You don't have to be a cat to be attracted to birds.
There's just something about our backyard birds that few people can resist. Maybe it's the appeal of flying. Or perhaps they're our most familiar wildlife, especially in an urban environment. Whatever the reason, many people work hard to attract birds to their outdoor spaces.
If you're a do-it-yourselfer (or just a bird lover), you can create a bird sanctuary. It takes a few basic tools, a small quantity of lumber and a little free time. Great for beginners, the projects pictured here include large "apartments," smaller birdhouses and feeders.
All projects feature traceable pieces and basic construction techniques, and the necessary materials are inexpensive and easy to obtain. Scrap wood can be used for many of the projects. Each follows the same step-by-step process: Trace the parts onto wood, cut everything out, sand and assemble. To finish, paint, stain or leave the wood natural for a rustic look.
The purple martin palace (the largest of the projects) measures 34 inches tall by 20 inches square.
The seven plans of the Birdhouse Assortment, No. C12, are $16.95. Each plan includes step-by-step instructions, full-size traceable patterns, construction diagrams, a shopping list and cutting schedule and a toll-free help line for project questions.
A plan featuring six other projects (three birdhouses and three feeders), No. 684, is $10.95. A free catalog picturing dozens of projects is also available. Please include $4 for postage and handling and allow about two weeks for delivery.
To order by mail, clip this article and send it with a check or money order to U-Bild Features, c/o St. Petersburg Times, 3800 Oceanic Drive, Suite 107, Oceanside, CA 92056. To order by credit card, call toll-free 1-800-828-2453. Go to U-Bild on the Web at u-bild.com.