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For the Birds

I am always adjusting things in my garden. Recently I decided to move the cabin style birdhouse in the front garden to make way for a new birdbath. I had not seen any birds around it, so I was confident it was empty. It is on a freestanding cast iron stand (originally in my dad's workshop with a piece of equipment bolted to it). It was way too heavy for me to pick up, but I was able to move it by 'walking' it, tilting it this way and that and swinging it forward. I moved it about fifteen feet and decided the new location was perfect.I noticed some mockingbirds in a nearby Japanese maple but thought nothing of it.

Well, the next day Lou heard chirps coming from the house! And, yes, the parents are the mockingbirds, who must have watched most nervously as I turned their formerly stable abode into a mobile home! I can imagine what the babies must have thought: Earthquake! Tornado! Or something like that.

Fortunately, no harm seems to have been done, and the mockingbirds continue to care for the babies. In fact, the mockingbirds love the new birdbath, so the neighborhood improvement project was well received despite the forced relocation.

I have an assortment of birdhouses in my garden. I have featured most of them in previous posts, but I thought it would be good to show them all together as a collection.

The following two bluebird houses are both occupied by bluebirds, despite that they are only about twenty feet apart. I have read that bluebird houses should be at least 100 yards apart.

Here are more birdhouses in my garden:

For those wanting some great ideas, Aldridge Gardens in Hoover has a fabulous collection of birdhouses. It was fun to examine their charming details as I walked though the gardens on a recent visit. The following rustic birdhouses are located near the entrance to the Gardens:For those unfamiliar with Southeast USA geography, the birdhouse in the lower left photo is shaped like my home state of Alabama.

Some more rustic birdhouses with interesting details:

I love the rustic birdhouses, but I also love these colorful houses, located near the main house at Aldridge Gardens:

I hope the birds are welcome in your own garden. If so, they will bring you nothing but joy.


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Reader Comments (30)

Hi Deb...what a wonderful collection of birdhouses! You have some great ones! I love birdhouses and have them throughout the garden. I am so glad to hear you have nesting bluebirds and mockers. We have 3 pair of mockers and they are so fun to watch. Thanks for showing your collection, I really enjoyed seeing it!

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristy

What a varied collection! We have a lot of nesting sites around the farm and I have spotted blue tits making the most of our outbuildings, but there are no nesting boxes at the moment. That will change once building work has been completed as we are committed to adding these safe havens around the farm. Looking at this post, I will seek out some in a style which will suit the birds and make humans smile.

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Gardening Shoe

Deb - You've opened my eyes to the world of birdhouses. I've only seen the functional ones that can be found in the diy store, but these are works of art. Probably palatial to little birds. I've read To Kill a Mockingbird since I was a teenager, but I didn't know what the bird looked like.

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterb-a-g

Look at all these amazing houses...I wish I had more room....my houses seem full at the moment awaiting babies to hatch! Love that bird bath

Good story about the mockingbirds, glad they adjusted and no harm done! I love the bird houses and just recently got the urge to get some for my garden. Are bluebird houses any different from others? Jeannine

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeannine

Geeeesh, I don't have a single birdhouse on my property and I feel terrible now...

We do have some robins that seem to love the insides of several Chamaecyparis, but I certainly don't have the development or 'mobile home park' that you have :-)

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterReed Pugh

What an amazing selection of bird houses, we are so much more traditional over here, plain wood so that it blends in with the trees where they are hung! We have quite a few, all occupied at the moment so soon we're going to have a baby boom at the bird feeders!

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPauline Mulligan

I am amazed that the birds went back to their abode after you moved it, just shows how strong natural parental instinct is! You have some lovely bird houses and I'm sure all the birds love them. I don't have any houses but the hedges are full of nesting birds including a Sardenian warbler that my husband spotted flying in with food for its chicks. As you say they give endless pleasure and also eat aphids and other pests from my plants. Christina

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Birdhouse delight! Some very nice ones there to get ideas from, and we also like all of the ones you have. We thought it was very fitting too that one of your bluebird birdhouses is blue :)

Glad to hear that the the birdhouse move didn't interrupt the caring business of the mockingbird, and they carried on as usual. With the bonus of having a nearby birdbath too!

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

Wow, what an amazing collection of birdhouses. I have only a plain one for chickadees, and it seems to be unoccupied.

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason

You have such a great assortment of birdhouses -- what lucky birds in your area (except for the poor uprooted mockingbirds that you so unceremoniously moved!)

We tried birdhouses, but the slaughter of the bluebirds by the aggressive house sparrows was hard to watch. The sparrows would not just evict the bluebirds, but would peck them and harass them and we finally decided to take down any houses.

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

Beautiful and inspiring photos as always and yes, the poor little babies must have thought the world was coming to an end! Glad the parents were okay with the new house move! LOL! And I want bird houses for our pond and creek area. It's 'on my list'.

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJody Raines

Wow, you really have a lot of birdhouses! I particularly like the mosaic one, I have a soft spot for anything mosaic. Pretty!

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobinL

I love all your birdhouses, and your story about moving the birds to a new 'neighborhood' was so funny! It must be fun to see all the birds in your garden. I love your bird bath, too.

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHolleyGarden

What a great collection of bird houses, you must have quite a family there now. I have only recently installed a bird house in my yard. The birds are experimenting but no occupancy yet. As soon as I have some good pictures I will write my own post about it. In the meantime best of luck with yours :)

May 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGraziella

Hi Deb! I really enjoyed your pictures of birdhouses, now that I have one with birds in my garden (other 4 are still empty though) I feel like building some new, prettier ones.
I liked the white squared one with the spike over the roof, in your garden, and the 'vintage' ones with the plate roof at Aldridge. I'm really glad the little birds didn't got hurt nor abandoned by their parents because of the move, I'm kind of scared of getting near my great tits nest in the garden because I fear they'd abandon the nest (but that's another excuse not to weed in there...)

May 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlberto

The birds are most definitely welcome in our garden Deb and I thought they were spoiled until I spotted yours with a swinging bench. (fabulous)

May 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlistair

hi deb, I feel very heartened by this post. I have a few birdhouses in the garden, but I don't think they have ever been inhabited. Now I won't give up and will keep hoping ... although mine are not as creative and quirky as yours. Could it be that birds are very fussy and upwardly mobile (lol) and insist on upmarket contemporary styles of houses?

May 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercatmint

You do have a beautiful collection of bird houses....I love all of them. Poor little birds, lol...they must have really wondered what on earth?

I keep forgetting the chickadees are nesting in the high on a pole bird house in my shade garden, and start to water, or putter, and she flies out. Both of us are starting to get used to each other a little bit more. The renters last year were more easy going, and had no problems with me.


So you shook up the baby mockingbirds? Oh dear - glad all is well that ends well.
I often move heavy things any way I can - at least it gets done.
Loved all the fantastic birdhouses - some people sure have good imaginations!

May 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAstrid

Wonderful! I'm glad you showed the collection as I am newer to the blog and had not seen them all. I'm also pleased to hear the bluebird nests can be closer. I will now break that 100 foot rule. Are the mockingbird houses any particular size? Thanks again.

May 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCecilia Duval

Too funny about the birds in the birdhouse! Thankfully all ended well! I love the rustic birdhouses. They are so cute!

May 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIndie

Hello, everyone! Thanks so much for visiting, and I truly appreciate all of your comments. A couple of you asked about specific birdhouses. Jeannine, the main thing about bluebird houses is that the opening should be 1.5 inches in diameter, and Cecilia, a house for mockingbirds needs to be large enough to accommodate a ten inch mockingbird and family. Mockingbirds don't typically use manmade boxes, which is why I didn't suspect they were in there. However, they will sometimes use natural type houses, especially ones made of cedar, which is what mine is made from. Deborah

May 13, 2013 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

You have the most varied and beautiful set of birdhouses. I add a few each year. The birds use them sometimes, but not always. Perhaps I should add more. Excellent post!

May 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Sage Butterfly

It's a good thing that the birds didn't try to dive bomb you for inadvertently kidnapping the babies. The design with the porch swing is so cute. The rustic designs suit your garden and the woodsy background. I leave a dead birch trunk up in a prominent spot in my garden because the birds love it, and a family of chickadees is currently living in an old woodpecker hole there.

May 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNortehrn Shade

Oh, I just love those birdhouses, such a wonderful selection! My garden's quite small, so there's not room for many, but you've made me think about maybe adding another one. So glad the re-located birds are enjoying their new spot.

Such a fun collection and great to see all of them in one post. It is great that you have such a high occupancy rate!

some weird and wonderful birdhouses, thanks for sharing,

like you when I have something heavy to move I 'walk' it a long, glad the baby birds were alright after their rock'n'roll journey, I like your birdbath, very nice, Frances

May 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIsland Threads

Oh, the poor Mockingbird mama! But all seems OK. I love those birdhouses--both yours and the ones at Aldridge Gardens. I'm thinking a mosaic tile birdhouse is in my future. ;-)

May 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPlantPostings

I love your collection of birdhouses. Maybe those mockingbirds had been thinking, "This cabin is nice, but it would be perfect if it were closer to the birdbath!" :-)

May 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJean
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