Birding is a hobby that is enjoyed by people of all ages. Many of us are aware of the attraction of birds to a feeder in the winter time. However, a less common, but equally important attractant for birds is to provide suitable spring nesting habitat. Birdhouses can range from simple designs to very complex designs and are often different for each species of birds that you may wish to attract to your yard. A novice birder may ask “Why do we need to provide birdhouses for nesting?”
There are many answers to this question, but habitat loss is one of the top reasons. As humans continue to develop and sprawl into once wild lands areas that were once crucial for nesting are destroyed. This includes dense shrubs, crotches of mature trees, or specific size cavities that can only be found in very few trees. Building birdhouses to meet these requirements can be a vital step in replacing lost habitat. Building species specific birdhouses is often very easy that requires simple tools such as hand saws, a cordless drill, screws, and a tape measure. Being simple in design building birdhouses are the perfect activity for those short, cold winter days when an inside project is needed. Young children can even help with adult supervision! Templates and designs for birdhouses are very easy to find by performing an internet search!
For birders that are not as confident in their building skills, many conservation organizations like your local County Conservation Board provide prebuilt birdhouses free of charge or for a reasonable price. The Allamakee County Conservation Board will be offering a Builders Workshop on February 8, 2014 at their headquarters in Harpers Ferry. Two birdhouses will be available to be built with Bluebird houses at 10 a.m. and Bat Houses at 1 p.m. The materials will be precut and tools for assembly will be provided in a simple step by step format. Adults and Children are encouraged to attend! For more information contact the ACCB at (563) 586-2996 or by following them on Facebook!
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.