I started building birdhouses 10 years ago when we first moved to the forest area. Never thought it would lead to a successful business opportunity.
The first birdhouse I built the house and hole was so large the squirrels would eat their peanuts inside and then sleep there. It was fun to watch these little grey squirrels running back and forth to get their peanuts. It was even comical at times when the Stellar Jay’s would fight the squirrels over the peanuts. Diving down towards the squirrels head, but the cunning squirrel would dip its head down each time the Jays dove over head.
But I wanted birds, not squirrels. Although I could make squirrel homes for those of you who want to aid them in getting fatter than they already are.
Now as the years have passed I’ve taken the time to study the variety of birds that will nest in manmade birdhouses. I came up with my own style, but kept the dimension to the measurements that would accommodate cavity nesting birds.
I first start with cedar fence material, cutting two pieces the same size for the birdhouse front and back. Depending on which bird it’s going to accommodate depends on how long the pieces are. I then cut a 45 degree angle on each side to form pitch of roof. Once this is done, the hole is decided and centered on front board. For the two sides, one for the door and the other to attach to front and back board, I cut each side piece with one end at a 45 degree angle for the roof to rest on. Waterproof glue is applied on edge before nailing together front and back. I leave one side off for the door. The door is hinged with exterior screws, which leaves it free to lift up easily for cleaning of the nest. The roof is cut in two different sizes where one is cut in half and the other left whole. This ensures that ventilation ducts are placed on both ends of birdhouse’s eaves. The cut roof is then cantilevered over to protect hole from rain water shooting in, as well as the back. The second roof is centered creating the ventilation ducts to keep birds from cooking in hot weather. Then it’s decided whether to put a back panel for mounting or pipe fastener for hanging. Some birdhouses can be mounted on post from the bottom by making another platform to screw into the post, attaching the birdhouse from underneath with exterior screws.
Once birdhouse is all put together it’s now ready for painting. Keep the hole free of paint by placing a balled up paper pushed into hole or tape around inside of hole to prevent paint from entering in. Using exterior primer first, then coating with exterior colored paint giving character to birdhouses wood. Plus this protects from harsh weather and I always varnish as well.
Now it’s time to embellish with driftwood, jewelry, stick pins, twigs, moss, fake feathered birds, or whatever looks great on each birdhouse.
Now for the birds, they really don’t care what color it is. As long as their nesting ability works in the cavity of birdhouse, they don’t care about the specs. That’s why my saying is “If it fits, it’s home tweet home”.