For the past couple of days I've been getting some gourds ready for birdhouses. I just wanted to share a couple of tips with you.
After I've gotten the hole drilled I want to remove most of the insides. After all, the birds need room to get in there and build. It can get pretty dusty so I just remove some of the seeds and insides and then head to the sink. Fill the gourd with water and let soak for about an hour. Then dump out the water.
This really helps when you get a gourd with the extremely hard membrane that refuses to break into pieces. The water will soften it and then you can pull it out of the gourd. I've used this method to remove a hard ball of membrane from inside a narrow-necked gourd I was using for a vase. The insides had all hardened together and was so hard it couldn't be broken.
Use a long screwdriver or some tool you have designed and scrape the insides of the gourd. Sometimes you will get long pieces and can pull these out. Get whatever you can out and then let the gourd completely dry before decorating.
When you are making a birdhouse and are hoping for a certain bird to call it home be aware that some birds prefer certain sizes of gourds and holes. Here are a few dimensions you may want to consult:
|Bird||Hole size||Inside dimension|
|Wren||1"||4" by 4"|
|Carolina Wren||1 1/8"||4" by 4"|
|Chickadee||1 1/8"||4" by 4"|
|Nuthatch||1 1/4"||4" by 4"|
|Tufted Titmouse||1 1/4"||4" by 4"|
|Bluebird||1 1/2"||5" by 5"|
|Purple Martin||2"||at least 8" by 8"|