I love bird houses. I'm not sure why, really. Well, I guess if I put some thought into it, I could figure it out. My Grandma Tiny always had bird feeders right outside her kitchen window so we could watch the birds. I grew up a warm climate in a town with lots of trees (it was a mill town after all) so there were lots of different birds. Anyway, bird feeders and bird houses, I just really like them. Recently, I have purged my home for showing, I realized something. Birds are hoarder's. They build great big nests in tight little spaces and each year, they build more! We had a cute little house hanging in our back yard that housed a pair of wrens. Every year for many years they added to their little nest in the little bird house and raised baby wrens. Unfortunately, the house got caught in a terrible wind storm and fell to the ground, broken. I hate it for the wrens! They will be looking for their home very soon and it is not there!! What is our little wren family going to do? Will they know if we put up a different house? It won't have the same "smell". Plus, if we put up a new one and they move back in then we move, will the new family care for them if we leave the bird house behind? I don't think I am going to put a house out simply because I couldn't stand leaving them and not knowing if they will be cared for. That house isn't the only place we have bird nests. They seem to love us or realize that we love them. We have bird nests all over our trees. I can't begin to count the number of baby birds I have guarded from the neighbor cat while they hopped around the yard trying to learn to fly. One year I even put one back in the nest thinking it simply fell out only to watch it hope out again as soon as I pulled my hands back. Babies grow so fast.
I also like to use bird houses in my indoor decoration. They are cute and can even be beautiful. I purchase them from the store (hobby lobby usually has some super cute ones) and make them myself. Scrape wood, milk jugs, gourds, scrape tin or license plates, bent spoons, bottle caps, colorful paint; you can pretty much use anything to build one. It doesn't have to fancy to work well or even to look good. I want to make a bunch of different houses to hang on the fence above our garden. I will be waiting for our new house to do it but still have even intention of getting it done.
There are a couple of things to remember if you are making or selecting a house though. If you actually want birds to use it: 1. make sure it is ventilated 2. make sure you can open it to remove old nests (some birds will return to the same nest over and over but the house will eventually get very full) 3. Place it high enough off the ground that other animals (or children for that matter) can not get to it easily. Birds won't pick a house they deem unsafe. 4. The whole should not be very big or too near the bottom. They fit into tiny spaces and need room to build the nest.
Alrighty, so go build a house. Here's how. I've made them without plans as well. Either way, have fun and use your imagination!! Yea bird houses!!