Birdhouse Plans

Submitted by Ana White on Sat, 05/29/2010 - 20:55
Starter Projects
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Build a simple birdhouse.

In the middle of building Grace's playhouse (putting up shingles, actually)

My husband came running over and said, "Honey, I need you to build a house right now."   And then he was gone.  So I climbed down and went over to investigate.  Another house, right now?  Who could be getting evicted?

My husband is finishing up a shed on the side of our garage, and a robin had nested in the rafters.  Can you see the little beaks?  They are loud and hungry.

The three tiny robins were getting very hungry waiting for their shy momma to come feed them.  We had to move the nest.  The robins needed a new house.  And they needed one fast. Before the mother abandoned her nest.

I rounded up some scrap boards, what you see here is a 1x12 @ 16" for the bottom, a 1x12 @ 12" for the back, and the leftover scrap 1x12 is the roof( (about 12" long), and 2 - 1x6s @ 12, cut down at a 30 degree angle off square. Three minutes and counting.  It's a good thing my miter saw has a permanent home and is plugged in.

I screwed the back to the sides, as you see above.  I didn't even take the time to make sure it was square or level, but I did use a countersink bit to keep the wood from splitting.

And that's especially apparent in this photo.  But our goal was to get the robins a new home, not build a beautiful birdhouse.  We are at five minutes and counting in this photo.

I don't do ladders and drills and birdhouses at the same time.  So up the RAM goes (Grace may or may not be holding the ladder while I snap a quick photo) and we've got a nice shaded birdhouse.

Despite making quick work of it, I think the birdhouse turned out beautiful!  Wish I could have painted it, but we did not have that kind of time.

And with a little pride, I can look out my kitchen sink window and see the two houses I've built.  And yes, the robins are doing fine.

Back to the playhouse, the RAM gave me a hand on the higher rows of shingles.  As some of you may notice, there is an error in how the roof is shingled.  You can see lines in the shingles where the shingles were lapped.  This is because I used 3/8" scrap plywood of the roof and could only nail into the rafters.  On the plans I will be blogging (very very shortly) we'll use 3/4" plywood and you won't have this issue.  You can nail the shingles anywhere, and the shingle joints can be staggered.  Still gotta get a railing up and hack a slide.  And also a swing attachment.  Can't wait to finish blogging the plans.  Hope you are having a super holiday weekend!


The Dafoe Family (not verified)

Sat, 05/29/2010 - 22:09

Wonderful story! I would recommend the IKEA EKORRE collection as they are cheaper than buying the wood if you dont have enough left over!! Oh and if you live near IKEA. I am bribing and pleading with the Granny to go to IKEA for her grandbabies!

Gnomeful Things (not verified)

Sun, 05/30/2010 - 03:19

Thanks for the birdhouse idea - something to do with the girls today.

Also a comment on the shingles. When I built the treehouse for my girls (not one from you but a few years ago) I used construction adhesive for the shingles. I did the same thing for the duck house and everything has held up fine through snow, etc. Just another option.

Tanja (not verified)

Sun, 05/30/2010 - 04:50

@ Janelle - as is the case with many species, the mother bird (or other animals) would reject the babies and abbandon the nest if it's been messed around with (It has something to do with the scent). So it was crucial for Ana to act as fast as possible to minimize the risk of mother bird abbandoning the nest. It seems like she did it on time!

Joanna (not verified)

Sun, 05/30/2010 - 04:59

I believe the moving of the nest was a bad thing to do. I would have waited it out until the birds were old enough to fly away.

Did the mother bird ever come to the nest??? I pray that she did!

Viola (not verified)

Sun, 05/30/2010 - 06:36

Joanna, Unless I read the story wrong the mama bird came back and they are all doing fine. I do agree that it is best to leave them if possible, but sometimes it is not. I would love to build this play house so much. It would be really nice to see everyone's bird and animal houses that they build. hint hint.

Ana White (not verified)

Sun, 05/30/2010 - 08:32

We were actually painting with a sprayer and enclosing the rafters, so the nest had to be moved. We are so happy to see the mother feeding her babies and can't wait to see first flights. Robins are my favorite birds!

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