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Birdhouses in the Garden

Birdhouses in the Garden
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“Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.”

~Chinese proverb~

Birds and birdhouses have always been a part of the gardening experience (examples of early bird houses in museums date as far back as the mid 1600’s) and can be enjoyed throughout the seasons in New England.

Adding a decorative birdhouse to the garden may spark a hobby.

Adding a decorative birdhouse to the garden may spark a hobby.

The presence of wild birds around the home is a constant reminder of the rhythm of nature, which bird watching can connect us to. It’s not unusual for a full-fledged backyard bird watching hobby to result from the addition of a decorative birdhouse to the landscape. Once hooked, many backyard birders keep logs of the species of birds they encounter and take notes on their nesting habits.

Bird watching is also a source of endless hours of quiet entertainment and enjoyment. Strategically installing a few birdhouses and feeders near berry trees and/or a water source such as a birdbath—or an area where puddles accumulate after rain—will encourage birds to frequent the area. Added benefits to attracting wild birds to backyard and garden areas are that birds eat many pest insects and also play an important role in wild fruit and berry seed distribution with their droppings.

Although many birds migrate south for the winter, a number of species stay in New England. Year round bird species include: cardinals, nuthatches, chickadees, starlings, blue jays, sparrows, finches, woodpeckers, mourning doves and wrens. Providing a steady supply of suet and seeds all winter long will keep our feathered friends close by.

Today's birdhouses come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Today’s birdhouses come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Bird houses come in a variety of shapes, styles and sizes. Some are rustic and others are decorative. Brenda’s Bloomers in Cape Neddick, Maine offers whimsical bird houses and industrial birdhouses. Multi family martin houses and folk art birdhouses. Simple and up-cycled birdhouses. Collecting birdhouses that compliment your personal garden style and taste will make your birding experience all the more enjoyable; and when multiple bird houses are occupied by a variety of species of birds, the joy of the whole experience is multiplied.

Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley Fleming-Wigglesworth is a certified Maine Master Gardener and award winning newspaper columnist from Kennebunk, Maine. She has been writing for the York County Coast Star for more than a decade as a freelance columnist and features writer. In 2010 she began writing her own gardening column “The Master Gardener’s Notebook” for Tourist News. She also teaches gardening classes at local schools and colleges
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