Birdhouse  Plans for Your Neighborhood Bluebirds

 

Marshall Brain is the real brain behind the incredible information resource
known as HowStuffWorks.com, a great “How To” website.  In addition to being

A pair of Western Bluebirds, the male with his brilliant blue feathers and his mate with more subdued hints of blue interwoven throughout her feathers

Pair of Western Bluebirds

a former president of a multimillion dollar software company, Marshall is a renowned author and award-winning professor.

In “The Teenager’s Guide to the Real World” and his other books, Marshall demonstrates the rare skill of being able to communicate complex ideas in clear, easy to understand language. Who better to tackle a set of bird house plans and break it down for us?

If you are looking for a great project for a child, then building a bluebird house is your answer.  Bluebirds can be lured into your backyard with appetizing mealy worms, fruit, and suet.  Use bird feeder plans and save some money by building your own bluebird feeder and bluebird house.  A suet bird feeder which has a tray is the perfect way to entice these beautiful birds, and remember to put out fruit scraps when you have them.

What size should your bluebirds’ birdhouse be?  That depends, of course, on
the size of your birds.  Eastern, Western, and Mountain bluebirds all need a
house with a floor measuring 5×5 inches, a height of 6 to 12 inches, a hole 4-10 inches above the floor, and from 4 to 10 feet above the ground.  The hole diameter for Eastern and Western bluebirds should be 1 1/2 inches, while the Mountain Bluebird needs about 1 9/16.

If you are working with children, the careful measurements and cutting

A pair of Eastern Bluebirds on a tree branch, he with his burnt orange chest and his royal blue feathers, and her with her orange chest and more muted blue feathers

Pair of Eastern Bluebirds

process can take too long, especially if you are meeting with a group of school kids, Boy or Girl Scouts, or other meeting-based groups.  This is why Marshall assembled a bluebird house kit and plans.  This turns the construction of a birdhouse into an afternoon project – and one kids can be proud of.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post which will tell you what you need to assemble your own bluebird bird house and where to get a set of bird feeder plans and birdhouse plans for the bluebird.

Nestled on an Evergreen Branch the Birds Feed Safely

As we watch the winter last seemingly forever and see the birds struggling to find a bite eat, many of us will do whatever we can to make sure they find some.  In the desolation of winter, the birds remaining bring us great joy as

Nestled on an evergreen branch with snow layered everywhere, these three birds enjoy an oasis of food in the harsh surroundings.

Bird Feeders in the Winter - an Oasis

the reminder that all is well in the outdoors in spite of the weather.

My friends have commented to me how unsuccessful they have been at attracting birds to their yards during the winter months.  There can be many reasons for this ranging from the simple fact that the birds which would eat the food provided just aren’t hungry.  Maybe there is a ready source of food for them the next block over in a place they’ve been in the past.  Or maybe the birds near your house prefer something other than what you have provided.  Diets vary profoundly from species to species.  Some birds eat grains and seeds or fruit, while others eat insects and grubs.

Most likely though, it is the surroundings and atmosphere of one backyard as compared to another.  One backyard makes the bird feel safe and another does not.  If the bird feed you are using is attracting no birds to your yard, take note of where you are placing your feed.  Is it out in the wide open or right on your window sill in a place where the birds are easy for you to spot?  If so, you might be more successful changing your feeding locations.

While there is little cover in the winter as the trees are bare and the shrubs are too, realize the birds are uncomfortable out in the open eating with no cover at all.  Try placing your feeder in a tree or near shrubbery.  Regardless the level of foliage on the plants, the birds will feel safer in a location such as this.  Chances are you will soon see birds coming into your yard to feed if you make this easy change in feeding places.

After you’ve changed the atmosphere in the birds favor, then evaluate what you are feeding them.  Given the fewer birds in the colder climes during winter, in order to attract more birds, you will want to put more than one type of food out.

My recommendation is to start with some peanuts, some suet (hard uncooked beef fat), and table scraps such as bacon rinds, breads and crumbs, and some fruit pieces.  These items should cover most of the species and bring you good results for winter bird watching.