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´╗┐Title: Bird Houses Boys Can Build
Author: Siepert, Albert Frederick, 1883-
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Bird Houses Boys Can Build" ***

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BIRD HOUSES
BOYS CAN BUILD

BY

ALBERT F. SIEPERT, B.S.

Professor of Manual Arts, Bradley Polytechnic Institute
Editor, Shop Problems Series (on tracing paper)
Editor, Shop Notes and Problems Department of
MANUAL TRAINING MAGAZINE

[Illustration]

THE MANUAL ARTS PRESS
PEORIA, ILLINOIS



_Copyright 1916_
The Manual Arts Press

Fourth Edition, 1919



FOREWORD.


Years ago a country boy heard or read that if a simple box having a
hole of a certain size were set upon a post in March or early April it
would not be long before bluebirds would be around to see if the place
would do as a summer cottage. So he took an old paint keg such as
white lead is sold in, nailed a cover across the top, cut an opening
in the side and then placed it on a post ten or twelve feet high. Only
a day or two passed before a soft call-note was heard, a flash of
blue, and the songster had arrived. His mate came a few days later and
the paint keg with its tenants became the center of interest in my
life. A second brood was reared in midsummer and when the cool days of
September came a fine flock left for the South. Each year the house
was occupied until the post decayed and the paint keg fell down, but
in memory the sad call-note is still heard when spring comes, for it
is house hunting time once more, and the bluebirds are looking for the
home they had known.

That boys elsewhere may know the joy of the companionship of birds,
this little book is written. Birds will come and live near the houses
of men whenever food and water are to be had, safety from enemies is
given, and when homes are built for them to replace the shelters
nature offered before men came with their cultivated fields and
crowded cities. The following pages give pictures and drawings of
houses that boys have built and in which birds have lived. These
houses are planned for the species of birds that have become
accustomed to civilization so that they will inhabit the houses put up
for them.

The author is indebted to Professor Chas. A. Bennett of Bradley
Institute and Mr. L. L. Simpson of The Manual Arts Press for helpful
suggestions and encouragement; to John Friese for making the drawings;
and to the following for the use of the originals of the illustrations
which tell most of the story.

     Edward G. Anderson, Seattle, Wash. Figs. 32, 33, 34, 36, 39,
     54, 55, 56, 57.

     Frank H. Ball, Pittsburgh, Pa. Figs. 12, 29, 45, 66, 67.

     Leon H. Baxter, St. Johnsbury, Vt. Figs. 21, 22.

     F. D. Crawshaw, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis. Figs.
     11, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44.

     Donald V. Ferguson, St. Paul, Minn. Figs. 9, 28, 38, 62.

     Geo. G. Grimm, Baltimore, Md. Fig. 14.

     C. M. Hunt, Milton, Mass. Figs. 46, 52.

     H. A. Hutchins, Cleveland, O. Figs. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.

     Elmer Knutson, St. Cloud, Minn. Figs. 30, 31.

     National Association of Audubon Societies, 1974 Broadway,
     New York City. Figs. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

     Chas. Tesch, Milwaukee, Wis. Fig. 64.

     The Crescent Co., Toms River, N. J. Figs. 35, 49, 50.

     United States Department of Agriculture Bulletins; Figs. 20,
     51, 65.

     Youths Companion, Perry Mason Co., Boston, Mass. Figs. 58,
     59, 60, 61.

                              ALBERT F. SIEPERT.

     Peoria, Ill., March, 1916.



CONTENTS


                                                       PAGE.

Birds That Live in Nesting Boxes                         7

    Bluebird--robin--chickadee--wren--house
    finch--woodpecker--flicker--martin

Construction of Bird Houses                             15

    Dimensions of nesting boxes--houses of sawed
    lumber--rustic houses--cement and stucco houses

Placing Houses                                          36

Feeding Shelves and Shelters                            37

    Foods

Bird Baths                                              48

Bird Enemies                                            51

    Men--ants and vermin--English or house
    sparrow--sparrow traps

Bird House Exhibitions                                  54

Bibliography                                            57

    Bird and bird house literature

Index                                                   59



BIRDS THAT LIVE IN NESTING BOXES.


Certain varieties of birds will nest in homes built for them if these
houses are of the right shape and dimensions. Other birds may be just
as desirable but do not build nests and rear their young in boy-made
nesting boxes. We are therefore mainly concerned with the first group
which select cavities in trees for their homes if nothing better is to
be found.

[Illustration: FIG. 1. BLUE BIRDS, ADULTS AND YOUNG BIRD.]


BLUEBIRD.

This bird may be found during the summer months in most of the states
east of the Rocky Mountains, Figs. 1 and 59. It spends its winter in
the southern states and southward, returning north in March and April.
The principal items of food are grasshoppers, caterpillars and
beetles. It should have a house measuring about 5" in length and
width, inside measurements, and 8" or more in depth. The entrance hole
should be 1-1/2" in diameter and placed near the top, so that the
young birds cannot get out until strong enough to have some chance of
escape from their enemies after they leave the nest. While authorities
differ as to the need of cleaning after a season's use, it seems wise
to provide the house with some device whereby the bottom may be
removed for such purposes. Houses for this species are shown in Figs.
11, 21, 22 and 24.

[Illustration: FIG. 2. (ROBIN)]


ROBIN.

Robins usually announce the coming of spring when they return to their
breeding grounds in the northern states, where they are general
favorites. Figs. 2 and 60. The nest is usually built of mud and lined
with grasses; placed in the fork of a tree or on some sheltered ledge.
Robins take kindly to nesting shelves put up for them and it is well
to put up several since but one brood is reared in each nest built.
This old nest should be removed after the young birds have gone. A
simple shelf is shown in the lower left hand corner of the photograph,
Fig. 24, as well as in Figs. 20 and 49.

[Illustration: FIG. 3. (CHICKADEES)]


CHICKADEE.

The chickadee is one of the brave little spirits who spends the entire
winter with us, Fig. 3. We can be of considerable service to him
during the cold weather by providing food shelters. During the summer
months his home is usually found in some decaying stump, hence
nesting boxes of the rustic type placed in some remote spot of the
orchard or park are most attractive to him.


WREN.

When all other song birds fail to take advantage of a house built for
them, the wren may still be counted on. Almost any sort of home from a
tin can or hollow gourd on up is satisfactory if put in a safe place
and provided with an opening 1" or slightly less in diameter, so the
sparrows must stay out, Figs. 4 and 5. Good homes are shown in Figs.
10, 14, 15, 16 and others.

[Illustration: FIG. 4. WREN AND RUSTIC HOUSE.]


HOUSE FINCH.

The house finch has made many enemies because of its fondness for
cultivated fruits and berries. However, it has some redeeming
features in its song and beauty. The nest is usually placed in the
fork of a limb--evergreens being favorite nesting places. The house
shown in Fig. 51 is suitable for these birds but is also acceptable to
wrens.

[Illustration: FIG. 5. WRENS.]

[Illustration: FIG. 6. FLICKER.]


WOODPECKER.

The favorite of this interesting family is the little downy, Fig. 7.
Living largely upon harmful grubs and insects, this bird does an
immense amount of good by protecting our forests from insect scourges.
Woodpeckers do not build nests as most birds do, but excavate a deep
cavity in some dead tree leaving a quantity of chips at the bottom on
which the eggs are laid. Nesting boxes should be of the rustic type
made as shown in Fig. 12, leaving some sawdust mixed with a little
earth in the cavity. These houses should be placed on trees in a park
or orchard. Boys should be able to tell the difference between the
woodpeckers beneficial to man and the sapsucker whose misdeeds often
cause considerable damage to fruit trees. A nuthatch is also seen in
Fig. 7 enjoying a meal of sunflower seed.

[Illustration: FIG. 7. DOWNY WOODPECKER (ABOVE) NUTHATCH (BELOW).]


FLICKER.

The flickers spend much of their time on the ground in search of ants
which form the larger percentage of their food. Since ants sometimes
cause considerable trouble for other birds, a pair of flickers are
worth cultivating for the sake of the work they can do. Artificial
nesting boxes of sufficient depth and size are quite readily used,
Figs. 6, 20 and 25.


MARTIN.

Nearly everyone knows swallows of one variety or another. The most
beautiful of the family are the martins, Fig. 8. This bird is of great
service against the inroads of wasps, bugs and beetles. It prefers to
live in colonies even though the males fight bitterly at times. Martin
houses should have at least several rooms, each separate from all the
others. Houses have been built to accommodate fifty and more families.
Smaller ones are shown in Figs. 8, 9, 13 and 45.

[Illustration: FIG. 8. A MARTIN COLONY.]

[Illustration: FIG. 9. THE PEER GYNT COTTAGE FOR MARTINS.]

Fig. 9 is a miniature reproduction of Peer Gynt's cottage for a martin
house. This house was not only an attractive thing to make, but
martins selected it for their home during the past summer.



CONSTRUCTION OF BIRD HOUSES.


Bird houses may be divided into three main classes: (1) those made of
sawed lumber to specified dimensions; (2) the rustic type made of (a)
slabs of wood with the bark left on, or (b) pieces of tree trunk, or
(c) of sawed lumber trimmed with bark or twigs; and (3) cement or
stucco houses. In each case the entrance should slant slightly upward
to keep the rain out.

[Illustration: FIG. 10. WREN HOUSES.]

Almost any sort of lumber may be used, but birds take most readily to
that which has been weathered out of doors. A kind should be used
which does not warp or check badly; white pine and cypress meet these
requirements and are worked with ease. Yellow poplar is used and cedar
with or without the bark left on has its friends for houses of the
first or second classes.

Nesting boxes of sawed lumber should be painted on the outside to
improve their appearance and to preserve them against the effect of
the weather. It is often wise to leave a small amount of unpainted
surface around the entrance, and all paint should be thoroughly dry
before houses are expected to be occupied. Colors selected will depend
somewhat upon the neighborhood, but white, grey, dull greens or browns
are often used.


DIMENSIONS OF NESTING BOXES.

The following table, copied from Farmers Bulletin, No. 609, U. S.
Dept. of Agriculture, gives in small space valuable information about
dimensions that experience and investigation have indicated as good
for particular varieties of birds. This list includes many varieties
that do not commonly live in houses built for them, however. As time
goes on, we may expect to find more of these birds living in our
nesting boxes because they are apt to seek the same sort of home as
the one in which they were reared. The table is given to be of service
to those wishing to plan new houses not shown here.

_Dimensions of nesting boxes for various species of birds._

=================+==========+==========+==========+==========+=========
                 |   Floor  |   Depth  | Entrance | Diameter |  Height
    Species.     |    of    |    of    |  above   |    of    |  above
                 |  cavity. |  cavity. |  floor.  | entrance.|  ground.
-----------------+----------+----------+----------+----------+---------
                 | _Inches._| _Inches._| _Inches._| _Inches._|  _Feet._
Bluebird         |  5 by  5 |        8 |       6  |   1-1/2  |  5 to 10
Robin            |  6 by  8 |        8 |   [1]    |   [1]    |  6 to 15
Chickadee        |  4 by  4 |  8 to 10 |       8  |   1-1/8  |  6 to 15
Tufted titmouse  |  4 by  4 |  8 to 10 |       8  |   1-1/4  |  6 to 15
White-breasted   |          |          |          |          |
        nuthatch |  4 by  4 |  8 to 10 |       8  |   1-1/4  | 12 to 20
House wren       |  4 by  4 |  6 to  8 | 1 to  6  |     7/8  |  6 to 10
Bewick wren      |  4 by  4 |  6 to  8 | 1 to  6  |   1      |  6 to 10
Carolina wren    |  4 by  4 |  6 to  8 | 1 to  6  |   1-1/8  |  6 to 10
Dipper           |  6 by  6 |        6 |       1  |   3      |  1 to  3
Violet-green     |          |          |          |          |
         swallow |  5 by  5 |        6 | 1 to  6  |   1-1/2  | 10 to 15
Tree swallow     |  5 by  5 |        6 | 1 to  6  |   1-1/2  | 10 to 15
Barn swallow     |  6 by  6 |        6 |   [1]    |   [1]    |  8 to 12
Martin           |  6 by  6 |        6 |       1  |   2-1/2  | 15 to 20
Song sparrow     |  6 by  6 |        6 |   [2]    |   [2]    |  1 to  3
House finch      |  6 by  6 |        6 |       4  |   2      |  8 to 12
Phoebe           |  6 by  6 |        6 |   [1]    |   [1]    |  8 to 12
Crested          |          |          |          |          |
      flycatcher |  6 by  6 |  8 to 10 |       8  |   2      |  8 to 20
Flicker          |  7 by  7 | 16 to 18 |      16  |   2-1/2  |  6 to 20
Red-headed       |          |          |          |          |
      woodpecker |  6 by  6 | 12 to 15 |      12  |   2      | 12 to 20
Golden-fronted   |          |          |          |          |
      woodpecker |  6 by  6 | 12 to 15 |      12  |   2      | 12 to 20
Hairy woodpecker |  6 by  6 | 12 to 15 |      12  |   1-1/2  | 12 to 20
Downy woodpecker |  4 by  4 |  8 to 10 |       8  |   1-1/4  |  6 to 20
Screech owl      |  8 by  8 | 12 to 15 |      12  |   3      | 10 to 30
Sparrow hawk     |  8 by  8 | 12 to 15 |      12  |   3      | 10 to 30
Saw-whet owl     |  6 by  6 | 10 to 12 |      10  |   2-1/2  | 12 to 20
Barn owl         | 10 by 18 | 15 to 18 |       4  |   6      | 12 to 18
Wood duck        | 10 by 18 | 10 to 15 |       3  |   6      |  4 to 20
-----------------+----------+----------+----------+----------+---------

[Footnote 1: One or more sides open.]

[Footnote 2: All sides open.]


HOUSES OF SAWED LUMBER.

The boy with an outfit of tools at home, or with a teacher of manual
training interested in birds, can make all of the houses to be
described in this section. Figs. 10 and 11 show simple houses for
wrens and bluebirds. Drawings for this type of house are shown in
Figs. 14, 15 and 21. While the surfaces of lumber used for these
houses may or may not be planed, care must be taken that all pieces
are sawed or planed to the correct sizes with edges and ends square
and true so there will be no bad cracks for drafts and rain to enter.
Be careful to nail the pieces together so that they will not have
occasion to crack or warp. A good way to save time and lumber is to
prepare a piece of stock, getting it of the right thickness, width and
length, and then to saw up this stock on lines carefully laid out as
shown in the drawings of the bluebird and wren houses, flicker nest,
robin shelf and finch house. The most difficult houses to build are
those for martins. In Fig. 45 is given a drawing for a small home
arranged to care for eight families, while the photographs, Figs. 8,
9, 38, 66 and 67 show larger, finer and more difficult houses. The
doors or openings are 2-1/2" in diameter and can be made with an
expansion bit or a key-hole saw. All of these houses are to be made so
they may be cleaned. Sometimes the bottom is hinged on two screws or
nails, and held in proper place by a dowel (bluebird house, Fig. 21);
or screwed in place (wren house, Fig. 21, and martin house, Fig. 45);
or hinged and held in place by a brass spring (wren house, Fig. 14).

[Illustration: FIG. 11. HOUSES FOR WRENS AND BLUEBIRDS.]

[Illustration: FIG. 12. RUSTIC HOUSES.]


RUSTIC HOUSES.

The first group of houses of this type are shown in Figs. 12, 35 and
36. These are made of slabs of wood with the bark left on, and in some
cases, of the bark alone if it can be secured of sufficient thickness.
It is usually a good plan to drive a sufficient number of nails into
the bark to keep it in place, otherwise it will drop off. Houses such
as these attract birds that would avoid a freshly painted imitation of
some large residence or public building. Figs. 20 and 37 show houses
made of a section of a tree split or sawed in halves, the nest cavity
hollowed out, and then fastened together again with screws. The top
should be covered with a board or piece of tin to keep out rain. The
third division of this type of house is made of sawed lumber and then
trimmed with bark or twigs. In this way the same frames may be made to
appear as very different bird houses when completed. Such houses are
shown in Figs. 30 to 34. Sometimes a pail is used for the frame and
then covered with bark, as the center house of Fig. 28. This house has
a partition placed half-way up making it a two family apartment, and
is provided with ventilating and cleaning devices.


CEMENT AND STUCCO HOUSES.

Houses may be cast of concrete as Fig. 39. This requires a mold or
form, and takes considerable planning to insure success. A form is
made whose inside dimensions are those of the outside of the bird
house, and of the desired shape. A second form, or core, to be placed
inside of the first form, is made as large as the inside of the bird
house. The two forms must be mounted so they will remain in the right
relation while concrete is placed in the space between them. After
this has set, the forms may be removed, cleaned and used again. The
roof is generally made separately and put in position last. Or the
roof can be cast as a part of the house in which case the bottom is
inserted last. Birds do not take as kindly to this type of house as a
rule, as to those made of wood.

[Illustration: FIG. 13. STUCCO HOUSE FOR MARTINS.]

The stucco house has many possibilities. Fig. 38, shows a group of
such houses designed to match the general appearance of garages in
good residence districts. The frame is made of wood and the stucco
applied by one of the methods in use on large houses. Seventh grade
boys have made such houses, using 3/8" material for the frames,
tacking on wire netting and then plastering each side of the house in
turn with concrete. The sides were given a pebble-dash surface, while
the roof was finished with a steel trowel to give a smooth surface
that will shed water readily, Fig. 13.

[Illustration: FIG. 14. (WREN HOUSE)]

[Illustration: FIG. 15. (WREN HOUSE)]

A CAREFULLY PLANNED PROJECT IS SHOWN IN VARIOUS STAGES OF COMPLETION
IN FIGS. 15-19.

[Illustration: FIG. 16. WREN HOUSE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 17. ECONOMY OF TIME AND MATERIAL WHEN LAID OUT IN
THIS MANNER.]

[Illustration: FIG. 18. ASSEMBLING BIRD HOUSES.]

[Illustration: FIG. 19. FINISHING BIRD HOUSES.]

[Illustration: FIG. 20. (FLICKER HOUSE MOUNTED ON POST OR TREE), (HOME
FOR WOODPECKERS), (OUTDOOR NEST SHELF FOR BARN SWALLOWS, PHOEBES AND
ROBINS)]

[Illustration: FIG. 21. (BLUEBIRD HOUSE), (WREN HOUSE), (WOODPECKER
HOUSE)]

[Illustration: FIG. 22. HOUSES BUILT BY STUDENTS AT ST. JOHNSBURY,
VT.]

[Illustration: FIG. 23. (CHICKADEE HOUSE)]

[Illustration: FIG. 24. WREN, BLUE BIRD AND ROBIN HOUSES.]

[Illustration: FIG. 25. (FLICKER OR WOODPECKER HOUSE)]

[Illustration: FIG. 26. (WREN BOX)]

[Illustration: FIG. 27. (FLYCATCHER HOME)]

[Illustration: FIG. 28. RUSTIC HOUSES MADE BY ST. PAUL, MINN. BOYS.]

[Illustration: FIG. 29. RUSTIC HOUSES MADE BY PITTSBURGH, PA. BOYS.]

[Illustration: FIG. 30. SIMPLE LOG AND BIRCHBARK CONSTRUCTION, HOUSES
FOR WRENS, BLUEBIRDS, ETC.]

[Illustration: FIG. 31. BIRCH BARK HOUSES.]

[Illustration: FIG. 32. GOOD TYPES OF SMALL HOUSES.]

[Illustration: FIG. 33. GOOD TYPES OF SMALL HOUSES.]

[Illustration: FIG. 34. A QUAINT BIRD HOME.]

[Illustration: FIG. 35. A HOUSE OF CEDAR SLABS FOR JENNY WREN.]

[Illustration: FIG. 36. MAKING BIRD HOUSES TO ORDER.]

[Illustration: FIG. 37. CONSTRUCTION OF A WOODPECKER'S HOME. A MARTIN,
OR TREE SWALLOW HOME.]

[Illustration: FIG. 38. STUCCO HOUSES.]

[Illustration: FIG. 39. CONCRETE HOUSES.]

[Illustration: FIG. 40. READY TO PLACE FINISHED HOUSES.]



PLACING HOUSES.


The table given on page 16 states the height from the ground that
different species of birds seem to prefer for their nests, to which
several suggestions may be added. The houses should be so located that
cats and other bird enemies do not have easy access to them. The
openings ought to be turned away from the directions from which storms
and winds most often come; and the house must hang or tilt so rain
does not run in at the entrance. Such birds as the woodpeckers spend
most of their time in the trees and so do not take as readily to a
house set on a pole out in the open as martins or bluebirds. Flickers
are seen on the ground a good share of the time in search of their
favorite food, and so will frequently live in houses nailed to fence
posts. Houses are more apt to be occupied if placed in position in
fall or winter before the spring migration, especially houses made of
freshly dressed or newly painted wood. However, such birds as the
robin and bluebird rear more than one brood each season and so a house
set up in May or June may have a tenant. Figs. 40 to 44 show boys of
the University of Wisconsin High School placing some of the houses
they had made.

[Illustration: FIG. 41. (PLACING HOUSES)]

[Illustration: FIG. 42. (PLACING HOUSES)]

[Illustration: FIG. 43. (PLACING HOUSES)]

[Illustration: FIG. 44. (PLACING HOUSES)]



FEEDING SHELVES AND SHELTERS.


Nesting boxes make their appeal to but a part of the birds of any
community. These attract during the early spring and summer months.
Many other species are worth having in our orchards and gardens for
their songs and their activity in destroying insects and weed seeds.
To these some other attraction than nesting boxes must be offered.
Then again, many birds would spend a longer time with us if a certain
food supply were assured them. A simple suet feeder is shown in Fig.
45. The birds cling to the chicken wire while eating. A feeding box
for seed-eating birds is given in Fig. 46. Fig. 47 gives a shelf to be
nailed to the sunny side of a building, while Fig. 48 shows a somewhat
similar type to be fastened to a window sill, making it possible to
observe the birds that come to dine. Birds that hesitate to come close
to buildings may be attracted by the feeders set out in the open. Fig.
50 shows a feeder mounted on an iron pipe so it can be turned in any
direction. This feeder has one end closed by a pane of glass, and is
to be turned so that prevailing winds do not enter. Fig. 49 shows a
feeding shelf for winter use which makes an acceptable robin nesting
shelf in spring. In Fig. 53 is given a feeder mounted on a base with a
vane so the adjustment takes place automatically. Figs. 51 and 52 show
two food shelters considerably more difficult to construct. They have
glass on all sides, and are open at the bottom so that birds can enter
or leave at will. Fig. 30 shows a simple food shelter offering some
protection against rain and snow, while a very attractive group of
shelters are given in Figs. 54, 55, 56 and 57. If you look closely you
may see "Mabel" in the right hand feeder in Fig. 54. The builder of
these shelters found her so positive about her rights--since she
discovered the food supply--that he has been obliged to put up the
others to keep peace.

[Illustration: FIG. 45. (MARTIN HOUSE), (SUET FEEDER)]

[Illustration: FIG. 46. (NESTING BOX FOR BLUEBIRDS), (FEEDING BOX)]

[Illustration: FIG. 47. (FEEDING SHELF)]

[Illustration: FIG. 48. (WINDOW FOOD SHELTER)]

[Illustration: FIG. 49. ROBIN SHELF OR FEEDING SHELF.]

[Illustration: FIG. 50. HILBERSDORFER FOOD HOUSE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 51. (HOUSE FOR HOUSE FINCHES), (FOOD SHELTER
HOUSE)]

[Illustration: FIG. 52. (SHELTERED FOOD HOUSE)]

[Illustration: FIG. 53. (ADJUSTABLE FOOD SHELTER)]

[Illustration: FIG. 54. (FOOD SHELTERS)]

[Illustration: FIG. 55. WHEN THE SHELTER IS MOST NEEDED.]

[Illustration: FIG. 56. BIRDS SHOULD FIND THESE FOOD SHELTERS BEFORE
BAD WEATHER COMES.]

[Illustration: FIG. 57. A "JAPANESE" EFFECT.]

The window-sill lunch counter shown in Figs. 58 and 61 is a most
effective way to study birds at close range. The window selected for
this purpose should be on a quiet and sheltered side of the house if
possible. If trees and shrubbery are near at hand birds are more
likely to be attracted. Branches of thorn apples, alders and
evergreens are fastened firmly to the window frames to dress the lunch
counter on the outside while house plants or at least a curtain
should be placed on the inside as a screen. Fig. 59 shows how
particular varieties of birds may be attracted by offering favorite
foods while Fig. 60 gives an idea of what kindness will do.

[Illustration: FIG. 58. THE BIRD WINDOW SEEN FROM INSIDE THE ROOM.]

[Illustration: FIG. 59. BLUEBIRDS ATTRACTED TO THE WINDOW SILL BY MEAL
WORMS.]

[Illustration: FIG. 60. A ROBIN ABOUT TO EAT FROM THE CHILDREN'S
HANDS.]

[Illustration: FIG. 61. THE WINDOW-SILL LUNCH COUNTER FROM OUTSIDE.]


FOODS.

Food shelters become centers of interest in proportion to the number
of birds attracted to them. The kind of food placed there determines
in time the kind of birds that will be found frequenting them.
Seed-eating birds are readily attracted by the use of small grains
such as oats and wheat. However, every farmer finds a quantity of
weed seeds upon cleaning his seed grain, which proves very acceptable
to chickadees and blue jays. Bread crusts or crumbs, crackers and
doughnuts may be placed in the food shelter with the knowledge that
the birds will eat them. For those of the city who would need to buy
seeds, it will be just as well to get hemp, millet, canary seed and
sunflower seed, together with the small grains and cracked corn for
foods. Suet, scraps of meat and various vegetable scraps, such as
celery, lettuce, apples, raisins, and the berries of various bushes,
if they can be obtained, are relished. Bluebirds seem fond of meal
worms such as develop in old cereals. All birds require water and
frequently suffer because this is not to be had. If it is possible to
meet this need a great service is rendered. Finally, when the ground
is snow covered, many birds appreciate a supply of sand and finely
ground poultry grit. Many birds are lost each winter because of
insufficient food during inclement weather, that if cared for would
remain near neighbors in the summer to wage war upon insect pests.



BIRD BATHS.


The best bird baths have to meet two requirements: (a) clean, fresh
water, and (b) safety from enemies. Almost any shallow dish will meet
both requirements if properly placed and cared for.

[Illustration: FIG. 62. THE PALM GARDEN EXHIBIT OF BIRD BATHS, ETC.,
ST. PAUL, MINN.]

[Illustration: FIG. 63. (CONCRETE BIRD BATH)]

Fig. 62 shows several baths made of concrete. The pedestal and basin
are made of two separate pieces, and are cast in a form or mold. A
more difficult concrete bath is shown in Fig. 63. This project is made
in four pieces. The base consists of two parts, the bottom being cast
in a form made of 1/2" or 7/8" stock. The upper part is "swept up" by
means of the templet shown, which revolves about an iron rod or a
dowel-rod firmly fastened above, and held below in a hole bored in a
temporary base of wood. The column is cast in a mold made of sheet tin
or galvanized iron run thru tinners' rolls, and held by means of
several wires twisted about it. When this is being cast two pieces of
iron rod are inserted as shown which are to pass into both bowl and
base to make the whole job firm. The bowl may be swept by either of
two methods. The first consists of the making of two templets. With
the first templet a core of clay is swept up of the desired depth and
diameter. Then concrete is placed over this core, which has previously
been treated to a coat of oil. Woven wire is cut into a circular shape
and bent to approximate the curve of the bowl. More concrete is placed
over this, and swept up by means of the second templet. Some
difficulty will be experienced in removing the templet if undercut as
much as shown; however, the mark where it was taken off can easily
be troweled smooth again. The finished pieces are now assembled with a
small quantity of "neat" cement in each joint. The second method for
making the bowl begins with the making of templets cut on the opposite
side of the outline, as compared with the first method. A box is then
nailed up and a clay or plaster-of-paris base made. This is oiled, and
the concrete put in place. In this case a wetter mixture than in the
first case should be used. The second templet is then used to strike
off the inside of the bowl. After this has set the pieces may be
assembled as before.



BIRD ENEMIES.


One sometimes wonders that birds manage to exist and to actually
increase in numbers. Possibly the first group of enemies should
include men and boys who kill adult birds, leaving the fledglings to
starve, or who rob the nests of eggs. It is the writer's belief that
every boy who makes one or more of the projects in this booklet, and
sees it occupied, will become one of a growing number who will care
for instead of destroy the birds of his neighborhood. Further, if
every man who now thoughtlessly or willfully destroys birds, knew the
real money value of the work birds do, he would build or buy houses
and food shelters to increase Nature's best friends to mankind.

The second group of enemies include ants and other vermin which at
times infest nests and nesting boxes, snakes, squirrels, mice and
rats. Protection against this group is afforded by bands of tin about
the pole, or spikes of wood or metal pointing downward so that access
is impossible by climbing up the pole. Another protection is to make
the entrance holes small enough to admit only the occupant for whom
the house was intended. Of course, the houses for the larger birds
must be protected in other ways. Charles Tesch of Milwaukee suggests a
sticky fly paper compound made of resin (melted) and castor oil as a
preventive for the inroads of the small red ant, if suitable support
is available.

The final group consists of the two worst foes of bird life, cats and
English or house sparrows. If you really value the birds that have
been reared in the house you have built you may need to get up _early_
more than one morning when the youngsters leave the nest to protect
them from the highly respectable (?) tabby that lives possibly next
door if not at your own house. It often comes to a choice between cats
and birds: and the cats may be disposed of in two ways--the right kind
of box traps for the homeless and unknown robbers, and an air rifle
with sufficient "sting" for the trespasser from next door. A few
lessons of this kind usually have some effect.

The English or house sparrow was introduced into this country about a
half-century ago. It has spread over practically all of the United
States and Southern Canada. Possibly no bird has exhibited such powers
of adapting itself to new conditions. The sparrow is no respecter of
places for locating its nest. It lives on a variety of foods changing
from one to another as the necessity arises. In spite of opposition,
this bird is constantly on the increase, so much so that in many cases
more desirable native birds have been obliged to leave. The sparrow is
filthy and quarrelsome, and lives mainly upon valuable small grains in
every case where this is possible. There are two methods possible
which afford partial relief: (1) traps and (2) driving them away with
an air-rifle. Traps are usually successful for a comparatively brief
time, since the sparrows soon associate the trap with danger and so
avoid it. A very successful type of woven wire trap is advocated by
the Department of Agriculture but is probably beyond the ability of
the average boy to make well. It sells by commercial manufacturers of
bird supplies for about $4.00. This trap works all the year around as
it depends upon the attraction of food. Fig. 65 gives a simple, yet
effective trap. However, it requires the presence of some hidden
observer to spring it at the right moment. Another type of trap is
based upon the nest-house idea. Its effectiveness is limited largely
to the nesting season, though it may be used by the birds for shelter.
One of the most efficient traps was invented by Charles Tesch, of
Milwaukee, Wis. Its principle is that of a tipping chamber leading
into a sack thru a chute. Fig. 64 gives the dimensions to be followed
in making such a trap. The inventor says that the bag should be far
enough away from the box to make certain that the victim has no chance
to tell the others what happened to him by chirping, otherwise they
will no longer enter the trap. The box must be perfectly tight in
order to prevent drafts from issuing thru the entrance which will
cause sparrows to keep away. If a few feathers are glued or shellacked
to the tipping chamber floor, the sparrow is often attracted more
strongly. The bag should be examined frequently to liberate bluebirds
and wrens, who may have been caught.

[Illustration: FIG. 64. (SPARROW TRAP)]

[Illustration: FIG. 65. (SPARROW TRAP)]

However, fighting bird enemies without the cooperation of neighbors is
not an easy matter. In the case of sparrows, so many more are left
that traps alone are ineffective. An airgun properly used offers some
help in the city to drive them away from the premises, while a shot
gun or 22 caliber rifle are more effective in the country. If every
sparrow nest were torn down and no place given them in your
neighborhood, the pest is likely to avoid your grounds. Finally, keep
nesting boxes free from sparrows while the owners are away for the
winter.



BIRD HOUSE EXHIBITIONS.


Many cities are beginning to do excellent work along the lines of bird
preservation and attraction. This usually leads into an exhibition or
contest, though many times quantities of houses are made and sold for
other purposes, such as raising money for athletic suits for the
school teams.

At Cleveland, Ohio, a large number of houses such as are shown in
Figs. 15-19 were made for the city Bird Lovers' Association to be
placed in the city parks. The boys received the profits of the sale
after materials were paid for. In the Mercer Center, Seattle, Wash.,
the boys wanted suits for the "team." Bird houses were made in dozen
lots for a large department store, and soon the boys had all the money
the suits cost. Fig. 36 shows a group of 7th grade boys with the
houses made in two class periods of two hours each. At St. Paul,
Minn., the annual exhibit has become a larger affair than the
automobile show. This year it will be held in the city auditorium
which seats 10,000 people. The city council will pay the rent of this
building for a week and the boys will see that it is filled with bird
houses. Up to date (March 11, 1916) over $1,000 worth of orders have
been taken for houses to be delivered after the exhibition. Fig. 62
shows the palm room at the St. Paul exhibit in 1915. The county making
the most bird houses in 1915, so far as has been reported, was
Allegheny County, Pa., where approximately 15,000 houses were
produced. Fig. 67 shows the prize winners in a department store
contest at Pittsburgh, Pa., while an exhibit in the same city is shown
in Fig. 66.

[Illustration: FIG. 66. THE PITTSBURGH EXHIBIT.]

[Illustration: FIG. 67. PRIZEWINNERS IN DEPARTMENT STORE CONTEST.]

Space will not permit giving extended rules for such contests since
the rules must vary with each city. Briefly, there should be provision
made to give all competitors an equal chance. Boys of the 6th grade
should meet others of that grade. Prizes may be awarded for the best
houses made for the more common birds, such as wrens, bluebirds, and
martins. These should be judged as to adaptability or fitness to
purpose, amount of protection afforded to birds, good workmanship and
artistic merit. A prize might be awarded to the boy whose house has
the first pair of birds nesting in it. Prizes may be of many kinds,
but tools and books, as well as cash prizes are often given by local
business men.



WHERE MORE INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED.


U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, Division of Publications: Bird Houses and
How to Build Them, Bulletin No. 609; Fifty Common Birds, Bulletin No.
513 (15 cents); The English Sparrow as a Pest, Bulletin No. 493.

Magazines which have published articles on birds and bird houses: Bird
Lore; Country Life; The Craftsman; Elementary School Teacher; Ladies'
Home Journal; Manual Training and Vocational Education; Outing;
Outlook; School Arts Magazine; Something To Do; The Farm Journal; The
National Geographic Magazine; Youths Companion.

National Association of Audubon Societies: Leaflets, photographs,
advice.

Liberty Bell Bird Club of The Farm Journal, Philadelphia, Pa.:
Leaflets, books, pictures, supplies, inspiration.

Public Library: Reed, "Bird Guide"; Blackburn, "Problems in Farm
Woodwork"; Chapman, "Bird Life"; Hiesemann, "How to Attract Wild
Birds"; National Geographic Society, "Common Birds of Town and
Country"; Trafton, "Methods of Attracting Birds."

Catalogs of Bird House Companies: Audubon Bird House Co., Meriden, New
Hampshire; "Bird Architecture" Crescent Co., Toms River, N. J. (20
cents); Joseph H. Dodson, 728 Security Bldg., Chicago, Ill.; "Bird
Houses Large and Small," Mathews Mfg. Co., Cleveland, Ohio; Charles E.
White, Box 45B, Kenilworth, Ill.; The Wheatley Pottery, 2429 Reading
Road, Cincinnati, Ohio.



INDEX

(Numbers refer to pages)


A

Adjustable food shelters, 41, 44

Ants, 51

Audubon Association, 57


B

Bibliography, 57

Birchbark houses, 30, 32

Bird Architecture, 57

Bird baths, 48, 49, 50

Bird enemies, 51

Bird Houses and How to Build Them, 57

Bird house exhibitions, 54

Bird Houses Large and Small, 57

Bird house manufacturers, 57

Birds that live in nesting boxes, 7

Bluebirds, 7, 46

Bluebird houses, 17, 25, 26, 27, 30, 39

Books about birds, 57


C

Cats, 51

Cement and stucco houses, 19, 34, 35

Chickadee, 9

Chickadee houses, 18, 26

Construction of bird houses, 15

Construction of Woodpecker's home, 24, 34

Contests, 56

Contributors, 3, 4


D

Dimensions of nesting boxes, 16

Downy Woodpecker, 12


E

Enemies of birds, 51

English Sparrows, 52

Exhibitions of bird houses, 54


F

Feeding shelves and shelters, 37, 42, 43, 44, 45

Feeding box for seed eating birds, 39

Feeding shelf for side of building, 40

Finch, 10

Flicker, 11, 12

Flicker homes, 24, 27

Flycatcher home, 29

Foods, 46


H

Hilbersdorfer feeder, 41

House Finch, 10

Houses covered with bark or twigs, 30, 31, 32, 33

Houses for Bluebirds, 17, 25, 26, 27, 39

Houses for Chickadees, 18, 26

House for Finches, 42

Houses for Flickers, 24, 27

House for Flycatchers, 29

Houses for Martins, 13, 14, 38

Houses for Robins, 24, 27

Houses for Woodpeckers, 24, 25

Houses for Wrens, 10, 15, 17, 20, 21, 22, 25, 27, 28, 30

Houses of sawed lumber, 16

Houses of slabs, 33


L

Log houses, 28, 29, 30


M

Magazines which have published bird articles, 57

Martins, 13

Martin houses, 13, 14, 38


N

Nuthatch feeding on sunflower seeds, 12


O

Opening for various bird houses, 16


P

Pointing houses, 15

Palm garden exhibit of bird baths, 49

Pittsburgh, Pa. exhibit, 55

Placing houses, 35, 36, 37

Protection against enemies, 51


R

Robin, 8, 46

Robin shelves, 24, 27, 41

Rules for bird house contests, 56

Rustic houses, 18, 28, 29


S

Seed feeder, 39

Shelters, bird house, 37, 42, 43, 44, 45

Sizes of entrances and houses, 16

Sparrows, 52

Sparrow traps, 53, 54

Stucco houses, 19, 34

Suet feeder, 38


T

Table of dimensions of houses, 16

Time for placing houses, 37

Traps for sparrows, 53, 54


V

Vermin, 40


W

Wall feeding shelf, 40

Window feeding shelf, 40

Window sill lunch counter, 45, 46, 47

Woodpeckers, 11, 12

Woodpecker houses, 24, 25

Wood suitable for making houses, 15

Wrens, 10, 11

Wren houses, 10, 15, 17, 20, 21, 22, 25, 27, 28



MANUAL TRAINING TOYS

FOR

THE BOY'S WORKSHOP

By HARRIS W. MOORE
Supervisor of Manual Training, Watertown, Mass.


A COLLECTION OF FORTY-TWO PROJECTS
OVERFLOWING WITH "BOY" INTEREST


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Telephone

THIRTY-FIVE FULL-PAGE PLATES OF WORKING DRAWINGS

PRICE, POSTPAID, $1.15

       *       *       *       *       *

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By CHARLES M. MILLER
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Four chapters treat of aeroplanes, gliders and model aeroplanes,
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The book contains over 267 illustrations, photographs, drawings, and
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PRICE, POSTPAID, $1.50

       *       *       *       *       *

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DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION IN WOOD.

=BY WILLIAM NOYES.= A book full of charm and distinction and the first
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HANDWORK IN WOOD.

=BY WILLIAM NOYES.= A handbook for teachers and a textbook for normal
school and college students. The best reference book available for
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Price, $2.25.


WOOD AND FOREST.

=BY WILLIAM NOYES.= Treats of wood, distribution of American forests,
life of the forest, enemies of the forest, destruction, conservation
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=BY IRA S. GRIFFITH.= A clear and comprehensive treatment of
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Transcriber's Notes

Index has been added to the Table of Contents.

Some illustrations have been moved to paragraph breaks to prevent the
breakup of text. Page references match the original book. Descriptive
titles in parentheses have been added to images which originally had
only a Fig. number for a caption.

Page 13: FIG. 8. A MARTIN COLONYS was changed to A MARTIN COLONY.

Page 14: The two occurrences of Pere Gynt were changed to Peer Gynt.

Page 15: thoroly was changed to thoroughly.

Page 51: oposite was changed to opposite.

Page 54, now Page 52: shellaced was changed to shellacked.

Templet(s) used 7 times; retained.

Thru, used 3 times; retained.

Page 63: thoro; retained.

Bold text is indicated with the = symbol.





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