Directions for Making a Birdhouse Using a Clean,
Clean gourd (dried skin and mold removed)
- Drill with a hole saw attachment (for opening)
- Clean out tool (to remove seeds and pith from inside)
- Fine-grained sandpaper
- Strip of rawhide or wire for hanging
- Dye or paint for finishing (optional)
- Polyurethane spray to weatherproof (outside of gourd only)
- Choose a gourd that will have a good "nest" space in the bottom. Many people prefer kettle gourds because they have the natural bulb shape bottom, but there are many other types of gourds that will work well also.
- By looking at the gourd, determine which side will make the best "front" for the house. For an entrance, using an expansion bit or hole saw, placed slightly above the center of the widest part of the gourd.
- Clean out the inside of the gourd using a long handled tool which can be purchased for just this purpose or try using a serrated knife to break up the pith and seeds. You will have to remove the seeds and pith through the entrance hole that you made. The gourd is now ready for finishing.
- To hang the gourd drill two 1/4 inch-diameter holes at the stem end for the hanger. For a hanger you could use a piece of rigid wire (such as a coat hanger) or a strip of rawhide. Drill four or five holes in the bottom, approximately 3/8" using a drill bit, and possibly 2 or 3, 3/8" holes on the sides for drainage and ventilation.
- The outside of the gourd may be finished using dye, or primer followed by enamel paint. Lightly sand first with fine sandpaper so the primer adheres well to the surface of the gourd.
- White is a good color choice as the white will reflect the sun, keeping the inside of the birdhouse cool. For a more natural look, just use 2 to 3 coatings of clear polyurethane directly on the gourd. If you use a colored leather dye, the color can be sealed using a clear polyurethane spray after the dye is completely dry.
- Hang from a tree branch or from wire suspended between sturdy structures.**
*The size of the gourd and the size of the entrance will determine the type of birds that will use the gourd for their home.
**The distance from the ground will also determine what type of birds will use the gourd for their home.
Do you know why there are no perches on the gourd birdhouse? Birds do not need a perch to enter the nest, they have such precise flying skills that they can land on the edge of the entrance opening. A perch would be an invitation for other "predator" birds to enter the nest. Therefore, you do not need a perch.
It would be a good idea to take down your birdhouse yearly to clean out old nesting materials. You may also want to lightly sand, possibly repaint and reseal the gourd yearly also. Your gourd bird house will last for many years and the birds just love them.