Gourd Birdhouses

Attract birds to your garden as native americans once did

Long ago, Native Americans recognized the benefit of bringing purple martin colonies to their villages, so they would hang natural gourds as nests to attract them.

The song of the guardians

In the villages, purple martins' playful behavior and happy singing provided endless entertainment, but when predators approached, they were quick to alert the tribe with a distinctive alarm call.

Some say that Native Americans may have used their regular morning song as an alarm clock. Also, purple martins eat thousands of insects a day, acting as natural bug zappers. Their consistent annual cycle of arrival, nesting and departure may have helped villagers keep track of the seasons!

An ally of the human being

You can welcome these lovely birds into your yard with special purple martin houses, available at your local nature center. Hanging gourd birdhouses look great and may appeal to smaller birds. So close was their interaction that over multiple generations purplemartins have become almost domesticated. In the Eastern US, these birds still prefer and depend on manmade birdhouses.

Gourd Birdhouse Tips

  • Gourd birdhouses make great nests for chickadees, wrens, nuthatches and other small birds.
  • Since they sway in the wind, they are less likely to be taken over by sparrows and starlings.
  • For a safe nest, hang it away from bird feeders or any structure that could aid cats or other predators to reach it.
  • A few holes on its base keeps it cool. In extreme warm weather, add a few extra holes for additional ventilation.