"“Dad, birds don’t build houses..."

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Project by Transition posted 07-31-2011 09:54 PM 4220 views 22 times favorited 40 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was sitting out in the backyard with my 5yr old son, explaining that I wanted to build a birdhouse for the contest. He said, “Dad, birds don’t build houses, they build nests!” Really couldn’t argue with that. But after a little explaining, I asked him what type of birdhouse I should build. He said it should look like something that birds like. Just as he was saying this a goldfinch flew across the yard and alighted on a sunflower. My son got all excited, turned to me and said “I know, Dad…” Well I thought, if a bird had the wherewithal to design and build a house, why wouldn’t they build one modeled on one of their favorite flowers?

The stalk and body are Chestnut, the face is Black Walnut, the petals and seeds are Elm, and the leaves are Maple. All wood was reclaimed locally. Most of it was shop scrap, including the body, which is a bowl I turned to 1/8” on the side, but got overzealous with on the bottom. There are 28 pedals and 142 seeds (I would have made more seeds but I thought the number sufficient to achieve the swirl effect (Sunflower seeds grow out from the center in a Fibonacci sequence), without covering the Black Walnut completely. “House” dimensions are 8”x4”; Pedals are ~20” from tip to tip. Face is attached with brass screws so that it can be removed for cleanout.

I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I did making it!

-- Andrew, Orange County, CA -

40 comments so far

View MShort's profile


1757 posts in 2508 days

#1 posted 07-31-2011 10:13 PM

Thanks for the story about your conversation with your son… got a chuckle out of it. You put some work into the build of this birdhouse. You have much more patience than I. Cool idea.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

8546 posts in 3142 days

#2 posted 07-31-2011 10:24 PM

Beautiful Story and concept!

Beautiful Job!

Looks like a winner to me!

Thank you, son.

Thank you dad!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Thepps's profile


122 posts in 2843 days

#3 posted 07-31-2011 10:46 PM

This is the coolest birdhouse I have ever seen. Great accomplishment.

-- Thepps - Freeburg, IL

View Maveric777's profile


2692 posts in 2166 days

#4 posted 07-31-2011 10:54 PM

Yea, I’m digging this one… Very creative…

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 2326 days

#5 posted 07-31-2011 11:52 PM

You have one great birdhouse! Also a great story. I’ll be surprised if this isn’t the winning entry.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


16731 posts in 2765 days

#6 posted 08-01-2011 12:01 AM

Awesome!! VEry unique. I never noticed that about sunflowers. Good luck in the contest.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View peteg's profile


3470 posts in 1912 days

#7 posted 08-01-2011 12:26 AM

Yep, looks pretty good to me, Hey Dad, amasing what you can learn from a 5 yo :: ))))
nice collabration you two, well done

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 2617 days

#8 posted 08-01-2011 01:31 AM

This is going to be a tough contest. I’ve seen some great bird houses so far and this one has me rethinking.

WOW, this is beautiful and perfect for the birds. Super design and build!

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View dedalo's profile


173 posts in 1987 days

#9 posted 08-01-2011 02:01 AM

excelent job! added to favorites!


View TJ65's profile


1358 posts in 2139 days

#10 posted 08-01-2011 07:17 AM

wow, even if the birds dont like it, it would look great just in the yard anyway.
very nice, well done

-- Theresa,

View devann's profile


1920 posts in 1782 days

#11 posted 08-01-2011 08:01 AM

That one really nice birdhouse design and build. That’s some “idea man” you have with you there, I bet it is time well spent with him. Good luck with the contest you should do well.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View spanky46's profile


991 posts in 2480 days

#12 posted 08-01-2011 12:36 PM

Very nice Andrew!

-- spanky46 -- Never enough clamps...Never enough tools...Never enough time.

View 58j35bonanza's profile


392 posts in 1782 days

#13 posted 08-01-2011 02:05 PM


Actually it’s to nice to be outside in the weather.

-- Chuck

View dustygirl's profile


862 posts in 2818 days

#14 posted 08-01-2011 03:18 PM

I love your birdhouse.Nice job on it.

-- Dustygirl..Hastings,Ontario.. How much wood can 1 gal chuck if 1 gal can't cut wood?

View Transition's profile


339 posts in 1633 days

#15 posted 08-02-2011 02:51 AM

Thanks so much everyone! My son inspires me all the time. It’s so interesting when he comes up with some seemingly crazy idea that gets me thinking. And it’s great that we are both inspired by the natural world around us.

BTW: If you’ve posted a project on LJ, you can vote – hint, hint, beg, cajole… :-) Actually, there are a lot of great birdhouses, into which my fellow LJs have put time, effort, creativity, and craftstmanship. So please vote, even if I’m not the top on your list!

-- Andrew, Orange County, CA -

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