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Gary350
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Bird House - NO more BUGS in your garden EVER

I have not had a bug problem in my garden for 32 years and I never spray for bugs. I put up 25 bird houses and the birds take care of the bugs. I feed my birds well. There are a lot of online plans for wren bird houses but most of them wrens do not like. I built a lot of different designs and finally discovered what wrens like best. One place I read Wrens eat their body weight in bugs every day and another place said they eat about 1/2 their body weight in bugs so I don't know for sure which is true. Wrens love to sing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8wjCGQhhRI&feature=related

1 The entrance hole should be small enough to keep out other birds other wise wrens will not make it their home.

2 The bird house must have plenty of ventilation.

3 The entrance hole must be facing south or a little south east.

4 The bird house must be about 8 feet above the ground.

5 Wrens will not stay in these unless you build several houses. A wren will typically built a nest in more than one house.

Build your bird houses out of pressure treated lumber other wise you will be building new replacement houses in about 3 years. You only need 1x4 and 1x6 lumber and some 1 1/2 inch long sheet rock screws.

Birds have a hard time getting tiny twigs, grass, sticks through a tiny hole so make your hole 7/8" tall by 3" wide. The wide hole also makes it easy for all the babies to feed at the same time. Wrens like a deep bottom house.

I like to make the pirch out of a forked tree limb.

The front of the bird house is a 1x6 board cut 7 3/4" long. The center of the hole is 2 1/2" down from the top. Drill two 7/8" holes about 2 1/8" apart then cut out the section between the holes with a jig saw.

The back is a 1x6 board 10 1/2" long.

The 2 sides are 1x4 boards cut 7 3/4" long.

The bottom is a 1x4 board cut 4 1/4" long. After cutting this board cut off the corners. Measure over 1/2" from each corner then draw a line at a 45 degree angle and cut on the line.

The top is a 1x6 board 7 1/2" long. I sometimes piece together a bunch of left over scrap pieces of wood to make the roofs.

Use the screws to attach the back and front to the sides. The bird house looks large from the outside but it is only 3 1/2 x 4 1/4" on the inside. The back of the house should hang over past the top and bottom so you can screw it to a tree or post.

Slide the bottom in to the opening and put a screw in each side.

Lay a 3/8" dowel rod on top for a spacer. Lay the top on the house and attach it with 2 screws. One screw in the front and one through the back. Slide out the dowel rod. This makes a vent at the roof.

Attach the pirch then hang the house 8 ft from the ground with the door facing south or south east.

This should solve all your bug problems. I use to have bird houses when I lived in Illinois and had no bugs. I have bird houses in TN and have no bugs here. My parents in Arizona have wren houses and they have no bugs either. I have relatives in NC with wren houses and they have no bugs in their garden. You need to get your houses up now or as soon as you can the birds have been checking out my houses since late Feb and they appear to be building nest now.

[img]https://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e358/gary350/Wren-01.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e358/gary350/Wren-02.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e358/gary350/Wren-03.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e358/gary350/Wren02.jpg[/img]

This is a different style bird house. Cut the front and back at 45 degree angles. Do not cut to a point leave the tip with a 3/4" flat for a vent. Then put on the roof so it has an over hang of about 3/4". The bottom edge of the roof should have a 1/4" space between the wall and the roof for a vent. Wrens like the hanging bird house better than the one that screws to a tree......probably 10 to 1 better. When you hang the bird house in a tree make sure there are no limbs or leaves or anything within several feet of the bird house. Make sure the bird house hangs on the lowest limb in the tree or make sure there are no other limbs under or at the side of the bird house other wise the birds will never live in it. Wrens are a little picky they don't like the house up too high about 8 to 10 ft is perfect.

[img]https://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e358/gary350/Wren01.jpg[/img]
Last edited by Gary350 on Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:39 pm, edited 10 times in total.

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gixxerific
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Great thread and great news. I just built one bird house but haven't cut an opening yet. I also brought home enough wood for 2 more houses from work. I have been feeding the birds all winter and have seen a robin today foraging for nesting. I need to get them up so I can have some free bug protection as well.

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nes
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Robins actually prefer platforms like this: [url]https://www.50birds.com/MPRobinPlatform.htm[/url]

Thanks for the inspiration, I really need to get some scrap wood together - painting bird houses with the little guys would be tons of fun once the weather clears up a bit :)
(they are NOT doing it inside the house!!! :D)
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

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gixxerific
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nes wrote:Robins actually prefer platforms like this: [url]https://www.50birds.com/MPRobinPlatform.htm[/url]
If that was for me I'm actually build bluejay houses, I was just stating the birds around here are getting ready.

I actually got my plans from that sight though, great site NES.

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Duh_Vinci
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Very nice Gary!

I have plenty of scrap wood, will make some this spring. Plus - will give me a chance to get back into the bird photography again.

Regards,
D

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Cagolddigger
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Nice! :D

Every year I plant Birdhouse gourds.
I cure them over the winter and get them ready for the spring.

Really easy to make.

Get a hole cutter for a drill and make a hole, empty the seeds out (save them for another crop), sand the outside, give it a good bleaching (diluted), drill a hole under the entrance hole, secure a dowel in the hole. You can decorate anyway you like. I paint some (usually white because of the heat here), I stain some and then give them a coat of sealer. Just add some cotton or other filler in the bottom and the birds will finish the nest.

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Zapatay
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Tagging for a future reference... :)

Thanks for sharing - Lovin' those baby birds waiting for mama.

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Gary350
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There was a TV show or movie can't remember which where the guy built a lot of bird houses and painted them all different colors, Green, Yellow, Blue, Red, etc, and it looked real nice. About 15 years ago I built some painted bird houses and put them up. They were up for 4 years and they never had a bird live in them. There was a fairly large wasp nest in the Yellow house once.

If you build both styles of bird house and give the wrens a choice they always pick the hanging bird house.

If you have several bird houses with the door opening on each house facing a differrent direction the birds always pick the door that is facing closest to south.

I built a bird house in 1985 that had the right side wall was glass. I though it would be neat to be able to see the birds inside. The birds covered the entire piece of glass with mud on the inside so I could not see in. LOL.

GardenJester
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hmmm... interesting... What kind of bird eats those Japanese Beatles? Last year they did a number on my beans. I had to put down some beatle traps downwind. I must of caught couple of thousands of them in my 3 traps. Can't imagine what would of happened to my beans if I hadn't staked those traps.

Do you have problem with the birds scratching up and eating the seeds you planted?

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applestar
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OK, OK! I put up another birdhouse yesterday! :wink:
I can see it from the window by my computer if I lean forward just a bit. I think I'll be peering at that birdhouse a lot :lol:

Dixana
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How about you start selling your bird houses.......some of us are a little too lazy to biuld our own :D

tedln
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I wanted to make some of the houses like you made. I have the material, I have the tools, I have the knowledge. I simply don't have the time. I woosed out and bought four "Wren" houses at Walmart today. I did a google search and found that they should be located at least 20' apart. Four of them pretty well cover my garden with that spacing. You must be gardening a couple of acres to get twenty five installed.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

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Gary350
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tedln wrote:I wanted to make some of the houses like you made. I have the material, I have the tools, I have the knowledge. I simply don't have the time. I woosed out and bought four "Wren" houses at Walmart today. I did a google search and found that they should be located at least 20' apart. Four of them pretty well cover my garden with that spacing. You must be gardening a couple of acres to get twenty five installed.

Ted
Wrens will not make a home in the house if the old nest is not removed. Wrens also build a nest in more than one house so you have to have several bird houses just to get one wren family. I put up some sparrow houses this year too so now I have wrens and sparrows. I have an evergreen tree so I have Red birds too. Red birds like to nest in evergreen trees. Sometimes I have Blue birds in the blue bird house but not this year. I have squirl nesting boxes too and a hollow tree so there is ususally 4 baby squirls twice a year in each box and hollow tree. Squirls are fun to watch they never bother the garden. I think I have a Black Cap Whooper family in one of the small bird houses.
Last edited by Gary350 on Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Ozark Lady
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Have you ever shared your house with a wren family?
We did one year, it was really educational, and fun.

Long story short, dog broke bathroom window, and the landlord kept saying he would fix it tomorrow. Anyone ever been there?

Almost immediately this wren kept bringing twigs into the bathroom and putting them on the shelf, where all the little what nots were.

I would take them out, she would bring more. Finally it just got interesting.

Every time anyone went to the bathroom, the bird was there or had been.

She got her nest built and laid eggs, before we got that window fixed, but by then, we were hooked. It was so interesting to go in the bathroom and catch mama gone and look at the eggs.

Finally they hatched, and man, did we ever get scolded for entering her house.

I remember the babies learning to fly, you had to shut the bathroom door quickly or they were all over the house. And you had to catch them to return them to the bathroom. One day, all but one flew out the window onto a bush with mama. We thought about keeping the one, none of them were afraid of us, we were just part of the furniture in their home.

Mama and the others cried, I mean, it really sounded so sad, so I opened the window and let the final baby, hop to the bush and leave with mama.

Boy, we missed them. But, it was so educational for our 4 kids, we all remember the summer that we shared the bathroom with the house wren family. That was the only bathroom and with 4 kids, well 6 of us were in there alot, so it was not very private for mama.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

tedln
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Ozark Lady,

I've never paid much attention to Wrens as opposed to other birds. Our grandson, who attends Texas A&M university; bought us a little "Aggie" birdhouse, which means it is hung upside down with the floor serving as the roof and the roof serving as the floor.

We hung the house on a railing on our upper deck thinking no self respecting bird would live in an upside down house. We were wrong. Most years, the house serves to raise at least two sets of kids. What really amazes me is the fact that the mother Wren isn't slightly afraid of us when she is hatching the eggs and feeding the kids. She lets us know every time we go outside that we are on her deck and can only stay if we don't mess with her or her babies.

One year, after the eggs hatched; mom was flying back and forth bringing bugs to the babies. We were concerned the babies would fall about twenty feet to the ground so we reversed the direction of the opening so they would fall no more than three feet to the deck. When mom brought the bug back, she couldn't find the hole. It took her an hour flying around that bird house raising heck and cussing us out before she finally found the entrance. Since then, I don't mess with them.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

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