Robins build their nests on partially sheltered ledges, as well as in trees and shrubbery. They do not take to inclosed houses. You must build nesting places for them, therefore, exposed upon two or more sides, of the type shown in the photographs of Figs. 671 and 672 (Chapter 36 (Wren Houses)). They will readily accept these shelters, placed in secluded locations in the garden, or strapped to tree trunks, or fastened to the outside walls of buildings. Robins nest at heights of 6 to 15 feet, but it is advisable to place shelters at the latter rather than the former height, because it makes the nests less accessible to four-footed enemies.
Robin Shelter No. 1 (Fig. 671) requires a tin pan that measures 8 1/2 inches across the rim. If you cannot find a worn-out pan at home, probably you can get one from a neighbor. The pan may be a trifle larger than this, but you will have to increase the size of the roof board accordingly (A, Fig. 679).
Figure 678 shows a cross-section of the shelter, and Fig. 679 shows a top view. Mark out top board A by the pattern of Fig. 680, saw off the corners as indicated, and plane up the edges. Bore a 3/8-inch hole through the center of five adjacent edges, in which to drive perch-sticks E (Fig. 679). Prepare three sup-ports B by the pattern of Fig. 680, cut off the lower corners as indicated,and cut a, groove from side to side 4 inches below the top, parallel to the top. Cut the sides of the groove with a saw, and split out the wood between with a chisel. The rim of the tin pan is to fit in the grooves. Bore a hole near the lower end of the side supports to run perch-stick F through (Fig. 678).
Figure 679 indicates the positions for supports B; the distance apart to place them will be determined by the diameter of the pan. Block C (Fig. 678) should be of the thickness of the projection on the back edge of roof A. It blocks out the rear support to make the shelter
Fig. 678. - Cross-Section of Robin Shelter No. 1, Shown in Fig. 671 (Chapter 36 (Wren Houses))
Fig. 679. - Top View of Robin Shelter No. 1, Shown in Fig. 671 (Chapter 36 (Wren Houses))
Fig. 680. - Details of Parts of Robin Shelter No. 1, Shown in Fig. 671 (Chapter 36 (Wren Houses)) fit squarely upon the tree or wall you hang it upon. Cut perch-stick F io inches long.
Paint the tin pan with two coats of paint, to keep it from rusting. The woodwork can be finished as suggested in Chapter 35 (Bird Houses). When the painted pan is dry, fasten it to the rear support with a screw driven through a hole pierced just below the rim (Fig. 678). Punch several holes through the pan bottom, for rain-water drains.
Robin Shelter No. 2 (Fig. 672) may be made of grocery-box boards. Material 3/8 inch thick
Fig. 681. - Cross-Section of Robin Shelter No. 2, Shown in Fig. 672 (Chapter 36 (Wren Houses))
Fig. 682. - Details of Parts for Robin Shelter No. 2, Shown in Fig. 672 (Chapter 36 (Wren Houses))
Fig. 683. - How to Cut the Two Side Pieces at One Time was used in the model shown in the photograph, and the dimensions for the parts required, given in Fig. 682, allow for material of this thickness. The cross-section of Fig. 681 shows how the parts fit together.
Nail together, temporarily, the two boards out of which side pieces A are to be cut, lay out the outline upon one board, cut out the two pieces at one time (Fig. 683), and then separate them. A hand bracket-saw (Fig. 18, Chapter 2 (Scroll-Saw Problems)), or a coping-saw (Fig. 19), is best for cutting the center circular opening. The small hole shown in the upper righthand corner of the side pieces is provided to run a wire through for hanging up the house. The holes in the bottom board C (Fig. 682) are drain holes.
Having cut the parts to the given sizes, and planed them smooth, you will have no difficulty in assembling them, with Figs. 672 and 681 before you to follow.