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Old 03-21-2009, 08:59 AM   #1
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Default Mouse/Wren/Nuthatch/Prothonotary Wrabler House from Scrap Plywood

The plan is available from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources's Wood Projects for Illinois Wildlife

I used leftover plywood from bathouse building, I'm not sure what grade it even is or if it really matters, I do know that you need an exterior plywood (apparently the interior plywood is put together using unsuitable glues for rain and such). It is also suggested to use 3/4" wood. This has two advantages, one better insulation and two you don't have to modify the plans. In my case, I used 1/2" as that is what I had on hand. If you use half inch, then you have to modify the plan to match the smaller thickness of the wood. In this case, I made the front and back pieces 5" W instead of 5.5". I would recommend using the 3/4" as it's better for the inhabitants and probably essential if it will be placed in extremely hot or cold locations.

If you do not want mice in the box, it is suggested that the box be left open in the winter to deter them. The size thing about these smaller boxes with smaller entrance holes, is that house sparrows cannot use them, eliminating one source of extra work. By enclosing the bottom with the sides/front/back, drilling 1/4" drain holes, and rounding the corners to not fit perfectly, the box should have minimal moisture problems. The other thing that needs done that was not pictured is drilling vent holes on the sides (seen in the plan). I just did mine after the fact. Finally, I used non-toxic, GE I Window silicone (not II or bathroom or any of the ones with toxic bioseal labels) to chaulk the roof.

OK so my plan for this box is to place it in a woods along a trail post 4 feet off the ground and let kids peek in it and see if the can find a resting or nesting mouse. Given the number of snakes I see in the woods around here, though, I'm not sure if we can expect mice or predators to be more likely in the box!
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:01 AM   #2
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Great "how to" info, thanks
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:57 PM   #3
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Very nice birdhouse. All your projects are exceptional. You can make a baffle to keep snakes out of your birdhouse but you probably already know that. I have a question for you. Have you ever made #4 or used it anywhere? I have been given that plan as a handout. I have never seen anyone use it before. Have you ever seen a Robin use one?
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:46 PM   #4
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I have a robin house cut out except I don't have any scraps the right size for the sides, so I've not put it together yet. I've had Robins nesting on a brick ledge under the house eave about 8' high before, so I can imagine they would use the ledge even if right against a house.
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:53 PM   #5
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I've not seen robin nests anywhere but in trees which is why I asked. Some robins somewhere had to be using the #4. That could be a good project for me next year.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:30 PM   #6
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Prothonotary? I'm a notary but I'm sure I wouldnt' fit in that house!

Nice how - to instructions!
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