How To Duplicate HGTV's Mina Starsiak's Bird Observation Box From Good Bones Reno

Mina Starsiak is known for her hosting gig on HGTV's "Good Bones" and her home renovation expertise, including taking older homes and adding innovative new features that speak to the home's unique character. A recent episode revealed a small addition to the home's living room that pleased the owners and allowed them a spot to both feed and watch the birds that visit their yard every day.

Starsiak created a stunning wooden window ledge built-in bird observation box for the home that makes it easy to enjoy the natural wildlife while not blocking the light that flows into the space. Exterior bird feeders have long been the overwhelmingly preferred choice for homeowners looking to attract birds, but this unique feature allows you a closer and more intimate view of the birds from inside the home. While Starsiak's creation was custom-created to fit the home's windows, there are a number of tutorials on building your own version. You can also purchase easy-to-install ready-made versions of window ledge bird feeders that give a similar effect without any building.

Creating a custom window bird feeder

Starsiak's built-in window bird feeder is installed similarly to many A/C units, with an inside wooden ledge that rests on the frame of the window, extending outside where its wood roof and side casing protrude from the side of the home. While window sizes and ledge width vary, you can create a similar setup following this YouTube tutorial using pieces of scrap wood and plywood to create a base for your feeder box that attaches  directly to the home's window ledge.

Since both the tutorial and Starsiak's build use the actual glass of the window as the inside wall of the feeder, make sure to use a reflective one-sided mirror film. This will allow you to see the birds, but the birds will not be scared away by the movement inside the house. This custom box is a great choice for homes with non-standard-sized windows or where clearance outside the home is narrow and cannot accommodate a traditional outdoor feeder.

Ready-made window feeders

If you are looking for ready-made options, numerous retailers offer bird feeders that allow you to use your window as a vantage point, including this lightweight plastic model from Chewy that mounts to the glass of the window via suction cups. Others fit the existing window frame like an A/C unit, wedging between the base and the open window. Some, like this one from Wayfair, protrude into the room instead of out of it, allowing an even more up-close and personal view of its winged visitors. You can also mount a simple wooden tray feeder with L-brackets to the outside at the level of the window, a great option if inclement weather and moisture are not really concerns.

The window box bird feeder is perfect if you have children or pets that enjoy birdwatching (and perhaps occasional squirrel-watching) from within the home. It is also great in colder weather when the birds need the feeder most, and when you are most likely to prefer observing the wildlife cozily from inside.