Spring is here, and with it come birds of every color. It’s wonderful to have birds flock to your yard. They’re beautiful to watch and listen to, and they help keep down bugs like mosquitos and ticks. An excellent spring woodworking project is a birdhouse that will keep birds coming back to your yard, year after year. Here are our best tips for how to make the ideal birdhouse that’s functional, unique, and attractive.
Make it Safe and Clean for the Birds
Here are some simple things you should do with any birdhouse to make it a place where birds want to be.
- Use hardwood instead of pressure-treated wood, which may have toxins that can leech into the nest and harm the chicks.
- Drill some holes in the bottom so that moisture won’t collect inside. You can drill holes in the side as well, but make sure you drill at a slightly upward angle so rainwater won’t seep in easily.
- Make one of your walls into a door. Instead of gluing all the walls together, leave one wall that is attached at the sides only with screws and that isn’t glued to the bottom or roof of your birdhouse. Alternatively, attach a hinge at the top or bottom. This will allow you to clean out the birdhouse quickly every year to get rid of anything left inside it from last year.
- Enclose the floor within the walls. This will help keep water from seeping in the cracks.
- Make it wasp proof. Using a bar of soap, coat the interior “ceiling” of your birdhouse. Use a putty knife to make sure you get all the corners. This won’t harm the birds but will make the ceiling slippery enough that the wasps won’t be able to attach and build their nest.
- Build for a specific bird. Observe what kinds of birds are flying around in the area where you want to hang the birdhouse. You’ll want to make your entrance hole the right size for the kind of bird you want to attract and mount it at the right height. You’ll find a handy table for common species here.
Make it Unique
The great thing about birdhouses is how easy it is to put some personality and charm into your yard. Here are some creative ways you can make your birdhouse totally unique to you!
- Make the birdhouse look like a miniature version of your home. Give it windows, a garage, maybe even a chimney or a mailbox.
- Let your kids design it. If you have a child, ask them to draw their dream birdhouse. They might come up with something goofy, magical, or complex. No matter what, whatever you build from their drawings will be something you’ll both be proud of.
- Are you into sci-fi? Create a home for birds that shows off your love for Star Wars, Jurassic Park, or Back to the Future. You might make the world’s first death star inspired birdhouse!
- Go back in time. Use dowels or Lincoln Logs to create an old-fashioned log cabin birdhouse. If you want to get really into it, add a front porch with a rocker, a wood pile, or a miniature outhouse.
- Use it as a planter. Build your birdhouse with an extension in the back or on top that you can use to plant flowers or other greenery. You’ll have a birdhouse that’s beautiful and incredibly functional.
With a great birdhouse (or two or three) in your yard, you’ll be sure to attract beautiful birds every spring. We love to hear from you. What’s the most creative thing you’ve ever done for a birdhouse?