1. Organize your birdhouse building plans based on the species in your area and those you want to attract. There are numerous resources available that provide overviews of popular species in your area, as well as their respective feeding preferences. I find that searching online is free and easy; while also providing all the information needed. You may have spotted birds in your area and are not quite sure of the species. The online search can help you identify the bird by a photo or by various features of the bird. Your search words should include the question that you are asking or simple key words such as “birds in the northeast”, “red birds in New Jersey”, etc.

2. Be sure to have the proper tools and building materials. The tools and materials depend on the final product you want to hang or display. Birdhouse building projects range from a simple basic birdhouse built from wood scraps to complex decorative designs requiring the purchasing of materials. The choice of tools obviously is determined by the design you choose. It can be the simple and traditional box-style birdhouse with a roof; or a highly precise and complex decorated structure. For a basic design, you can get by with a hand saw, hammer, drill, ruler and screw driver. Likewise, the material list for the basic birdhouse is also simple. Some scrap wood, preferably 1″ x 8″ x 10″, wooden dowels  ¼” x  4″ long, a 1¼” drill bit, waterproof wood glue, finishing nails or galvanized wood screws. A more complex birdhouse design will require additional tools and materials.

3. Take the time to select the proper paints and/or stains.  The right selection of finishes is critical to insuring that your bird house remains durable over time. When you complete your birdhouse, there is a feeling of pride and accomplishment. You certainly want it to last through the harsh weather conditions associated with extremely hot summers and cold snowy winters and everything in between. Use only exterior paints and polyurethane finishes for your bird house project. Make sure you properly prepare wood finishes by sanding off the burrs and blemishes first. Lastly, never apply paints or stains to the inside of the birdhouse.
4. Properly hanging and placing a birdhouse will get you the most activity. Placement of your birdhouse is as important as the structure itself. Poles, fences, and trees are the most common objects that bird houses hang from. A metal pole is my first choice, as it harder for predators, like snakes and raccoons, to raid the nest. Poles are also easy to maintain. While it could be more work to install a pole for your birdhouse, the benefits may outweigh your efforts. A pole can be placed in a location that brings maximum visibility; enabling you to enjoy your hobby while also providing accessibility for maintenance. From an aesthetic point of view however, I prefer hanging my birdhouses on trees.
5. Caring for your birdhouse is relatively simple if you build it with an easily removable roof or wall AND drill drainage holes in the floor. The drainage holes not only remove rainwater, but provide air flow that helps keep insect population low. At the end of each season I recommend you remove the bedding. Make sure the drainage holes are clear so that any water accumulation is not present thus avoiding winter icing and potential cracking. Visually inspect the birdhouse and check for loose screws and other damages. Repair as necessary. You and others are now ready to enjoy another season of your handy work and see nature as it is intended.

Vincent Saponar lives in North Western New Jersey, and has been an avid birder and outdoorsman for many years. He owns many different binoculars and has considerable knowledge and expertise around not only binoculars, but other sports optics instruments as well, i.e., night vision devices and rangefinders. For more helpful information on binoculars and other sports optics instruments, I recommend visiting http://www.onesourceoptics.com