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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Help with birdhouse for grandkids (1 Viewer)

Pete Moss

United States

My grandkids, ages 4, 6, 8, live in a semi-rural area just north of Auburn, California on 5-6 acres of wooded land. They see lots of wildlife. They see wild turkeys and deer almost every day. They see the occasional fox and a black bear ransacked their garbage can once. :eek:

These kids are interested in everything, so I thought it would be fun and educational to help them build and/or buy one or more birdhouses and maybe install wireless cameras so they could watch the eggs hatch and the young birds grow.

I have never built or had anything bird related other than a hummingbird feeder, so I don't know much about what works well and is appropriate. I want to do this in a way that respects the birds and the environment. I would appreciate any help or pointers to (a) plans for building birdhouses, (b) sources for buying already built houses, (c) cameras, and (d) anything else I should consider such as books for them to read.

Ideally, I'd like to get them several different birdhouses so they can see different species. Personally, I am especially interested in owls. I've always found then intriguing. And I imagine they would help keep the rodent population down.(y)

I am new here, so if I don't use the right terminology, please correct me. I want to use the right terms when I talk to my grandkids. For example, what is the difference between a birdhouse and a nestbox?


Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
Hey Pete,
If anyone is handy with a chainsaw, then bird homes are pretty easy to make out of 'logs' of various sizes. You want to end up with something with bark on it, and ~2" thick on the perimeter walls etc. I will try and dig up some illustrations, but basically as follows:-

Imagine a log say 1ft dia + bark, and 1&1/2ft long. This should suit a mid-sized bird.
1. Lay it down horizontally. Cut a 2" thick disc off each end. (These will form roof - you may want to hinge this ? , and floor). Maybe later you do fancy sloping roofs etc.
2. Now stand it up vertically. Looking down in plan view, cut a 2" thick slab off one side. (This will form the front).
3. Then looking in plan view again, cut a square out, full height of the log - leaving a C shape perimeter at least 2" thick.
Cut some horizontal grooves footholds inside (and also on the inside of the front piece).
4. Make a suitable entrance hole appropriately placed in the front piece.
5. Drill and rustproof screw the hollow cylindrical tank together. Or hardwood dowel ....
6. Done ! Unless you need to place perches attached etc.
7. Place appropriately in tree with springs etc to allow for tree growth.

The beauty of this method is that it is easy, and can even be done in situ on branch stubs etc. Natural is best.

Good luck !

Chosun 👧

Chosun Juan

Given to Fly
Australia - Aboriginal
This kinda shows the process up a tree with a special chainsaw - it's a lot easier on the ground with a log as I described !

Chosun 🙎‍♀️
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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