Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bluebird Houses and Bat Boxes

Friday night I took the older boys over to Third Fridays in Middlebury. Middlebury Parks was hosting a bluebird and bat box workshop at the library. We had to stop by the letter elk first. I love how the letters actually jump off the animal. My oldest wondered if it had all the letters of the alphabet on it, but didn't take the time to verify.

We've seen bat boxes for sale around $40, so thought the $5 charge for materials was quite reasonable. Kits were made with all needed construction supplies. One of the helpers who cut boards stopped in to see the fruits of his effort--I'm sure that was neat to see all these families working on their boxes. I thought of the many hours in putting this together. Thank you!

We started with a bluebird house. I've read about the nesting preferences of bluebirds so noticed the size of hole (important) and the deep nature of the box. There is also a way to open the box and clean the nest out each new season. We've had around 5 bluebirds hanging around our bird feeders the last few weeks. I read they are not typically feeder birds, but they hang out on top of the tetherball pole and bird feeders.

This family was so cute. Each girl had a baggy full of change for the bird house. And they were making them with their mom--loved it!

The boys worked together on their projects, with me helping as needed. Okay, a fair amount, but they were involved the whole time. It's a team project, not an individual effort.

I guess this is considered a two-chamber bat box. When we messed up, it was nice to have someone come over and help us fix our mistake--thanks, Tom!

We weren't the only ones. :-)

This was a great team effort. We need to caulk the bat box and paint it black soon. Then we need to find good places to hang each. While I've read basics, we were also given instructions on putting these up and what we might expect. In the process of finding places, the boys will also learn more about the preferences of these animals as well.

We followed up with a little ice cream bribery bonding after we were done since I was on a Friday night "date" with my oldest two boys. I find my kids are usually more tolerating of activities when we combine with a little incentive. Do you ever "encourage" your children?

If you'd like to make your own, there are plans various places online. This is a fun family project. With the kits already assembled, this was an easy way to have ownership in what we made. Looking forward to hanging these up!

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