September 18, 2003

Just because I want them dead doesn't mean I don't like them

I had mentioned over at Serenity's that she needed a Spider Frame. It's really a neat little idea, and a perfect point of interest in the garden. Easy to make too.

While you're at it, try some of these other variations for your garden residents. A butterfly house can be very cool. There are simple plans here to build your own.

And if you really want to keep the mosquitos down, how about one of these? The bathouse shown at the link looks to be more elaborate than is really necessary, but the extras look functional.

Just to be conventional, here's a simple birdhouse plan. The key to a successful birdhouse is the size of the opening and the interior space. Ours followed this basic plan, with just a few variations.

First, our lid was solid instead of hinged, and provided an overhang on both sides as well as the front. Under the eaves were small ventilation holes.

Second, on our house, the bottom was screwed on with small drywall screws. They're self-tapping, and removing the bottom allows you to clean out the old nest during the late winter or early spring. It's a good idea to cut a couple of drainage holes in the bottom too.

Third, and this was the most fun for us, was we cut two windows in the sides of the birdhouse. What I mean is, most of the two opposite sides were made of clear plexiglass, so that you could see what was going on inside the house. The birds don't mind. You can get scrap plexiglass cheap at the hardware store.

Here's another simple birdhouse plan. You can use plain pine board, not redwood or cedar, but stain the outside to protect it. Never use pressure treated wood.

Our birdhouse lasted five or six years, and all we really did was clean it out every spring and hit the outside with a coat of redwood stain every few years. We had birds every year.

In the springtime, if we give the dogs a haircut, we'll take the trimmings out back and put them on the ground. The local birds will find the hair and incorporate it into their nests as padding. Little scraps of cloth and yarn work well too.

Posted by Ted at September 18, 2003 10:27 PM
Category: Links
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