Yes, that was back in August 2014. Well, I eventually harvested the gourds after allowing them to dry on the vine. They have been sitting on my workbench for two years. That is a crying shame, isn’t it? I didn’t give them much thought other than moving them out of the way when a project required the use of the top of my workbench. Every once in a while, I’d shake them and the seeds inside made sounds like maracas do. Other than that, I had almost forgotten about them. Tricia told me that she wanted to just throw them away. I’m glad she didn’t. Here are the gourds in the space they’ve occupied for much too long.
After procrastinating for about 2 years, I finally motivated myself to commence making birdhouses from our birdhouse gourds. I’m not much of a craftsman, but I’m pleased with the final product and wanted to show you how the process went. First, I drilled out a 1 inch diameter hole in each of the gourds. The gourd exterior is hard, like wood.
The gourds are chock-full of seeds that look kind of like teeth! I shook them all out.
Here are all the gourds drilled out sitting on a pile of seeds.
Lots and lots of seeds!
In fact, I saved a bunch of the seeds and stored them. If anyone would like some Birdhouse Gourd Seeds FOR FREE, let me know and I’ll pass some along to you. They are fun to grow and watch mature. I think kids would get a kick out of them.
Next, I drilled three holes in the bottom. This is important. If you didn’t, they would fill with water in a rainstorm, drowning the bird family that occupied the birdhouse. These drains will keep the birds high and dry within the confines of their home.
Then I drilled holes beneath the entry hole to each birdhouse, added wood glue to the edges, and inserted dowels that I cut. These will serve as the perch. I can envision Momma bird standing on the perch while delivering food to her babies inside.
I hung the gourds on the clothesline outside to allow the glue holding the perches to fully dry, but I’m not done yet.
I opened a can of polyurethane and brushed several coats onto the gourds. I wanted to seal the gourd from the weather since they’ll be outside. Many people paint their birdhouse gourds. I see a lot of them hanging around our area painted white. I opted to just use a clear polyurethane as I think the natural color looks cool.
It was then that I realized that I should probably enlarge the entry holes to accommodate birds with larger girth. While some of our birds are very small, some are ‘super-sized’ and may not fit into the smaller opening. I inserted a grinding wheel onto my drill and enlarged all of the openings.
Nice weather arrived and I hung them in a pecan tree in a spot right outside our garage door that Tricia calls, “The Grove.” Here are all four of them hanging in the shade ready for occupancy:
Here’s one birdhouse up close.
And here is the finished product.
If I was a bird I would promptly move into one of the “Our Maker’s Acres Manufactured Homes.” It’s by no means a gated community, but the neighborhood is nice enough and there seems to be vacancy and plenty of room to spread out my wings and raise a brood.