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Painting bird boxes

Discussion in 'suburban75' started by Elvis Parsley, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. Elvis Parsley

    Elvis Parsley http://www.etsy.com/shop/Woodnting

    I've been asked to make a load of bird boxes for a friend to sell. So far i've been using untreated wood reclaimed from old pallets, with some left over roofing felt on top. They're simple but do the job and have a certain rough charm, but i want to go for the tourist trade a bit more. We live on the coast with very high tourist numbers at times, so i want to make some beach hut style boxes, there's loads of beach huts round here and it's the sort of thing day trippers might buy, plus i can charge more for a fancy design.

    checking on the net there's conflicting advice on painting bird boxes, but as far as i can work out if i use non-toxic (is it really?) paint and leave a gap around the entrance hole, to allow for pecking, the birds should be ok.

    if this is true, which paint? if it isn't, why are there so many painted/stained/varnished bird boxes for sale?

    also, if i stick a pic up later i'd appreciate some ideas on what you'd pay for one, i don't want to over/under charge. i'm thinking £15 for a blue tit box and £30/5 for a sparrow terrace

    [​IMG]
    Blue Tit boxes

    [​IMG]
    Sparrow terrace

    sheds, your sparrow box is in the queue but i need to scavenge some more pallets :)
     
  2. Leafster

    Leafster Pottering leads to procrastination

  3. Biddlybee

    Biddlybee making knots with sticks

    There indeed is non-toxic paint, as I know someone who has painted their beehinves. Have the name of a few suppliers/brands, but at home. Will try and remember to post them later :)
     
  4. two sheds

    two sheds not as daft as i look

    I've successfully charred inside the box which serves the same purpose (not that I've ever had any birds nesting in my bird boxes).
     
  5. Elvis Parsley

    Elvis Parsley http://www.etsy.com/shop/Woodnting

    cheers, i'd appreciate that

    hadn't seen the RSPB boxes, they look a bit meh, hope mine don't end up the same.

    sheds, i remember i did some boxes at your's which we charred inside, i thought that was more to remove and treatments from inside alone, or did you do some others you charred outside too? EDIT: ok, so i didn't read your post properly... just inside then
     
  6. Elvis Parsley

    Elvis Parsley http://www.etsy.com/shop/Woodnting

    google sketchup of the beach hut birdy box

    [​IMG]

    don't laugh, it's for the tourists
     
  7. Biddlybee

    Biddlybee making knots with sticks

    I haven't forgotten, but was out last night - will check my notes tonight :)
     
  8. Elvis Parsley

    Elvis Parsley http://www.etsy.com/shop/Woodnting

    ta
     
  9. dilute micro

    dilute micro esse quam videri

    Put in an electric heating coil on the floor to keep it toasty during winter. Then ask the birds how much they'd pay.
     
  10. Elvis Parsley

    Elvis Parsley http://www.etsy.com/shop/Woodnting

    You know, i'm not entirely sure you're being serious ;)

    Anyway with all that roof space surely solar is the way to go?
     
  11. geminisnake

    geminisnake a complex mass of conflicting ideas

    Fairly sure the wood paint I buy from Focus DIY is ok for birds/animals. Most of them are now.
    Dunno where you've been getting pallets but I get mine from the plumbing centre and an electrical factor. Building places often give them away too.
     
  12. Elvis Parsley

    Elvis Parsley http://www.etsy.com/shop/Woodnting

    i'm not sure about most wood paint being ok, even paint with low VOC levels is bad for birds. found an eco builders merchants a few miles away so i'll pop up and see what they've got.

    normal pallets are easy to find but the strips of wood are too narrow, there's a place about half a mile away that have huge ones so i'm using those. buggers to carry home though

    took the first few boxes down to my friends place today, she had people interested in them within a couple of hours but told them to come back tomorrow coz she wasn't open properly :facepalm:
     
  13. Biddlybee

    Biddlybee making knots with sticks

    Sorry Elvis P I only wrote down the name of the shop, not the paint. It's where this natural beekeeper got her paint, and would only use non-toxic materials near her bees. Ieko in Lewes, www.ieko.co.uk
     
  14. Corax

    Corax This will change your life: http://bit.ly/19lPFRa

    My favourite painted bird box

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Elvis Parsley

    Elvis Parsley http://www.etsy.com/shop/Woodnting

    cheers didbib, the beehive paint on ieko like might be the way to go

    corax, i'm going to dedicate my next box to you, for your sins
     
  16. two sheds

    two sheds not as daft as i look

    Although i've seen that adding a perch below the hole just gives easy access for predators. And i think the RSPB recommend bird boxes bigger than that. And if you hang it from a branch i'd have thought it would sway around a lot in the wind.

    Apart from that yep nice box corax :)
     
  17. stuff_it

    stuff_it Nerd burglar

    I think you missed the gag - the hole is painted on, in hopes a bird will embarass itself trying to get in a la 'looneytunes'

    The hole is by ACME, but as we don't live in a cartoon world it is of no practical use to birds.
     
  18. two sheds

    two sheds not as daft as i look

  19. Leafster

    Leafster Pottering leads to procrastination

    :D

    I didn't spot it either. :oops:
     
  20. dilute micro

    dilute micro esse quam videri

    I've seen buildings with fake doors. :hmm:
     
  21. geminisnake

    geminisnake a complex mass of conflicting ideas

    Fair enough, I've been using the Focus stuff on my bird stuff for yrs and never had a poisoned bird yet. Maybe the birds up north are made of sterner stuff ;)
     
  22. Elvis Parsley

    Elvis Parsley http://www.etsy.com/shop/Woodnting

    you calling my bird a poof?


    sheds, bless
     
  23. Biddlybee

    Biddlybee making knots with sticks

    I <3 sheds
     
  24. Corax

    Corax This will change your life: http://bit.ly/19lPFRa

    This shed is tres cool.

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Biddlybee

    Biddlybee making knots with sticks

    Nah, two sheds is the best :)
     
  26. Elvis Parsley

    Elvis Parsley http://www.etsy.com/shop/Woodnting

    he's lovely, but dishonest. he's got way more than 2 sheds
     
  27. Biddlybee

    Biddlybee making knots with sticks

    :D
     
  28. two sheds

    two sheds not as daft as i look

    :oops:

    Be that as it may ...


    ... interesting information on bird boxes in Reader's Digest Good Ideas for your Garden what someone lent me.

    "Put the box up in winter before the breeding season, at least 10 ft (3m) from the ground. The box should be at least 4 in (10cm) square inside for tits, and about 6 x 4 1/2 (15x11.5 cm) for slightly larger birds. The wood should be at least 1/2 inch (1.3cm) think, treated with wood preservative on the outside only.

    Hinged lid should allow box to be opened for cleaning. Sloped lid with overhang to throw off rain. Metal strip round hole stops squirrels from enlarging the box. Hole 1 and 1/6 inch (2.9 cm) across for bluetits. At least 5 in (12.5 cm) from hole to base so that predators cannot reach fledglings.

    Fix the box securely to a tree with pieces of cord threaded through four holes and tied round the tree. Tilt the box slightly forward to avoid rainwater channels that run down the trunk. Face the entrance north through to south-east, away from most of the wettest winds and the midday sun.

    For extra protection from predators such as cats and squirrels, surround the trunk with a collar of prickly plants above and below the nestbox.
     
  29. Elvis Parsley

    Elvis Parsley http://www.etsy.com/shop/Woodnting

    cheers, got some similar info from another site, although the RSPB says the whole should be 25mm for blue tits
     

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