Vernon Hol, and his brother Harold, proprietors of "Feathered Friends' Bird-House Factory, Des Moines, Iowa," report:

"We have had good success selling our houses at prices from 50 cents to $1.50, mostly wren houses. We did not get started until late last year, so we are going to go after business right this year, as we know there is big money in it. We are getting out a catalog of bird houses, also circulars and post cards and personal letters, and we will make a personal canvas of each house. The daily papers have written us up and helped us wonderfully."

Vernon and Harold own a printing-press, and their stationery, shown in Fig. 667, is a sample of the business-like manner in which they are handling their bird-house proposition.

Among the many requests which the author receives from readers for bird-house plans and building information, are those for

The Right Dimensions for Houses. It is necessary to know these, of course, before starting a house, because the proportions will vary for different species. Little fellows like the house-wren prefer small houses, and the doorway should be about the size of a quarter. Therefore, when planning a wren home, don't consider a 20-room palace, such as you would provide for martins; and don't make a larger doorway than the size mentioned above, because it will admit the English sparrow.

The Height Above Ground to Place the Houses is also of great importance. A wren, for example, prefers a house placed between 6 and 10 feet above the ground, while a martin's house must have a height of from 15 to 20 feet.

The United States Department of Agriculture has issued

A Chart of Correct Dimensions for houses to accommodate every bird known to accept house nesting places, compiled from data supplied by our best-informed naturalists, and this chart is presented in Fig. 668 so that you will know exactly what dimensions to use for the species of birds you wish to house.

Materials for Bird-House Building can be found in every household. Tomato cans, apple and sugar barrels, fish-kegs, nail-kegs and white-lead kegs, cheese-boxes, butter-firkins, wooden pails, flower-pots, and small boxes such as soap and starch come in, will furnish all the material necessary for building many kinds of houses. You will find plans in

Dimensions of Nesting-boxes for Various Species of

Birds

(From Farmers' Bulletin 609)

Species.

Floor of cavity.

Depth of cavity.

Entrance above floor.

Diam.

of entrance.

Height above ground.

Inches.

Inches.

Inches.

Inches.

Feet.

Bluebird.............................................

5 by 5

8

6

1 1/2

5 to 10

Robin.................................................

6 by 8

8

(1)

(1)

6 to 15

Chickadee...........................................

4by 4

8 to 10

8

1 1/8

6 to 15

Tufted titmouse...................................

4 by 4

8 to 10

8

1 1/4

6 to 15

White-breasted nuthatch.....................

4 by 4

8 to 10

8

1 1/4

12 to 20

House wren.........................................

4 by 4

6 to 8

l to 6

7/8

6 to 10

Bewick wren.......................................

4 by 4

6 to 8

1 to 6

1

6 to 10

Carolina wren.....................................

4by 4

6 to 8

1 to 6

1 1/8

6 to 10

Dipper.................................................

6 by 6

6

1

3

1 to 3

Violet-green swallow .......................

5 by 5

6

l to 6

1 1/2

10 to 15

Tree swallow........................................

5 by 5

6

l to 6

1 1/2

10 to 15

Barn swallow......................................

6 by 6

6

(1)

(1)

8 to 12

Martin..................................................

6 by 6

6

1

2 1/2

15 to 20

Song sparrow.......................................

6by 6

6

(2)

(2)

l to 3

House finch..........................................

6by 6

6

4

2

8 to 12

Phoebe.................................................

6 by 6

6

(1)

(1)

8 to 12

Crested flycatcher................................

6 by 6

8 to 10

8

2

8 to 20

Flicker..................................................

7 by 7

16 to 18

16

2 1/2

6 to 20

Red-headed woodpecker . ..................

6 by 6

12 to 15

12

2

12 to 20

Golden-fronted woodpecker..............

6 by 6

12 to 15

12

2

12 to 20

Hairy woodpecker.............................

6 by 6

12 to 15

12

1 1/2

12 to 20

Downy woodpecker............................

4by 4

8 to 10

8

1 1/4

6 to 20

Screech owl.........................................

8 by 8

12 to 15

12

3

10 to 30

Sparrow hawk......................................

8 by 8

12 to 15

12

3

10 to 30

Saw-whet owl......................................

6 by 6

10 to 12

10

2 1/2

12 to 20

Barn owl..............................................

10 by 18

15 to 18

4

6

12 to 18

Wood duck..........................................

10 by 18

10 to 15

3

6

4 to 20

1 One or more sides open. 2 All sides open.

Fig. 668. - To Win the Birds to your Houses Follow the Above Dimension

Handicraft for Handy Boys for houses made of the above materials, and you will find other plans that admit their use, in the chapters following this one.

Finishing. The usual method of finishing bird-houses is with a wood-stain. You can use a ready-made shingle stain, or you can make up your own stain by mixing oil paint with turpentine or kerosene. Green and brown are the colors generally used. Some people prefer to have the houses painted white. If you finish the houses with paint, use two coats. Give the inside one coat of stain or paint as a wood preservative. Putty nail-holes and cracks to keep out the rain.