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Jessi Loerch | jloerch@heraldnet.com
Published: Monday, December 2, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Learn to build the best birdhouses

  • Baby bluebirds huddle together in a box.

    Audubon

    Baby bluebirds huddle together in a box.

  • The Audbuon Birdhouse book has detailed plans for building different birdhouses.

    Audubon

    The Audbuon Birdhouse book has detailed plans for building different birdhouses.

  • A mountain blubebird perches on a tree. Nesting boxes for bluebirds are created to mimic their natural nesting preferences.

    Audubon

    A mountain blubebird perches on a tree. Nesting boxes for bluebirds are created to mimic their natural nesting preferences.

When I was about 10, I went on an Audubon trip with my mom. We were tagging along with an Audubon member while he checked the nest boxes on a mountain bluebird trail.

It was amazing. We saw countless baby bluebirds and adult bluebirds. As a extra treat, we saw baby flying squirrels that had settled into a birdhouse. (They weren't really invited, but they were adorable.)

I recently check out a copy of Audubon's new "Birdhouse Book: Building, Placing and Maintaining Great Homes for Great Birds."

It caught my eye because it has a photo on the cover of a pair of bluebirds at a nest box very similar to the ones I remember.

The book is perfect for anyone who is seriously interested in attracting birds to their yards or in helping protect bird populations. It is like a dictionary for birdhouses, with detailed plans to build houses for more than 20 bird species. Different birds like different places to nest. The book talks you through the details.

The book has information on providing nest sites for both birds in boxes and birds out of boxes. Swallows, for instance, like to nest on platforms.

There are building plans for accommodate a range of birds, including songbirds, owls, ducks, woodpeckers and more.

Each birdhouse has a detailed diagrams showing you how to create the box. You only need the most basic of wood-working skills to follow the plans.

There is also detailed information on the best places to put the boxes, how to maintain them and how to protect the birds from predators and pests.

So, although the flying squirrels were adorable, if you'd rather your birdhouse attract, you know, birds, you can advice on how to make that happen.

I think the book would make a great gift for anyone who loves birds and has basic woodworking skills. Or, if you're handy, an actual birdhouse would be an excellent gift.

The book retails for $24.99. You can get more info on it here.

Story tags » BooksBird-watching

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