Resurgence in the interest of bird watching prompted one community to start a new bird house hobby club. All ages are welcome to join, and other communities are encouraged to start their own hobby club that builds different types of bird houses for the various feathered friends that are present in their area. The idea was formulated when local boys had asked one of the avid bird watchers in town to help them build bird houses. It started as a weekend project and turned into a community project.
Bird hunting turned to bird watching for several young boys who watched as a family of mourning doves built their nest, sat on their eggs and hatched out three babies. The boys wanted to build the bird houses to provide shelter for the family of birds in bad weather. They didn’t understand that once the nest is built, the parents will most often stick to their original home, but other pairs of birds would be attracted. Once the boys learned this, they were really enthusiastic about building different sizes so a wide variety of birds would start nesting.
As a way to create an interest in the hobby of building bird houses, several community members offered cash prizes for the best built and decorated bird houses. The contest was on and scheduled to be judged at the county fair. The variety and size of the bird houses went from very simple designs to exquisitely creative elaborate condos for Purple Martins. Interest mounted as the judges from one of the local bird conservatories judged the houses. Finally winners were selected, given their cash prizes, and the bird houses were taken to habitat areas and erected.
Here are some of the things that these hobbyists learned along the way of building their perfect bird houses:
- Decide what type of bird you want to be landlord for. Many species are very picky about the houses they live in and raise their families in. The sizes of the house and the location of the hole they enter from is another thing that some birds are very particular about. Do your research about the type of bird you want to attract and provide them with the ideal house and they will most likely move right on in.
- Be sure that the bird house you provide you feathered occupants has entrances that meet their preferences. This is how many birds keep predators from snatching their eggs or eating their babies.
- Provide nesting materials such as fabric, straw, yarn and string for the birds to use to build a nest with. Placing this material close by where you want the birds to build their nest will encourage them to choose your site.
The communities that have started their own clubs have seen a return of some species of birds that they have not seen for many years. As natural habitats disappear, birds have become dependent on humans providing housing for them. This type of cooperation with nature can preserve fast disappearing species and allow future generations to hear the songs of the birds that we grew up with. Start your bird house hobby club in your community and help keep the birds serenading us with their sweet songs.