DIwYatt: The Upgraded “No-Bird” House

By | May 23, 2014

Now that our berry bushes are beginning to bear some fruit, it’s time to put the bird netting back up. If you remember last year, we put up some PVC poles and wrapped the netting around it.

You can read more about how we created a Bird Barrier last year.

You can see how the netting is really saggy in the middle where we bunched up the excess. It wasn’t easy to get into, move around in, or close back up.

Stone Garden Edging 5

So this year, I had a couple tweaks in mind. I wanted to do this initially but we were pressed for time and weren’t able to carry the plans out last year. Here is the Upgraded “No-Bird” House.

The No-Birdhouse Day 1

I used the same poles from last year, but I added a roof-like structure.

Here is the list of pieces that I used to upgrade:

  1. Four – 45 degree turn pieces for the tops of the poles
  2. Two – 90 degree turn pieces for the tops of the roof
  3. Two – 10 foot sections of pipe (same size as the poles 1.25 inches)

I did a little math to figure out how long the roof pieces needed to be to fit my poles. The diagram below, the pythagorean theorem, is how you calculate it.

Pythagorean Theorem

I knew what my “C” side (hypotenuse) length was, and I wanted the other sides to be the same length. So to figure it out, you square your C value, divide it by 2 and take the square root.

My “a” and “b” sides needed to be 48 inches. So I measured and cut my 10 foot PVC pipes into four 48 inch sections with a hand saw.

I didn’t glue the pieces together, because we will want to remove the structure after the fruit bearing season. Once the frames were up and assembled, my worry of the sides not being sturdy came to life. I had wanted to connect the sides with PVC, but the fittings weren’t available at the local hardware store.

So I used some scrap wood to create a brace between the two sides. Since I was working in the garden, I just used my hand saw to cut the brace for the front and the back.

Building the No-Birdhouse 7

I cut two pieces, a brace for the front and back.  I drilled holes through the end of the braces and through the PVC of the roof pieces.

Building the No-Birdhouse 5

This allow me to zip-tie them together.

Building the No-Birdhouse 2

Next, we needed to get the bird netting unrolled. No pictures of this because it takes two people to put it on. We put it around the back and stretched the netting from the ground of the back to the brace on the front. We got lucky on the sizing of everything there.

We used zip-ties to secure the netting to the braces and the poles.

Building the No-Birdhouse

Once we had the top, sides and back secured, we needed to close up the front.  Last year, we used the opening where the netting rapped around the poles and met as the door. It wasn’t very convenient and ripped pretty easily if we accidentally stepped on it. And it was held together with a bobby pin. Not ideal.

Bird Barrior 12

So this year, we made a Hanging front door. It is kind of like a door that you would see on a teepee. It is connected to the brace on the front of the “No-Bird” House and is held down by the weight of a board that we attached.

Bird Netting door

Here is what it looks like closed.

Finished Bird Netting 2

The good thing about this door is it doesn’t need to be secured , the weight of the board keeps it closed. It’s also good because the door opening is quite a bit bigger than last year and easy to open, enter, and close.

Finished Bird Netting


And yes, Melissa has her little gnome out again, guarding the gate.

Gnome in Garden

After we were finished with this, we met the neighbor behind us for the first time, and she was asking if it was going to be a greenhouse. Great idea! Didn’t even cross our minds! We could wrap it in some kind of plastic and have a greenhouse!

What do you think of our “No-Bird” House? Pretty easy to make. Pretty simple supply list. Thinking about trying it at your place?

5 thoughts on “DIwYatt: The Upgraded “No-Bird” House

  1. Elizabeth

    Absolute proof that students WILL use math in the future. At least, if they ever want to build anything. Looks great and effective!

  2. Aimee

    Followed garden link from YHL and went from that to see how the bird-repeller worked. That’s a really nice garden plot and it has as lot in it for being a smallish one. (Surprised you got a good yield on cukes last year because I always though they had to be in direct sunlight and looks like there’s a lot of shade behind the plot.) It would be even nicer if the trees behind it were properly trimmed, especially the one with the dead branches – do they belong to the neighbor with the bright idea? Not sure if a greenhouse would work – assuming you’d use heavy-duty plastic on the frame, but it’s small and I don’t know how you’d get a cold weather heat source in there without melting the plastic?

    1. Melissa

      Thanks for the comment! I’ll reply in order of topics you mentioned.
      1. Yes, we did pack a lot into our little garden plot. We’ve found that a mix of square foot gardening and traditional planting techniques, plus our raised beds and tubs, works best for our small area. We also don’t have very many of each item, for instance…only 10-15 bean plants instead of a whole row of 30+.
      2. There is actually full sun on the entire garden during the day. Mornings and evenings are more shaded, but that seemed to work well for us last year.
      3. Yes, the trees and shrubs have been a bit of an issue. We actually trimmed the ones that hang over the fence a lot last year (just the branches that were on our side of the fence) and that helped some. We’d like to trim them more (they are also home to lots of birds and bugs since they are pretty overgrown) but we have to respect our neighbors’ taste in a more “natural” landscaped look. The trees on the back (the tall walnut trees) are the ones that belong to our neighbor with the greenhouse idea. The ones by the fence belong to our side neighbors.
      4. Yes, it wouldn’t really be able to work all year, probably only in the early spring and late fall for extending the growing season. You’re right, I doubt a heated greenhouse would work for the winter without melting plastic…and because we’d probably spend a fortune heating it since it wouldn’t be very airtight.
      All great points and questions. Thanks for taking the time to interact!


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