Produced in association with the National Audubon Society, Audubon Birdhouse Book explains how to build and place safe, species-appropriate bird homes for more than 20 classic North American species, from wrens to raptors.
A visit to almost any home or garden center presents birders with numerous cute and colorful contraptions that are sold as bird homes. But the fact is, many of these products provide anything but a safe refuge for your feathered friends.
Each of the easy-to-build boxes and shelves within is accompanied by cut lists, specially created line diagrams, and step-by-step photography, making the projects accessible to those with even the most rudimentary woodworking skills.
In addition, this practical and beautifully presented guide is packed with color photography and profiles and range maps for the bird species covered—including titmice, chickadees, nuthatches, phoebes, swallows, waterfowl, and even kestrels and owls—to help the reader properly place and maintain the homes to attract birds.
And because these projects are the product of years of experience and field-testing, you can be sure you’re getting the best advice regarding proper design, safe construction materials, and correct home placement to mitigate exposure to elements, pests, and predators.
Finally, beyond the birdhouses, you’ll find out how you can contribute to the larger birding community and even enhance your birding experience with the aid of new technologies.
Build an Audubon-approved home for these species: Bewick’s, Carolina, or House Wren; Prothonotary Warbler; Eastern, Western, or Mountain Bluebird; Ash-throated or Great Crested Flycatcher; Tree Swallow or Violet-green Swallow; Juniper, Oak, Black-crested, or Tufted Titmouse; Barred Owl; Eastern or Western Screech-owl; Barn Owl; Northern Flicker; American Kestrel; Black-capped, Carolina, or Mountain Chickadee; Wood Duck; Hooded Merganser; Purple Martin; Mourning Dove; Barn Swallow; American Robin; House Finch; and Eastern or Say’s Phoebe.
About the Author
Margaret A. Barker, a Chesapeake Bay–area writer and educator, grew up watching feeder birds in East Tennessee thanks to her bird-loving mother and grandmother. Covering environmental stories during a broadcast journalism career in the southeast, including at WGST, Atlanta, led to an MS degree via the Audubon Expedition Institute and an internship with Audubon’s Washington, DC, office. She managed the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Project FeederWatch and later the Kids Growing Food school garden program for Cornell’s Department of Education. She writes for newspapers and magazines, and she is co-author of Audubon Birding Adventures for Kids, the Audubon Birdhouse Book, The FeederWatcher’s Guide to Bird Feeding, and Feeding Wild Birds in America.
Elissa Wolfson has written and edited numerous environmental, botanical, ornithological, and veterinary publications. After graduating from Cornell University, she worked as an environmental educator for a decade, earned an MS degree, and transitioned into environmental journalism. Her clients include the National Audubon Society and Cornell University’s Laboratory of Ornithology and College of Veterinary Medicine. She is former editor of E, The Environmental Magazine, and Cornell Plantations Magazine, current editor of Rationality and Society, author of 101 Cool Games for Cool Cats, and co-author of Audubon Birding Adventures for Kids, the Audubon Birdhouse Book, and the American Museum of Natural History Pocket Birds of North America, Eastern and Western Regions.
Chris Willett is a craftsman and contractor in upstate New York, specializing in green building techniques, energy efficiency, and solar technologies. His academic work in environmental studies has included researching the effects of avian malaria on native Hawaiian bird populations, working to protect and preserve the endangered Marianas Crow's habitat in the Northern Marianas Islands, and banding raptors throughout New York State. He is currently developing a new business, Bird Brain Bungalows, in order to create ecologically sound, creative, and efficient habitats and homes for many avian species as well as flying mammals and honey bees.
Stephen Kress, author of The Audubon Society Guide to Attracting Birds, is vice-president for bird conservation for the National Audubon Society and director of the Hog Island Audubon Camp. He also teaches a popular birding course at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. As director of Audubon's Project Puffin, he has restored puffins and other rare and endangered seabirds to islands on the Maine coast and other locations worldwide. Taking his interest in bird restoration to backyards and larger habitats, he has developed methods for creating bird-friendly habitats using nest boxes made with native plants.
"North American native birds are picky homeowners. Barker (coauthor, The Feeder Watcher’s Guide to Bird Feeding) and freelance writer Wolfson present a useful guide perfect for backyard bird watchers. The book starts with historical content on invasive species, introduced predators, and habitat loss. In addition, readers will find territory maps and material on bird food sources and identification. These projects cover all skill levels and are enhanced by wonderful illustrations. Contributor Chris Willett, a carpenter, provides clear blueprints with exploded views and detailed cut lists. Like Birdhouses You Can Build in a Day, this informative volume tailors designs to specific species. However, what sets this work apart is the inclusion of research and scientific study results on what makes a home suitable for a particular type of bird. VERDICT The designs here are for enthusiasts who prefer to serve the needs of the birds rather than human aesthetics. This well-organized and meticulously researched book is a winner." - Library Journal