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More new housing on Twenty Seventh Street, but this triplex is strictly for the birds.

We had a whirligig on this pole for quite a while – a fisherman who fishes more and more aggressively as the wind picks up. From time to time whirligigs which have been outdoors doing their job (making people smile), have to be renovated. The fisherman has been up for quite some time. He could use a little sprucing up, and a new fishing line too. I’ve tried everything from string to heavy fishing line to wire to plastic electrical fasteners to use as fishing line, but it seems that after a sustained few weeks of fishin’, the line eventually breaks. When that happens, Buddy continues to fish but his line is no longer attached to the fish. This reminds me of that old song, Lazy Bones – when ya go fishin’, I’ll bet you keep wishin’, the fish don’t bite at the line. If any readers have an idea for a better fishing line that can withstand constant use, I’m open for suggestions.

Out of some scrap wood, I banged together the wooden base that allows me to simply slide the housing unit onto the pole, and then lift the whole thing off for cleaning. Next season, after birds are finished nesting out there, I think I’m going to whitewash the whole thing to add a little protection from the elements. I’m also going to add some kind of decorative element to the base blocks on either side. Maybe a sheet metal cut out bird or something like that. Sheila suggested we add an additional house on the back side as well. That should be an easy enough project. I think I can build a box to attach to the back, which can come off to clean.

These birdhouses will provide protection from the elements over the winter as well as nesting opportunities in the spring. Based on our experience with similar houses in the back yard, I expect my friends the house sparrows will be around to inspect the new digs soon.

Yesterday, I also added a new larger squirrel-proof feeder out back , so I don’t have to fill them up quite as often. We start feeding the birds when the weather gets cold and keep it up until well into spring. The rest of the time, they have to fend for themselves. All the bird activity out back is in and around a big old apple tree behind the house. This is right by the door to my painting studio (which is a converted garage). Curiously enough, birds are featured in the current series of paintings.

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