Give 'Em Shelter: 4 Backyard Homes for Birds and Bees

Life's hard for critters whose habitats are getting paved over. Ease their way by providing rent-free accommodations.

By Avital Andrews

April 6, 2016


J Schatz Egg Bird House Add a pop of color, and give small birds like chickadees and wrens a place to incubate their babies, by hanging J SCHATZ's ceramic Egg Bird House. This shiny piece is handmade in Rhode Island and is glazed in energy-efficient kilns. Holes provide drainage and ventilation, and the small entry keeps squirrels (and the elements) out. All materials come from within the United States. Order the house in one of seven hues, and it will arrive in recycled packaging. $155,

Heartwood Bat Lodge After Mississippi brothers Jerry and Larry Glass tired of building homes for humans, they started making houses for smaller creatures, and HEARTWOOD was born. Their handcrafted Bat Lodge keeps at least 40 flying mammals cozy and dry in two chambers. Its body is made from rot-resistant wood rescued from scrap heaps, and the roof is Forest Stewardship Council-certified cypress. This little haven comes in an upcycled box, padded with salvaged paper. $53,

Gardener's Supply Company Butterfly House Butterflies are delicate and need somewhere to hide when it's windy or raining. This sturdy, well-ventilated Butterfly House from GARDENER'S SUPPLY COMPANY is held together with woven bamboo, making it an attractive addition to outdoor spaces. To entice pollinators, hang the watertight roosting box by flowering plants such as fennel, lavender, and marigold. Then open its back door to insert twigs as perches. Watch for new residents within a few weeks. $20,

Wildlife World Urban Bee House To nest, solitary bees need safe, dry holes. WILDLIFE WORLD's Urban Bee House provides a place for them to lay eggs where their larvae will be protected. You can watch as little ones hatch—the types of bees that will burrow here are almost guaranteed not to sting or swarm. The box's long-lasting outer shell is made from recycled plastics, while the wood inside is FSC-certified. Dual hanging points mean you can mount the house as a diamond or a square. $40,