Calabazas pajareras

 In actividades en la naturaleza

Casas rurales en Navarra

Os copiamos una entrada  de un blog que seguimos habitualmente, nos parece muy bonito hacer casas para los pájaros con las calabazas.

Birdhouse Gourds

gourds
A year ago I’d planted some birdhouse gourds. I placed six plants in my garden, fully expecting an overflow of fruit by midsummer. My eyes twinkled and I got as giddy as a six year old when I saw the first tiny, pollinated gourd. It grew and grew and kept growing! The second one appeared two weeks later – and it grew and grew. A third and a fourth! I was so excited to have homegrown, handmade Christmas presents to give away in several months.

And then nothing.
No more gourds to be had. One even had the courage to up and rot on me! Darn the luck! Christmas came and went with handmade windchimes instead of birdhouses, and I was left with two gourds large enough for the birdies. What I’d like to share with you today is the process of turning these hard and hollow fruits into homes for feathered critters. Mine will be set out near my garden in hopes of attracting some bug eaters, preferably a bird that munches on squash bugs! The third would have become a fairy house for the Kid’s garden except she lost it during one of our hikes. So two birdhouses it is!

gourd collage
  1. Wash gourds with a bleach and water solution. About 10 percent bleach will be sufficient. You may find it helpful to use a scrub brush to remove any mold, but be sure to wear some old clothes as you’re sure to get some bleach spots.
  2. Rinse with water and allow to air dry.
  3. Use a drill bit to make a whole large enough for small birds to fit inside of. A vice padded with a small towel helpful for this. Smaller holes will reduce the invasion of Cowbirds. At the end of this post is a list of resources for recommendations. You may want to wear a face mask for this part, especially if you have allergies to mold/mildew.
  4. Use a small bit to drill 3-4 holes for drainage on the bottom of the gourd. – Chiot’s Run
  5. Clean out interior by using a bent wire hanger. There will be a white paper-like material as well as seeds. The seeds may or may not be viable and the gourds may not be like the original fruit.
  6. Once the interior is cleaned out, soak in a fresh bleach solution for 10 minutes, rinse and allow to air dry for 12-24 hours.
  7. At this point you can stain your gourd. If you decide to paint it instead, you may find it helpful to put on a primer coat to ensure that any mold doesn’t come through your paint.
  8. After a primer coat, rough up the surface of the primer and gourd with some very fine sandpaper. We used two coats of primer before sanding and followed up with a final coat of primer.
  9. Now it’s all ready to be painted however I choose!
green gourd
hyoi pear
Now for a few links with height and hole size recommendations.
Wild Bird Watching
The Birdhouse Depot
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