How to make a gourd birdhouse

June 7, 2012 at 4:08 AM Leave a comment

How to Make Gourd Birdhouses

Any large Hard Shell Gourd can be made into a birdhouse, as long as it is about 6 inches in diameter. Be sure that the gourds have fully cured: you can tell they are ready when the shells are hard, the gourds are very light and the seeds rattle inside their shells. Use a wire brush and sandpaper to clean the outside surface. To sanitize and protect from rot and mold, treat the outside surface with a 10% solution of bleach and water. Please be careful when using bleach: use safety glasses and rubber gloves, perhaps even an air filtering mask. Soak the gourd in the bleach mixture for about 15 minutes, remove it from the bleach bath and allow it to dry fully before handling further.
For the entrance, you need to determine the bird species that you want to attract (see chart below for specific information), if unsure use a 1 ¼” holesaw, and cut the hole slightly above the center of the gourd. Clean out the pith fiber and seeds using a serrated knife. Drill four small holes in the bottom with a ⅜” bit for drainage and ventilation. The bird house is now ready to finish. The outside of the gourd may be sealed with an oil based primer, followed by enamel paint. Use your imagination as a guide (white is a healthy choice for the birds as it reflects the sun and keeps the interior cool). For a more natural feel and look, apply two to three coats of clear outdoor polyurethane directly to the exterior of the gourd.
To hang the birdhouse, drill 2 ¼” inch holes at the stem end of gourd about ½” in from the edge. To protect nesting birds from predators, hang the birdhouse at least 5’ off the ground. See the chart below for more specific information on birdhouse entrance diameters and hanging heights by bird species.
Bird Species Diameter of Hole and Height above Ground
Bluebird: 1 ½” holes, 5 – 10’ off the ground
Chickadee: 1 ⅛” holes, 6 – 15’ off the ground
Titmouse: 1 ¼” holes, 6 – 15’ off the ground
Nuthatch: 1” – 1 ¼” holes, 6 – 10’ off the ground
Bewick’s Wren: 1 ¼” holes, 6 – 10’ off the ground
Carolina Wren: 1 ½” holes, 6 – 10’ off the ground
Swallow: 1 ½” holes, 10 – 15’ off the ground
Downy Woodpecker: 1 ¼” holes, 6 – 20’ off the ground
Hairy Woodpecker : 1 ½” holes, 12 – 20’ off the ground
Purple Martin: special crescent hole, 12 – 20’ off the ground
Crested Flycatcher: 2″ holes, 8 – 20’ off the ground
Flicker: 2 ½” holes, 6 – 20’ off the ground
Red-Headed Woodpecker: 2″ holes, 12 – 20’ off the ground

Entry filed under: Garden Crafts, Just for fun..

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