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Woodworking 101: The DIY Birdhouse


Most people, especially if they’ve ever taken a woodworking class, have probably made a birdhouse. If you’d like to attract some more birds to your yard, want to try your hand at woodworking, or want to get someone else interested in woodworking, building a birdhouse is a fun, easy, and cheap DIY project that benefits you and the birds.

Step 1 - Choose Which Bird You’d Like to Attract

Different birds need different styles and sizes of birdhouses. The first step to building a birdhouse is to decide which type of bird you’d like to try to attract. House wrens and Carolina wrens are probably the easiest birds to attract to birdhouses. They prefer their houses to hang from a tree or pole and have some type of natural cover like branches or leaves. Purple martins, on the other hand, prefer to live in communities. Gourds work best as long as there are multiple gourds in the same area. Bluebirds are quite the opposite, requiring single-room birdhouses that are spaced 50-75 yards apart. Untreated wood is always the best material to use, though some birds will nest in birdhouses made of other materials.

Step 2 - Gather Your Materials

If you can’t quite recall the steps of that birdhouse you made in elementary school, never fear. The internet is a great place to find free and easy DIY Birdhouse tutorials and plans. These plans are great because they give you the exact measurements and what type of materials to use. Some of them get really creative with different materials, shapes, and styles. Be sure to choose one you’ll enjoy looking at for years to come.

Step 3 - Build Your Birdhouse

Sometimes, woodworking is easier said than done. Always consult a professional if you don’t feel completely comfortable with your project. If you do decide to do the project yourself, make sure you have the proper safety gear and that your tools are in good, working order. While most birdhouse projects can be fun and simple to construct, some of the more detailed and ornate birdhouses can be difficult for someone who may not have sufficient experience.

Step 4 - Be a Good Landlord for Your New Winged Friends

Congratulations! You’ve decided which type of bird you’d like to attract, gathered the materials, built the birdhouse, and now you’re ready to watch the birds start nesting in your yard. The measuring, sawing, and woodworking may be done, but your work isn’t quite over. You should monitor the birdhouse and keep it maintained. Once or twice a year, clean out the birdhouse and check for any damages or hazards. Also check the entrance and it if shows signs of being chewed on, replace the entrance if possible to discourage predators.

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