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Search Magazine

12 incredible and inspiring birdhouses

24 April 2014

From modern minimalist designs to whimsical creations that would be more at home in Middle Earth, each of these decorative bird boxes is sure to inspire anyone who has ever considered making their own nestbox.

London Fieldworks birdhouse
Patterned after Benito Mussolini's palace in Rome, the style of this birdhouse is inspired by Mike Hansell's book Built by Animals. It is made from untreated spruce ply and can be found in King's Wood, Kent.

In Birdhouses of the World, author Anne Schmauss collects over forty fun and funky designer bird boxes from every corner of the globe. From delicately discreet hideaways designed to fit in with the natural environment, to enormous treetop castles capable of housing a whole flock, each of these captivating nestboxes demonstrates that functional structures needn’t be boring.

Schmauss also meets the creators of these bird boxes - men and women who feel inspired to build these intricate little houses. Some are artists interested in turning an everyday object into a sculptural piece, others are builders, blacksmiths or carpenters looking to bring some fun into the functional. Materials are painstakingly sought, often salvaged, and many houses can take weeks to build - the larger ones even years.

Birdhouses of the World by Anne Schmauss, published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang.

Tips for building your own birdhouse:

  • Ventilation: make sure there is room for air to circulate and heat to escape by providing gaps between the roof and body.
  • Access: a perch is not necessary. Nesting birds do not need them and they can make it easier for larger predatory birds to get to eggs and chicks.
  • Drainage: a functional birdhouse should have small holes in the bottom for waste material and water.
  • Ladder: a ladder on the inside will allow chicks to leave the nest. This can be made by attaching chicken wire to the inside.
  • Hole: the size of the hole will depend on the bird you want to attract. Some species, such as robins, prefer an open box.
  • Roof: the roof should be pitched to allow water to drain away. There should also be an overhang to prevent water getting into the nest box.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.