Tag Archives: Birds

Build Your Own Martin House

Purple martins are swallows that migrate from South America to North America each year to breed. Many people enjoy listening to their songs, watching their aerial acrobatics and seeing fledglings emerge from their nests. Although purple martins don’t eat mosquitoes, they eat large numbers of many other kinds of insects. For these reasons, many people build martin houses in the hope that the birds will build nests in them.

1 Site your martin house properly. Purple martins won’t nest in houses too near the ground or too near homes or tall trees. Martin houses should be a minimum of 40 feet (12 meters) from homes and trees and 20 feet (6 meters) high.

2 Design your martin house for several nesting pairs. It should have nesting compartments that are completely separated from one another, access holes for the birds, porches to perch on and a gabled roof. Some houses have multiple levels to accommodate more birds.

3 Cut the wood for the floor so it will extend past the exterior walls 3 inches (7.5 cm) on all sides. This creates the porches. You can also attach porches using 3-inch strips of wood.

4 Create several nesting compartments inside using partitions. Each space should be 6 inches (15 cm) tall, 6 inches wide and 6 inches deep.

5 Cut semicircular entrance holes. These should be 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter and 1-3/16 inches (3 cm) tall for each compartment. Set the bottom of the hole flush with the porch to discourage starlings and owls from using the martin house.

6 Drill small holes in the “attic” portion of the house to encourage air flow. Cut a thick piece of polystyrene or corrugated cardboard to fit inside the attic so the house won’t get too hot.

7 Build the roof. Make sure it extends past the exterior walls enough to help shield the access holes from rain and give the birds some shade.

8 Assemble the martin house. Keep in mind that you will want to occasionally disassemble it to clean out the nesting compartments. If you use a router to create slots in the partitions, the floors and in the exterior walls, you will be able to slide them together for a tight fit without permanently attaching them with screws or brads.

9 Paint the house white. Never paint or stain it dark colors, although you can paint the trim another light color if desired.

10 Mount the house on a metal pole that has been set in concrete. You may want to add a winch and pulley system that will allow you to raise and lower the house easily so you can check on nestlings or clean the compartments.

S & K Purple Martin House – 10 Family FH10

SKU: 033570112

Telescoping Pole

Heath Purple Martin House Telescoping Pole MP 15

SKU: 050510058

Hummingbird Feeder Nectar Recipe

This is for all those bird watchers out there. If this is something you like to do as a hobby or just like sitting on your porch I imagine that one of you favorite birds is the hummingbird. If you are new to this the best way to attract them is putting out humming bird feeders. The sweet smell will attract them and have them buzzing all over your yard. Stop by Rural King and pick up a feeder and try this homemade recipe.

Homemade hummingbird nectar recipe instructions:

1 part regular white sugar to 4 parts water.
Example: 1 cup sugar, 4 cups water

1. Boil the water.
2. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
3. Let cool.
4. Refrigerate in a designated hummingbird feeder pitcher.

Using a microwave works too. Put the water in a microwave safe container and heat to boiling point. Carefully remove and add sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. I fill my clean feeders and set them aside to cool and let the rest cool a bit before storing in the fridge.

Nothing extra: There is no need to add anything extra to the homemade hummingbird nectar recipe, i.e. coloring, honey, etc. It’s not necessary and could be harmful. Honey will quickly ferment becoming poisonous to the birds.

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How to Make a Simple Homemade Bird Feeder

Are you looking for a fun and easy project the whole family can enjoy? Have a fun craft day making homemade bird feeders This is the perfect project for spring!    Makes approx 2 bird feeders.

What you will need to get started:

Instructions:

  1. In a small saucepan mix the gelatin and water.  Stir until it is completely dissolved.
  2. Once the mix is dissolved turn on to a medium heat continue to stir until gelatin simmers and then remove the pan from the heat.
  3. Stir in 2 Cups of Bird Seed.  Let it cool for a few minutes.
  4. While the seed is cooling like a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Make sure to spray the insides of the cookie cutters to prevent sticking.  It’s also a good idea to spray the straws.
  6. Next you can start spooning in the bird seed to fill the cookie cutter.
  7. Insert a straw into the mixture.
  8. Place the cookie sheet in the fridge for about an hour or until they are solid.
  9. Remove the straws and tie with twine.
  10. Lastly hang them in the yard and enjoy watching the birds.
Bird Feeder

Homemade Bird Feeder