Truly functional works of art, ceramic bird houses available today offer a touch of elegance and charm to any bird lover’s outdoor oasis or indoor collection. As a highly desired homestead for our favorite avian friends, the jury is still out! Many people question whether ceramic bird houses are a good choice because they might become too cold in the early spring or too hot in the summer for the nestlings to survive or cause possible harm to the eggs. Others have expressed concerns about the potential for the glaze to harm the birds; as with any bird house finish, keep away from any glaze known to contain a lead or other harmful chemicals.
A quick study of the birding blogs shows a large number of happily occupied ceramic birdhouses. First of all, clay is known to have strong insulation properties. Most bird lovers compensate for temperature concerns by keeping the house in a shaded spot during the summer and bringing them inside when the weather turns too cold. There are no reports of dead nestlings discovered during the end-of-season cleanout. I recommend that you find one that appeals to you and suits the needs of your favorite birds and give it a try. Of course you could also place a few wooden birdhouses out at the same time to offer your feathered guests their choice of accommodations.
Hand-crafted by skilled potters, ceramic bird houses offer the perfect addition for the indoor collection. These ceramic pieces come in different sizes and shapes; however, they are often found in very simple designs such as an egg or a bottle. More elaborate designs are certainly available. In my opinion, the most amazing aspect of ceramic birdhouses is the variety of vibrant colors and color blends that these skilled artisans use to finish these pieces. Bird lovers that maintain a decorative indoor collection of bird houses should consider the vibrant color and aesthetic appeal that these pieces offer.
If you do buy ceramic bird houses, the normal safety and size rules apply. For example, do not get a ceramic bird house that is painted in dark colors, this is going to make the inside of the bird house too hot. Also, do not buy a house that has a perch. The birds do not need it and it will only make it easier for a predator to access to the house. Also you will need to get one with an entrance hole that is the right size for the type of bird you want to attract. If it is too big, then more aggressive birds could invade and take over the nest and if it is too small, then the birds will simply not be able to fit in. Remember that the size of the opening is a key security feature for birds. An opening size of 1-1/8 inch can generally accommodate most chickadees and wrens. An opening of 1-1/2 inch will generally accommodate most titmice, bluebirds, and nuthatches. Most of these small cavity nesting birds prefer floor space of about 4 x 4 inches.
Other practical considerations that apply to ceramic bird house selection include drainage, ventilation and access for cleaning. All birdhouses should have adequate drainage holes in the floor to prevent standing water after the rain. All birdhouses should have ventilation near the top in order to allow heat to escape in the summer and also to help moisture to evaporate. Finally all practical bird houses should allow access for inspection of nests and also removal of old nests at the end of the season.
Most ceramic birdhouses are easily mounted from a hanging chain or wire. These are usually included. These functional works of art can be quickly and easily hung from a tree limb, overhead porch or shepherds hook. This also makes them easy to move as required to keep them out of the direct sun. Just don’t move them far if there are nestlings inside.
Ceramic bird houses can add the “Wow Factor” to your outdoor and indoor living space while also providing a practical home for your traveling feathered companions. Consider your desired balance between aesthetic appeal and practicality and then choose accordingly.