For the birds— and gardener
Birdhouses are more than places for twiggy nests. Think of them as diminutive landscape focal points.
Photos by John Knouff
Just like people houses, birdhouses come in an astounding range of colors, sizes and styles to suit any budget and taste. “The birds do use them,” says Sasha Mikheidze, a bird biologist who works in sales at Wild Birds Unlimited on the northwest side of Columbus. “(But) they don’t care about the artistic factor.”
People, however, do. And sometimes one house isn’t enough.
Such is the case with Susan Furci of Grove City. Her backyard adjoins to a nature preserve where the mature trees always draw birds to the area. Like many gardeners, she encourages avian visitors with food, water and a birdhouse.
But about 10 years ago, she spotted a magazine article on using a grouping of birdhouses to transform a ho-hum privacy fence. And so her collecting began.
She regularly house hunts at Hobby Lobby and occasionally makes finds at the Columbus Arts Festival. Most of the houses last a couple of years, some much longer.
Along with drawing admiring glances from human visitors, goldfinches, wrens and other birds occasionally take up residence.
“It’s fun to hear their little chirps and watch them fly in and out,” she says.
Few other designer touches offer such a wealth of appeals for so little investment.
Michael Leach is a freelance writer, garden coach and consultant.