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Birdhouses for all occasions

It can have one room, it can be multifamily, it can have a shingled roof or a steeple, it can be a virtual mansion.

It's a birdhouse.

Peri Wolfman and Charles Gold celebrate the world of Lilliputian homes built with birds in mind in their new book, Birdhousing (Clarkson Potter, $22.50).

Birdhouses are portrayed as living spaces for martins and bluebirds, as architectural models, as garden ornaments, as folk art that is prized and collected. And craftspeople around the country who design and build intriguing houses for birds are spotlighted.

What draws two highly successful Soho shopkeepers, authors and style-setters to write a coffee-table book about cottages for chickadees?

"I love houses and architecture," says Wolfman, who along with her husband, Charles Gold, runs Wolfman Gold & Good Co., an emporium of stylish home furnishings that has been assisting Manhattanites in feathering their nests for 12 years now.

There's no accounting for taste, even in the bird world.

"I don't think that people should be disappointed if a bird doesn't go into their house," says Wolfman. "We have a dozen birdhouses around our place in Massachusetts and some just happily nest under the barn door."