Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Woolaroc Birdhouses

Scandinavian Barn
Building birdhouses is a great pastime that appeals to all ages. One of our granddaughters built a birdhouse and feeder in elementary school, some are done in scouting, others by organizations like YW or YMCA, summer camps, and many are done as a hobby for those in retirement. In all cases, the projects are enjoyable, appealing, stress relieving, and most important, they are needed. With their environment becoming steadily more encroached upon by people, their air more filled with foul and poisonous gases from industry, their feeds, insects, and plants more filled with pesticides, at least having a safe and comfortable place to raise their young is a great step in supporting bird population and health.

Birdhouses can indeed be an art form. Thomas F. Burke, of Wilmington, DE, has had his birdhouses in exhibitions, featured in “Architectural Digest,” and other magazines, had his birdhouses rise above the skyline from New York to California, and been featured on TV programs. At between $3,000 and $15,000-plus per birdhouse, his designs duplicate many famous homes and buildings, only in miniature. For what we might use in our yards, a nice birdhouse can probably be completed for no more than the cost of a two-pound bag of any fresh fruit.
(Yeah, you guessed it. We just came back from the grocery. Talk about sticker shock. Everyone wonders why people don’t eat healthier. Daaaaah!)

Looks like a house undergoing renovations, with
scaffolding and a ladder going up the front.
These birdhouses at Woolaroc follow this idea of creating something that is both pleasing to us, and beneficial for the birds. If you just search ’birdhouse building’, you’ll find a number of internet sites that provide free plans, and patterns for varying the hole sizes for the species of bird you wish to attract. I’ll pass on one little tip I leaned. There are birds, from starlings to woodpeckers, that will peck at the entry hole of the birdhouse to enlarge the hole to suit them, even if the interior is too small for them to nest in. This ruins the birdhouse permanently. This can be prevented by protecting the birdhouse entry with a hard liner or ring to thwart the most persistent beak. I had success with sheet metal, as long as it can be done so there are no sharp edges to injure the birds. So, grab some scrap wood and have at it!

The General Store that buys hides, probably buffalo.
And, for Frank Phillips, what could be more appropriate
than a Phillips 66 gas station?


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