Making a Birdhouse

Linda Yorke (left) helps Julie build a birdhouse.

Members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society enthusiastically welcomed Linda Yorke as their first speaker of 2023.

Linda, The Carpenter-Her was raised on a farm near the village of Belhaven which is located between Keswick and Sutton. She has alwayshad a love for nature and started building birdhouses when she retired. 

Linda displayed several different kinds of birdhouses as the style depends on the birds you want to attract. One member of the audience who said she does not do any woodworking became Linda’s assistant and with Linda’s guidance, a generic birdhouse was constructed during the meeting.

A couple of key points…

-the entrance hole needs to be a double thickness of wood or use a metal covering to prevent squirrels from chewing the wood to get the birds

-drainage is necessary…a door that opens will help and this makes for easy cleaning in the fall

-baby birds have an easier time leaving the house if the interior wall below the opening is “roughed up” a bit

-to obtain good ventilation, make small notches in the corners and drill holes in the top edge of the birdhouse

-perches are optional but they can encourage predators

-place the houses 5-10 feet high and facing away from prevailing winds

-houses can be left natural or painted with water-based paint and Varathane

– suggested wood was Number 3 Pine which tends to have a few more knots…but the birds do not seem to mind this as long as the wood is solid

Birdhouses are a great way to rid your yard of unwanted bugs…bluebirds’ diet consists of 70% insects, barn owls 75% and house wren 98%. Two birds you do not want are the starling and house sparrow as they are invasive and take over all the best spots as they nest earlier than the other birds in the spring. 

Linda suggested several resources…

-eBird and Merlin Bird ID (app)

-Field Guide of Birds of Eastern Regions (book) -European-starlings

Linda’s “assistant” was presented with the birdhouse she constructed with Linda’s assistance! As Linda said, “A birdhouse is a wonderful addition to any garden.”

Members received instructions to make a generic birdhouse as was demonstrated during the meeting. And since the March meeting’s speaker will be discussing birds in our backyards, many members will probably get started constructing birdhouses to welcome birds in to their yards!

Upcoming Events:

March 7….Kyle Blaney will be speaking about Birds in our Backyard.

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