Birdhouse Colors

June Farquhar

Many birds seek shelter aside from nests when winter comes. Like all living creatures, birds have preferences and concerns about safety. The largest, most-beautiful-to-humans residence can be rejected by birds because of something as seemingly innocuous as the color of the birdhouse or nesting area.

Birdhouses can be plain or embellished, but color is a consideration.

It also may be rejected, or end up harming the bird and its fledglings, if the paint is toxic.

Environmentally Harmonious Colors

Environmentally harmonious colors can be anything from white, if you live in a place where it snows all winter long, to very dark brown. In forests and prairies, it could be tan or green. A bird does not want to live in a house that causes it to become the center of attention for its predators.Leaving the birdhouse unpainted is attractive to birds and is environmentally harmonious, but the weather eventually takes a toll on unprotected wood.

Neutral Colors

The most telling clue regarding what color to paint a birdhouse is the colors of the environment in which the birds live and nest. Different birds have different nests in the wild, so before deciding on a color, look into the habits of the bird you’re trying to attract. Some like their houses well-hidden so predators can’t find them. If the birdhouse is going to be in your back yard, look at the things that are in your backyard and find a birdhouse color that blends into the surroundings.


Birds can find a birdhouse that is camouflaged in its surroundings and may choose it because their predators cannot see it very easily from the ground or in flight. With a little imagination, you could paint your birdhouse the same color as the leaves on the tree where you place it or make it look like the extension of a pole where you’ve placed it. In a tree that has a multitude of small limbs in the winter, painting like-colored limbs on the birdhouse is a good way to make it less obvious to predators.

Artistic Embellishments

People sometimes build birdhouses as an extension of their patio décor, maybe putting it alongside things that are already hanging above a veranda. Embellishing the birdhouse with art by painting a vine or flowers on it may make it fit with your décor enough that birds may consider it hidden in plain sight. If you are going to embellish a house with art, be sure that the art reflects the environment.