putting up bird houses to keep our bug-eating buddies flying around.

Here are a bunch from the TreeHugger archive.

Birdhouses for Multiple Birds

Urban birds need places to nest and thankfully a number of artists have found beautiful and creative ways to address this problem.

Andreu Carulla's NeighBirdHood

Andreu Carulla's NeighBirds is a clever take on the birdhouse. Each hexagon unit works as a stand-alone birdhouse, but the genius of the design is when you combine birdhouses to make a NeighBirdHood. Buy via Utoopic. More on TreeHugger.
Neighbirds Modular Birdhouse© Andreu Carulla

Happy City Birds Project by Thomas “Dambo” Winther

Street artist Dambo’s Happy City Birds project upcycles materials and trash into birdhouses. The birdhouses themselves become art that humans can enjoy and beautify a building.
Thomas Dambo Winther Birdhouses in Beirut© Happy City Birds

"Spontaneous City in the Tree of Heaven" Bird House Installation

This London-based project went up a couple years ago and had different sized spaces for various species of birds or even insects or other wildlife.


Artists Build a 'Shanty Town' for Evicted Urban Birds

Another take on solving the "homelessness" problem for birds is this favella-inspired birdhouse.
spatzenfavela sparrow favela birdhouse© Alfred Jansen + Martin Langhorst

Birdhouse / Treehouse Combo

An artist in Japan created this birdhouse/treehouse combo that in addition to providing homes for multiple birds, also becomes an observation point for birdwatchers. See how it works here.

Decorative Birdhouses or Birdhouses as Art

These birdhouses are beautiful, but likely best suited as interior art instead of being exposed to the elements. My favorite piece of this bunch is this one:

Brass Birdhouse Made From 2,500 Reclaimed Bullets

L.E.FT Birdhouse © Joe Kesrouani

Bike Rack BirdHouse

Lauren Thomas and Jennifer Karam of Dimini have designed a cute and clever bike hanger that holds a helmet, too.

Fake Trees Art Installation is a Home for Migrating Birds

Chilean architects Claudio Magrini and Emilio Marin were commissioned create art to improve the visuals on a road leading to Santiago. The goal was to create an 'ecological bridge' to birds between the nearby mountains and the sea.
Bird Houses at Metal Trees in the road to Santiago de Chile at Valle de Chicureo Photo

Birdhouse Made from Old Catalogues

Artist: Michael Young


Artist: Tozio Azumi


Artist: Paul Smith

Modern or Designer Birdhouses

Created by Etienne Esmenjaud of UK-based company Desinature, the "Mr. and Mrs. Birdee" birdhouses are shaped to best accommodate species like robins, wrens, and pied wagtails, The house is laser-cut from PEFC-certified birch (the UK equivalent of FSC) and is shipped flatpack to reduce shipping costs. For a bit of fun DIY, you assemble yourself, after soaking in water to make the pieces pliable.

Give a Bird a Stylish Homenathandanials/Promo image

ceramic design birdhouse photo

Roof Tile Birdhouse by Dutch designer Klaas Kuiken

While we don't want birds living in our attics or under roof shingles, there are ways to create spaces for nests, such as this creative roof shingle.
birdhouse roof photo

Flatpack Birdhouse by Thomas Rasmussen

parts of birdhouse photo

flatpack birdhouse rasmussen photo

Recycled Material Bird House by Peter Marigold

Created by Peter Marigold, these birdhouses are made from old shop signs and wood from crates.
bird houses help protect the birdspeter marigold/Promo image

This onion shaped house is made by a co-op in Bangladesh that helps rural women by teaching them skills, providing design assistance and access to credit.

DIY Birdhouses

Now that you've seen a lot of differently shaped and styled birdhouses, you may start seeing potential bird houses in junk around your house. Here are some you can make yourself.

Old Skateboard Birdhouse

This house is another piece by Thomas "Dambo" Winther, which uses a broken skateboard as the roof.
Birdhouse made from skateboard© Happy City Birds

Tea Pot Birdhouse.

This one may be more decorative or better suited as art, but it was certainly a creative way to reuse an old pot.
bird houses help protect the image

Golf Club Birdhouse

Old golf clubs aren't too hard to find. This house uses the handle as a roof piece and the club head as a perch.
recycled bird house photo

Watering-can Birdhouse

watering can bird house photo
Photo: Brian Carlisle/

Minimalist Gourd Birdhouse

Gourd's are easy to grow if you have a fence or trellis. After the growing season, just dry out the gourd, cut a hole and you're pretty much done.

Folk Art Birdhouses Use Reclaimed Materials

Jasmin covered these great houses way back in 2007, writing, "Hundreds of these folk art birdhouses are hammered together each year by the developmentally disabled residents of Brown's Foster Home, providing not only some income, but also a sense of accomplishment and dignity, as well."

Wine Box Birdhouse

Give a Bird a Stylish Homeatomic birdhouses/Promo image

Simple Box Birdhouse

reclaimed birdhouseGeen Heart/Screen capture

Which birdhouse did you like best? Have you built your own? Tell us about it or post a link in the comments.

Places birds sleep: A big look at a lot of birdhouses
Birds are pretty great at eating bugs, but they also get tired. Here's where they sleep.

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