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Bluebird Bird House

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Project by Paul Bucalo posted 07-06-2015 08:25 PM 1169 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Bluebird Bird House
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Last week I inserted a 3-1/2” x 3-1/2” x 8’ pressured treated post in the East lawn space to hang four flower pots. Atop the post I promised the wife I would add a bird house I built. I spent some time on the Web looking for plans. The wife wasn’t aware of the safety issues in building a viable house, so I went against the grain and build one to specs…mostly.

The design is for bluebirds. The Eastern Bluebird inhabits our area, but I have never seen one. Hopefully this will attractive a female, as we are now into the breeding season.

I deviated from the plans in three areas. The first was in the plan’s dimensions. The width of the pallet wood I had to work with was 1/2” narrower than the plans called for. This only affected the width of the front and back sides of the house. The second change was in the roof’s joinery. Instead of a peak-overlapping butt joint, I used a strip over the groove formed by an edge-to-edge joint.

The sides, bottom, predator guard and roof sides were hand planed before gluing and nailing. To make the cleaning easy at the end of the season, I have mounted the removable base to the top of the post. Four screws, two on each side, hold the house over the base.

The last change was in deciding to use a finish. While not encouraged, the materials used in the finish are bird safe and won’t pose a problem for the occupants.

Here are the pre-finish pictures. The roof and entry hole predator guard were painted with Olympic ICON Semi-Gloss Self Priming White Enamel. Boiled Linseed oil was used on the outside of the house sides. No finish has been applied to the entry hole or insides.

And the finished bird house assembled and mounted atop the post.

A fun build. I might made some more bird houses over the winter.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA





12 comments so far

View ralbuck's profile

ralbuck

2018 posts in 1734 days


#1 posted 07-06-2015 09:43 PM

I build a lot of bird houses.

I actually give most of them away.

I use salvage cedar from a fence company dumpster.

You did a neat job; I bet you get renters!

Do not despair if the renters turn out not to be Blue!

-- just rjR

View Ted Ewen's profile

Ted Ewen

187 posts in 534 days


#2 posted 07-06-2015 09:44 PM

That’s really pretty. The painted roof and lozenge nicely set off the natural finish and the predator guard adds some geometric (but organic to the piece) ooooh. Yup, I like it.

-- Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass.

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2468 posts in 1771 days


#3 posted 07-06-2015 11:03 PM

Hey Paul, you need to paint a “Bluebird Only” sign at the entrance or you might have Wrens, Sparrows, or even squirrels, like we have had, squatting on the premises. LOL!! Nice looking project!

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

626 posts in 827 days


#4 posted 07-06-2015 11:07 PM



I build a lot of bird houses.

I actually give most of them away.

I use salvage cedar from a fence company dumpster.

You did a neat job; I bet you get renters!

Do not despair if the renters turn out not to be Blue!

- ralbuck

Thanks. From someone who builds a lot of them, I sincerely appreciate the compliment. Believe it or not, I have three times the effort in planing the boards flat than I do in all the rest of the construction combined. Warped oak takes time to make straight. :D

Cedar is hard to come by here. Even new, it’s expensive and I can’t find dimensional lumber sizes for it at our box store. So far, I haven’t been able to find any cedar to reclaim. Barns do go down around here, but the size of the planks are too large for me to handle and I have no place to store them if I could get them home. Not sure I have ever seen a deck going down and the owner advertising the wood. What I can get from pallets—oak, pine, cherry and ash—is what I have to work with. I can’t even get decent cabinet grade plywood! Maybe I should move to Oregon. :)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

626 posts in 827 days


#5 posted 07-06-2015 11:11 PM



That s really pretty. The painted roof and lozenge nicely set off the natural finish and the predator guard adds some geometric (but organic to the piece) ooooh. Yup, I like it.

- Ted Ewen

Thanks, Ted. The wife wanted a black roof and red body, with windows painted, etc. I told her that from my research these are no-nos for the safety of the hatchlings. She wasn’t happy. So I told her that with the nail holes in the roof filled in with wood putty, I needed more weather protection than Linseed oil, that I would need to pain the oak roof. Instead of going with an all white finished, I painted only the roof. It came out better than I expected. Got lucky this time around. ;)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

626 posts in 827 days


#6 posted 07-06-2015 11:13 PM



Hey Paul, you need to paint a “Bluebird Only” sign at the entrance or you might have Wrens, Sparrows, or even squirrels, like we have had, squatting on the premises. LOL!! Nice looking project!

- luv2learn

Thanks, Lee. My research mentioned the squatters and the predators. All I can do is is be an equal-opportunity landlord and see what kind of tenants I get. No fights (or eating the tenants) allowed! :)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5064 posts in 2615 days


#7 posted 07-07-2015 12:07 AM

Great looking Bluebird house! Looks like you got all the specs right!

Out here (in Oregon) the most common cavity nesters are Chickadees. The research I did, indicated that they have very specific requirements for their accommodations. The house must be 12” tall, and the hole must be precisely 1 1/8” in diameter, centered along the height. If the wood is cedar, the rough side must be on the inside. The house must not be finished or painted, especially on the inside. No perch is required, and a predator guard is preferred.

Additionally, the house must be at least 8’ above ground, and have trees or bushes nearby for the birds to retreat to.

That’s all the requirements I can remember, off the top of my head. These Chickadees are darned particular about their accommodations, considering they live rent-free!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" James Lawrence, CAPT, USN

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

626 posts in 827 days


#8 posted 07-07-2015 12:28 AM

I don’t have mine to 100% liking of the species. I’m hoping some weary pregnant female will be a little less picky, Dean. :)

The specs are specific to each species to improve the chances of survival and minimize interspecies fighting over accommodations. As a first attempt I won’t be too upset if no bluebirds come a calling. I think taking the house down for the winter will minimize the chance of squirrels making it into a winter resort.

But then, I really haven’t a clue what I am doing.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

9171 posts in 2335 days


#9 posted 07-07-2015 08:34 AM

Beautiful bird house, especialy with those flower hangers and flowers, real fairytale story.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

626 posts in 827 days


#10 posted 07-07-2015 10:47 AM



Beautiful bird house, especialy with those flower hangers and flowers, real fairytale story.

- majuvla

Thanks, Ivan. Let’s hope the new tenants feel the same way. :)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View jinkyjock's profile

jinkyjock

487 posts in 1042 days


#11 posted 07-07-2015 11:31 AM

Paul,
a beautiful bird-house in an equally beautiful environment.
I think any bird would be delighted to sign a lease on this property.
I made a couple of houses last year and was amazed at the specific needs
of different species of birds, much more complex on investigation.
Cheers, Jinky (James).

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

626 posts in 827 days


#12 posted 07-07-2015 11:54 AM



Paul,
a beautiful bird-house in an equally beautiful environment.
I think any bird would be delighted to sign a lease on this property.
I made a couple of houses last year and was amazed at the specific needs
of different species of birds, much more complex on investigation.
Cheers, Jinky (James).

- jinkyjock

Thanks, Jinky. You are so right about their needs being very specific. I can’t help but wonder how they find these conditions in the wild. I mean, how often do you find a specific size hole to a specific sized compartment, with the right colors, adequate ventilation and is predator proof? And I thought raising kids was tough. :)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

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