Hummingbird House

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Introduction: Hummingbird House

After seeing some craft show houses, I decided to try my hand at some hummingbird houses. Mine reuse some cedar poles, from a clearing job.
Material list is short:
Cedar post or log
wood glue
small dowel or stick
Tool list:
chop saw
3/4" forstner bit
1 1/2" forstner bit
drill press or drill
clamp

Step 1: Cut Blocks

Using your saw, cut a piece about 1/2". Next, cut a piece about 4" to 5". The first piece should sit on the end that it was cut from. Note, always you eye protection when using tools.

Step 2: Drill the Inside Hole, the "living Room".

It will be much easier to use a drill press, for this. Set your drill depth to stop at least 1/2" from the bottom. This can be a slow process. Take your time and don't rush. Once the center hole is drilled, change to the smaller 3/4" bit. Drill the door hole a little higher than halfway to the top. Depending on the dowel or stick you use, you will need to drill a hole under the door. Don't drill all the way through, if you can avoid it.

Step 3: Glue Pieces

Using your wood glue, place a bead around the top of the house. Place the thin piece on top. Adjust the placement so that the house looks like one piece.
Put a little glue on the dowel, or stick, and place it into the small hole, for a perch.

Step 4: Hang It Up!

After the glue dries, decide how you want to hang it. You can use a small eye screw and a length of small chain.
Find a good spot to hang it. Possibly near a feeder. That's not all. Hummingbirds use small strings, feathers, dryer lint, and hair to build their nests. You can brush a pet, clean the lint trap, or clean a hair brush to get these items. When you fo, place them on branches near the house. The birds will find them and place them on the house. Good luck!

1 Person Made This Project!

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21 Comments

0
Irishintx
Irishintx

9 months ago

you were in the right direction with the cedar log and forstner bit. but cut the long into 2" pieces. than use the forster to creat a cup. you can use a handheld dremel like tool or whatever to round the cup. next build a small box with exterior plywood 1/4" is enough. with plenty of head space since the hummers will hover above the cup. use brass screws from underneath to attach the cup . the small box will act as a weather shield . I would only do one to see if your hummers will use it. needs to be placed in a fork tree but not high up , perhaps 6-8' .
others are correct. hummers do not use birdhouses per se.
i buy a package of loose cotton approved for birds from my local birding supply store. no chemicals, dyes etc.
if you modify your house to accommodate wrens and chickadees than you have it going on!

0
loneoakusa
loneoakusa

9 months ago

Hummingbirds are NOT cavity nesters. These houses are a complete and utter waste of time.

0
Kenbjyoung2
Kenbjyoung2

Question 9 months ago on Step 1

I love the idea of this nesting house for hummingbirds. I wasn’t aware that hummingbirds used nest boxes, but I thought they built nests in areas with vegetation for cover. In Georgia we only have ruby throated hummingbirds. Do you know what type of hummingbirds use this box? And do you have pictures?

1
jaqi
jaqi

1 year ago on Step 4

I like these, but hummingbirds donit best in cavities.

0
penthesillia2
penthesillia2

2 years ago on Step 4

No strings, drier lint or Human hair. They get tangled in strings and hair and drier lint holds moisture compacts and turns moldy. Pet fur and feathers are fine.

0
JoeM452
JoeM452

2 years ago

I am planning on making these houses out of PVC water pipe. 3 1/2" in pipe with 2 end caps. drill 5/8" hole 2" from bottom. Glue bottom cap and use stainless screws to hole the other so it can be removed for cleaning. Use eye screw to hang from a short chain. I rub with light stain to look like wood. Easy to make and fairly low cost. Use 1 1/4" pipe. Dryer lint works for bedding or cotton balls etc.

0
lindyteep
lindyteep

Question 2 years ago on Introduction

Have you actually seen a hummingbird use one of these hummingbird houses.

0
TracyG74
TracyG74

2 years ago on Introduction

In my yard there are the bottom part of a palm tree left after they cut it down this is what it looks like before I start to cut holes it's soft wood, would it be possible to make a hummingbird nest out of this?

0
RobertM769
RobertM769

Tip 3 years ago

Possibly use screws or dowel, I imagine if you wanted to clean it out a couple of screws would work best.

0
AllThingsAnimals
AllThingsAnimals

3 years ago

Really good instructable! Has anyone had success with this birdhouse? The hummingbirds around here don't usually nest in cavities either, as far as I know, so I'd love to hear some success stories! :)

0
John T MacF Mood
John T MacF Mood

3 years ago

A glue may be marked non-VOC and NON-TOXIC to humans, but humming bird pysiology is radically dfifferetn from humans, of course.

1
John T MacF Mood
John T MacF Mood

3 years ago

I'd suggest using a stainless (with stainless screws) hinge on the back of the top (glues can be toxic and emit VOC's for some time after gluing and drying). Even dry, there is a very tiny amount emitted) A small stainless strip with two holes, unscrew fasteners to clean in the migration season. And the perch is not needed, keep the door hole as small as possible.to keep predatory critters from killing the birds, both adults and babies. Those Forstner bits are fantastic tools, but they will chew through wood so quickly, a drill press with a stop before boring through and through is nearly a requirement. A careful craftsman could make the holes with a chisel, but that would be extremely tedious, and over-widening the hole(s) is a problem..

Does anyone know if cedar is required, or would almost any wood do? I know cedar has long lasting properties, but poplar or pine with a natural finish would work, but may require finish (to last) that could harm the birds.... I'd gladly build new ones every year or two.

I have a crop of birds that come back every year. One I named "Squeak" got his beak caught on the feeder, he was a juvenile, and was cleaning his beak on the perch support member. I thought he had died overnight from the chill. I managed to find him alive, and gently freed his beak, and gently held him, watched him breathing, felt his extremely high heart rate, and he "SQUEAKED" at me. So, I slowly opened my hands, and he flew off like a SCUD missile. For four years he would come back, hover, look at me, and squeak, and then go feed. He was not afraid of me or my wife at all. I think he out lived most wild hummingbirds, but he has not returned this year. No other birds before or since hovered and squeaked at us.I felt privileged to have made a tiny friend.

2
michaelb2
michaelb2

5 years ago

Please contact your local college ornathology department if you can get a Hummingbird to use this. You will make their day and you might 15 mins of fame yourself.

0
loony1
loony1

5 years ago

I've built a couple hummingbird houses in the past out of wood scraps, I really like your design. When we moved, I didn't take the houses with me so I don't know if they were nested in after, but we didn't have any nesting luck in the three years they were in place. Any ideas? Great project in repurposing the wood!

0
radar518
radar518

Reply 5 years ago

I put in some nesting tips I found. strings, lint, and hair in branches are supposed to work. I've never had houses before, so I'm not sure if they will build. Hummingbirds are typically migrating. I hope they work

0
slkoontz
slkoontz

Reply 5 years ago

The hummingbirds that nest in my yard really like using spiderwebs, you can see them in the photo I posted. I love it when they nest because they clean up all the spiderwebs in my yard.

1
brian32768
brian32768

5 years ago

Nice design but I've never seen a hummingbird nest in a cavity. Have you? All the ones I have seen are in the crooks of trees and shrubs. This box might attract other small cavity-nesting birds though so try it!

Make it simpler too by leaving off the perch. The bird people say perches only attract predators, who perch outside and pluck out the youngsters. The birds nesting in the cavity don't normally use the perch. I have watched this. They cling to the outside of the box or they fly straight in. See for example

http://lansingwbu.blogspot.com/2011/03/should-my-b...

Some craftspeople seem to insist on perches, maybe they think they are cute but they are for the humans not the birds. Go with the birders not the wood workers when designing nest boxes. If you are making decorations for your house, fine, do anything.

If your box is for one season only gluing it is fine, but if you want to reuse it you will need to open it at the end of the season and clean it out. The old nest can be pretty nasty, full of bugs and .... it's healthier if they can start with an empty box.

Since your nest box is all wood you could just compost the whole thing and start over each spring (assuming it was used of course).

Whatever --- hope this helps and ENJOY YOUR BIRDS!!!

0
slkoontz
slkoontz

Reply 5 years ago

I have a hummingbird that nests in my backyard. She's never used a cavity... but there are many different types of hummingbirds so maybe some do.

HummingbirdNest.jpg
0
radar518
radar518

Reply 5 years ago

I've never seen any hummingbirds nest. I wanted to give it a shot. I've already thought about the cleaning issue. but, I hadn't thought about the perch. thanks for the tips