Article: How to put up and maintain a birdhouse: Thanks for the tips

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Image How to put up and maintain a birdhouse
By Lance Gardner on June 16, 2010

You have a birdhouse and are all excited to get it hung up. Wow, won’t it be fun to watch those birds raise their first family in your yard? They will even help you out in your garden eating a lot of bugs. Before you make some big mistakes, however, it is a good idea to take some time to pick a good place for it, and ensure it is hung well.

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ImageHemophobic
Jun 16, 2010 6:12 AM CST
Name: Angie
Concord, NC (zone 7)
Lance:

I appreciate this article on the proper care of birdhouses, as we have several in our yard. Unfortunately, we made a mistake early on in our purchases of not ensuring that each house had a means of opening for cleaning. Those will gradually be replaced with more appropriate designs. This spring, after a program at our garden club by a Wild Birds Unlimited rep., I made the rounds of our BHs, cleaning them out and getting rid of old nesting materials. I also swept away bird nests that had been built in the curve of downspouts under our eaves, as there were several of those. I'm trying very hard to be a more responsible bird hostess!
I think that if ever a mortal heard the voice of God it would be in a garden at the cool of the day. ~F. Frankfort Moore, A Garden of Peace

ImageLance
Jun 16, 2010 7:06 AM CST
Name: Lance Gardner
coastal plain Virginia
Question authority, guide in wisdom
You might be able to easily retrofit your birdhouses, to make them easier to clean, depending on what kind they are. If you look closely at my houses shown here, you will see a nail sticking out one side, in the front, down low. This is all I use to keep them closed. You should also notice that the door is in the front, and swings up on 2 screws that are exactly opposite each other near the top. After the house is put together, including the screws used for the hinge on the front, I drill a hole at a slight downwards angle, slightly larger than the nail, through the side and into the front. To open, pull the nail out with your fingers and lift the front from the bottom.
So, don't give up with what you have, you may just have to modify them a bit. If they are plastic or metal, perhaps some well placed cuts and velcro or string will work. I hope this helps. You can send me a photo if you want to, and I may be able to figure something out.
And I almost forgot, do you have some handy people in your household? That part can be very helpful.
Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground -- the unborn of the future Nation. The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations.
Dogs; Family Fun Unplugged; Perennials, Annuals, Veggies; Happy Birthday Wishes
ImageHemophobic
Jun 16, 2010 9:50 AM CST
Name: Angie
Concord, NC (zone 7)
Oh, yes, Lance, DH is quite handy and some of these may be worth retrofitting and some just need to be replaced. Most of our houses have been here for a while, so they're getting some age on them. One of them is a metal one that I bought because it was "cute" and now know it is nothing more than a furnace for incinerating any bird foolish enough to build a nest in it. No more of those "cute" BHs for me! As I said, we are becoming more responsible bird people as we become more educated in the subject.

Thank you for your offer and I may just take you up on it. I'll re-examine my houses and if I feel they're worth the effort and we can't figure out how to make them work, I'll post some photos.

Thanks again for your help!
I think that if ever a mortal heard the voice of God it would be in a garden at the cool of the day. ~F. Frankfort Moore, A Garden of Peace

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