Building a Better Birdhouse


Daniel’s den meetings are on Monday nights.  Usually they get together, say the Pledge of Allegiance and work on a small project as a group.  The last two meetings, they worked on building a birdhouse designed for wrens.  I have to admit I was intrigued by this.  Not so much by the birdhouse itself, but how the librarians would react when they saw a dozen Cub Scouts walking in with hammers.

The Ida Public Library in Belvidere started out as a mansion.  I guess they built it pretty well; the kids were banging away on their birdhouses, but you couldn’t hear it outside of the meeting room.  The birdhouse consisted of six pieces of wood, varying in shape and size, some Gorilla Glue and a couple of dozen nails.  Assembling the pieces was like putting together a house of cards.  Daniel needed someone to hold everything to get him started.  It takes a brave soul to hold a nail while a nine year old attempts to hit it with a sixteen ounce hammer.  I held the nail with a pair of needlenose pliers (the better part of valor being discretion).

Except for one knothole that refused all attempts to nail through it, the birdhouse project went surprisingly smoothly.  After three hours of work across two weeks of meetings, Daniel finished up a very nice house for some lucky wrens.  Unfortunately, we don’t have any trees in our yard big enough to support the weight of a birdhouse (or wrens for that matter).  But we have time to make plans.  We just had the first good snow of the season and all the wrens from this area are currently wintering in Mexico.

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