Housing Guidelines for the Birds
There's probably no better project to introduce a child to woodworking than a birdhouse. And to get ready for the songbirds' spring house hunt, now's the time to start.
You'll find few things in life as pleasant as watching and listening to the activity of songbirds. From dawn to dusk they display boundless energy as they nest, feed, and raise their families. But today's cities and suburbs usually lack the large old trees that provide nesting cavities for the dozens of songbird species that require them.
Luckily, it is easy and fun to simulate these natural nesting spots with birdhouses designed specifically for songbirds, not pesty house sparrows and starlings. You can even give nature a hand by providing boxes for waterfowl. That's why we've included a nest box suited for wood ducks.
For advice and guidelines on proper home building, we turned to a pair of experts: Carrol L. Henderson and Dave Algren. Carrol, nongame wildlife supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in St. Paul, Minnesota, has compiled a decade of songbird knowledge for his book Woodworking for Wildlife (see ordering information below). His pointers will guide you in construction. Dave, a woodworking hobbyist from Stillwater, Minnesota, lent a hand with the plans shown below. A Northwest Airlines pilot, Dave has handcrafted more than 26,000 birdhouses!
If you follow the dozen guidelines listed here, you'll guarantee yourself some of nature's finest entertainment.
|For more information on birds, birdhouses, and nesting boxes, order a copy of Woodworking for Wildlife, and for complete information on bird feeding, see Wild About Birds, the DNR Bird Feeder Guide, both by Carrol L. Henderson and published by Minnesota s Bookstore, 1992, 1995. The books cost $10.95 each plus $2 postage, from Minnesota's Bookstore, 117 University Ave., St. Paul, MN 55155, or telephone 800/657-3757.|