We like the wildlife at CopperMoon. I’ve taken countless pictures of bumblebees on echinacea, the new deer fawns every spring, orb weaver spiders in their magical webs, occasional bears, and the tree swallows who nest in our birdhouse each year.
I bought this birdhouse as an art piece. I don’t remember if I even asked if it was actually functional as a house for a bird. So, when we put it up, I was delighted that swallows liked it. We’ve had a swallow family in this house for the last 5 years or so.
We’ve talked for all of those years about making more birdhouses, and decided this year to put together a workshop to do just that. We did a little research, picked a time, and sent out invitations. Participants had the option of attending for free and leaving their creations here or paying for materials and taking their creation home.
Our intent was to make houses that the birds would like, so we researched patterns… what the right depth, box size, and hole size for different types of birds. We settled on 3 that we knew like it here – swallow, wren, and flicker. LightFoot cut out the cedar fence boards into the right sizes, drilled the holes, and assembled kits and instructions. Here are the kits sitting out waiting for folks to come assemble:
We had more birdhouses than people, but I think almost everyone put together more than one. In no time, we had 8 swallow houses, 4 wren houses, and two flicker houses assembled.
Having a rich supply of found objects, rusty bits, and other doodads, I figured we could use up a few of them decorating the houses. What I didn’t expect is the artistic energy that would start to flow! The creativity that went into the decoration phase was inspiring!
I was excited that my son, Holden joined us. It was great seeing him before he went back to school in Bellingham, and I always enjoy seeing what he comes up with. He thankfully backed off a bit on his obstacle-course-for-the-swallows idea, and his birdhouse has a steampunky feel:
Michael was our consultant on where to put the finished houses, so we know the swallows like them out in the open, and the wren houses will be tucked into the woods. The flickers will apparently nest anywhere, so we’re going to put them where we can see them from the house 🙂 Michael’s house has a tribal feel, and a wonderful, two-tone roof:
Dirk’s magnetic gypsy house is one of my favorites, plus his 7707W house – a tiny copy of our house:
Here’s David assembling what became the purple wren palace, which got glitter paint and some accessories the next day:
Josie and Briana both have free-spirited, think-outside-the-birdhouse creations of awesome:
And Richard’s tribute to Jackson Pollack (with chaco canyon pattern on the side- so cool) and optical illusion creations:
The workshop was so fun, we just couldn’t help ourselves and spent all of the next day putting together and decorating 4 more wren houses, plus putting roofs and final touches on some of the others. The goth birdhouse started as just a black and red paint job to finish off the one left undecorated at the end of Saturday, but Sunday it was transformed into Goth Metal House of Bird-dom… I mean doom! Thanks to Josie for the coaching on a proper death metal pose:
Josie’s did two wren houses that are works of art. No, they’re not for sale. I said no! I think there will be wren wars fighting over who gets these two:
Ok, I’ll stop talking now and just give you the rest of the pictures without comment.
Here are the most useful web sites that we found for making bird nesting boxes:
Hope you join us at our next workshop: Seed Balls of Blooming Bliss!