From perches that take the oh-so-familiar form of Google Map pins to upcycled plastic water bottle rest stops from Spain, I always have my eyes peeled for birdhouse designs that boldly stand apart from the flock ... or fleet, flight, colony, congregation, covey, charm, parcel, band, bevy, herd or what have you. 


While the aforementioned birdhouse are, at this point, conceptual, below you'll find eight no-less-eye-catching avian abodes and seed dispensaries — most are handmade and/or made from eco-friendly materials ranging from plastic wrappers to reclaimed wood — that you can indeed purchase and subsequently use to seduce chatty little fellas to your backyard. Most are under in the under-$50 range although I was tempted to include this seed-centric $200 riff on Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion that's made from sustainably harvested acacia wood.

Going the bird buffet route? Audubon has plenty of pointers on what seeds to select (different birds have different tastes, after all) along with a few homemade bird snack suggestions. It's also worth spending a moment to read-up on bird feeder/house placement tips so that your feathered friends can feast away without living in perpetual fear that they'll encounter Sylvester the Cat or another rogue member of Birds Anonymous.

For even more stunning works of avian architecture, check out past installments of "The Seedy Underbelly" from 2010,  2011, and 2012.

Nkuku Birdhouse @ Sprout Home ($29)

Ceramic Cylinder Birdhouse @ Terrain ($48)

Chapelwood Seed Feeder @ aHa! Modern Living ($40)

Audubon Soda Bottle Bird Feeder @ Day Trip Society ($11)

Empire Bird Feeder @ UncommonGoods ($48)

Nido Bird Feeder @ Bambeco ($90)

Large Wrapper Bird House @ Hipcycle ($32)

Rustic Bird House - Short A Frame @ Day Trip Society ($30)

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

The seedy underbelly: 2013 edition
Now that spring has officially sprung, it's time to give weary winged travelers congregating in your backyard a stylish yet safe place to refuel and relax.