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Wildlife Gardening: large bird house / dovecot plans?

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lilies4me
Pekin, IL

January 22, 2007
2:16 AM

Post #3108961

I enjoy woodworking as well as gardening and have 8 acres of lawns and pocket gardens in Central Illinois. My goal is to build large birdhouses, dovecots and perhaps purple martin houses that I can put on large posts in various parts of the property. They'd enhance its appearance and most importantly provide safe nesting spots for birds.

I have purchased plans for two very large houses and built them. They look great and are being used by the birds. I'd like other plans for variety and also to make gifts for family and friends.

Frankly I'm not interested in dangling birdhouses from tree limbs but the type you'd see on an English estate or Monticello...large multistoried structures with copper or cedar roof, etc. I have the tools and knowledge to make them on my own but I've found that I waste wood and effort and purchased plans seem to be less wasteful.

I'd very much appreciate it if someone could steer me in the right direction to purchase plans for these structures. I don't know where to look. I've tried to check internet sites but I invariably find bird houses for sale and not plans to make them. I also find lots of plans but for small hanging birdhouses. LOL...it's frustrating.

Thanks for your help.
Equilibrium

January 22, 2007
2:59 AM

Post #3109098

What kind of birds do you have living in the very large houses you have already provided?

Dovecotes are attractive particularly in sets of threes at varying heights. I particularly like the ones that have copper roofs.

The Purple Martin House I have is older and was fully restored to its former beauty so I don't have plans to that one because we didn't build it but I did buy plans to a Purple Martin Mansion that were set aside long ago when I bought the one I currently have at an auction. The design was complex and even had a wrap around porch with a cupola. In retrospect, I shouldn't have bought those plans because they were way beyond my elementary woodworking skills. I don't recall what the roofing material was. I'm sure they're here somewhere. stelco might have some elaborate Martin House plans somewhere laying around too.

I do have excellent and functional bluebird, wood duck, screech owl, woodpecker, and bat house plans that I could readily get my hands on. I've actually constructed those and they are practical. It didn't hurt that they were all easy to build given my woodworking skills aren't what yours are. Any interest in those plans? The bat houses look sharp up under the eaves to one's home. They're all functional although their designs are not "showy" per se.
terryr
Bureau County, IL
(Zone 5a)

January 22, 2007
3:09 AM

Post #3109155

This place has some
http://www.50birds.com/D50BH.htm

and so does this place
http://www.freeww.com/birdhouses.html

I typed free into the search, which brought up quite a few. Hope this helps and hello Pekin! You're not to far from me...
claypa
West Pottsgrove, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 22, 2007
3:29 AM

Post #3109221

You folks will love this, in case you haven't seen it yet http://davesgarden.com/place/t/568623/
Equilibrium

January 22, 2007
4:15 AM

Post #3109311

claypa to the rescue with estate loghome birdhouses! My favorite is his very first photo in his thread of the Victorian mansion that looks as if it was built from Lincoln Logs.

I must admit I was taken back by 33 outdoor cats. That photo of some of them on the stairs to his home raised more than just my eyebrow but his birdhouses raised my other eyebrow and put a new spin on rustic elegance if there is such a thing. His work raises the art of creating birdhouses to a new level.

Here's one that is similar to the one I bought plans to-
http://netscape.lhj.com/bhg/store/product.jhtml;jsessionid=ZLJ0LWOJZ4P0TQFIBQSCCAQ?catid=cat1220008&prodid=prod3p501924
This one doesn't have the cupola I thought my plans had but it's close. Who knows, it's been so long it could be the same darn doll house looking Purple Martin Mansion I bought plans to. One thing is for sure, that's way beyond my skill set.
Equilibrium

January 22, 2007
4:24 AM

Post #3109329

This book allegedly has plans to a Gothic Castle Birdhouse-
http://www.alibris.com/search/search.cfm?S=R&qwork=8799854&qsort=p&siteID=KLVmR9fE2yU-HiF.26WAj_qaPrDd8lkxWg

Will somebody paleeease build one of these Gothic Castle Birdhouses for me ;) I'd take a Victorian Mansion Birdhouse as a substitute... any generous souls out there who want to spend a month building me an elaborate Purple Martin House?
claypa
West Pottsgrove, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 22, 2007
4:47 AM

Post #3109358

As soon as my wintersowing is done. I figured you'd want an Ark, though.?!
Equilibrium

January 22, 2007
4:53 AM

Post #3109371

I simply couldn't let birds use a handmade ark birdhouse. One of those would end up in my house! Don't tell me you are a woodworker amongst everything else you do! I was just joking about somebody making me a really fancy bird house. A birhouse such as that doll house looking one would easily go for $750 if not more. And, there would be a reason why it would sell for that dollar amount.

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