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Old 03-20-2010, 07:31 PM   #1
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I have not posted here for a wile due to a life altering experience ( the birth of my son) , as one can imagine time gets shifted to new activities.

with the coming of spring though some DIY projects have come up , my wife would like me to make her some bird houses . With some research so far i have narrowed down two types i would like to build. the first being wren houses , for both house wrens and carolinian wrens (pardon the spelling there , i am not sure if i got it right). The second type is not for birds at all but for bats.

These choices are due to the insectivorous natures of these animals , and how they would be to have around in the moist wetland area (though throughly tamed by humans) that i live in here in south western ontario.

Now i am wondering is there any other specific types of species i should be looking for making bird houses for. Birds that are not just pleasant but perhaps beneficial to attract to my yard by making them some real-estate.

also i am planing on using Cedar for my material of choice , and either cadmium plated screws or stainless screws. Perhaps some of you may know of some better suited building materials for my builds.

We are also considering putting up a bird feeder, well the fact is my wife also has put in a request for a squirrel feeder as well (she likes having me make her things) , and i would love thoughts on that as well. Especially with types of feeds that are preferred and why.
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:36 AM   #2
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Yay to a baby boy!!! They are life altering but.... in a good way. Are you on the tail end of the sleep deprivation routine? Here's a rock solid listing I found for you of the bats you've got in Ontario, http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR_E000519.pdf I spot two on the list you might have a chance coaxing to come and "hang" by you. Cedar might not be the best choice for a couple reasons. Can you get your hands on any untreated oak? They're about the same price.
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:36 AM   #3
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Congratulations on the new birdwatcher in the family! He'll be "helping" you make those bird and bat houses before you know it.
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Old 03-21-2010, 07:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
Yay to a baby boy!!! They are life altering but.... in a good way. Are you on the tail end of the sleep deprivation routine?
haha, Strangely enough.. He's almost 4 months now and he sleeps 7-8 hours at night already and has for 2 months now. Love it!


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Cedar might not be the best choice for a couple reasons. Can you get your hands on any untreated oak? They're about the same price.
May I ask why cedar wouldn't be good? Just curious about the reasons on that one.
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:04 AM   #5
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"haha, Strangely enough.. He's almost 4 months now and he sleeps 7-8".... braggart. You do know there are people walking around like zombies with 6 and 7 mos olds not sleeping through the night!!! Cedar is carcinogenic. It's not exactly mainstream news since they sell it by the boatloads as mulch and make cedar closets out of it but.... it's a problem. It makes lots of people sick and when you think of it making us sick with how big we are I guess we should think about what it would do to a tiny little bat or a nestling. Cedar should be not-so-bad if it's been laying around for a while or if you're buying new you can "weather" it. Let it get hit by rain sleet and snow for a couple seasons and some good winds. That'll help otherwise try untreated oak if you have to buy new wood.
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:48 PM   #6
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squirrel

Greylock

Here's a nice squirrel house made by member Hyperion.
The squirrel house is discussed in this thread called: squirrel house construction advice.

I asked my husband if he could take Hyperions's idea and turn it into a combination squirrel house/squirrel feeder and this what he came up with. These pictures might give you some ideas.

bird houses-img_3170.jpg bird houses-img_3165.jpg bird houses-img_3161.jpg bird houses-img_3159.jpg
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:12 PM   #7
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squirrel

Greylock,

A tray style feeder works really well for both squirrels and birds. The bottom of the tray is fine mesh hardware cloth, which allows the rain to pass through.

Here are some photos of our various species of squirrels enjoying black oil sunflower seeds in the tray feeder.
Red squirrels, black sqirrels, grey squirrels, ground squirrels, and that last photo is a very rare species known as a "dog squirrel watcher."

bird houses-img_0364.jpg bird houses-img_0170.jpg bird houses-img_0178.jpg bird houses-img_0609.jpg bird houses-img_0811.jpg
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:34 PM   #8
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A few more critter feeder ideas....

A simple tray feeder mounted on a post (in front of a window of course.)

The last photo is a squirrel feeder made from a split log nailed to a cut off tree stump. Very popular since it's right next to our log pile.

bird houses-img_0278.jpg bird houses-img_0290.jpg bird houses-img_0286.jpg bird houses-squirrel-field-guide.jpg bird houses-red-squirrel-1.jpg

I hope you enjoyed my squirrel feeder photos. As you can probably guess, I enjoy watching squirrels! In fact, it's a daily ritual for me.....
morning coffee with the squirrels. It never fails to start my day off with a smile.
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:54 PM   #9
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Do you live in the city or country? How much land do you have? Is it open or wooded? How close are you to the water? How much time are you willing to devote to this? Do you have house sparrows in the area? Are you prepared to deal with those? You might host bluebirds, tree swallows, wood ducks, screech owls, purple martins, chickadees . . . Bats can be difficult to get established. So are purple martins. If you host house wrens they will take over and not allow other birds to nest or sometimes peck holes in eggs of other birds. Carolina wrens are fine. It sounds like you might want to check out the North American Bluebird Society:
North American Bluebird Society
If you are close to the water put up a wood duck house or two. I host wood ducks and screech owls in mine. There is more to it than just putting up some houses if you want to help native birds. House sparrows will take over if you allow them to.
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:42 PM   #10
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(Just a note, this is Greylock's Wife.. He's off to work but wanted me to keep an eye on the post )

Thanks for all the ideas!

fishlkmich:
We live in a town and have a lot, not huge.. so not a great deal of land. I think our lot size is 100x60. We do have a lot of trees 8 large trees on the property but we aren't close (in terms of our property being right next to) any mass of water.

We haven't seen any sparrows, but we do get a deal of blackbirds. Sorry, not sure the specific kind. I honestly don't believe we'd get ducks or owls in our yard, unfortunately. Though, we have seen bluejays, bats, and chickadees specifically.

My husband works out of town (for the moment) and we do have the baby so most of our work is done on the weekends. So, while we do love outdoors and gardening, our time isn't endless to spend. We did definitely want to know more about the implications of putting up birdhouses and feeders before we did it. Though, we're hoping that us establishing the native garden in our yard will also help with the birds. It was sort of a "if we're bringing them here, shouldn't we give them a place to sleep" sort of thing

Hope that covers all the questions

Thanks for all the links, we'll definitely be checking them out!
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