Gazette Archive 5/12/04
A Book Review by Ned Bulken
The Introduction sets the tone for the rest of the book, covering various styles and concerns when building birdhouses and nest boxes. Mr. Kelsey discusses where best to site the boxes, as well as how to mount them, and what predators to be concerned with. The photographs throughout are beautiful with vibrant colors, reproduced in vivid true-to-life color. The construction techniques are aimed at the novice woodworker.
In the section entitled Birdhouse Woodworking, Mr. Kelsey discusses material selection, stating the rougher grades work better for our feathered friends, allowing them better purchase when exiting the structures. He also recommends using commonly available barn shakes, wooden roofing shingles, and also recycled materials from dilapidated structures. He then describes the very basic shop benches, which can be used, as well as tools available and their proper usage, from hand tools to clamps, measuring devices and marking techniques. He addresses basic construction techniques, as well as how to correct some common mistakes such as drilling the entry hole too small. Perhaps the best portion of this section is a chart detailing no less than 74 species and the most appropriate size house, entrance size and placement, height of house above ground and habitat for each one. The book was written in England, so the dimensions are listed in both English and Metric measurements.
The Birdhouse Projects section
covers 15 distinct designs of birdhouses, ranging from your basic
slant roof box mounted on a pole, to a shelf designed for robins,
and on up to the classic apartment structure for purple martins
plus one bird feeder. Each chapter features a color photograph
of the finished project plus a combination cut list and exploded
view done in computer generated graphics with detailed dimensions.
Following are step-by-step color photos with descriptive paragraphs
for each photo, along with occasional advanced techniques as
the book progresses.
Editor's Note: Sterling Publishing has graciously donated several books for review which are passed on to our members free of charge in exchange for thoughtful, honest reviews. Thank You! And you can usually find their titles at a discount from Barnes And Noble