Goldfinches are small, acrobatic birds with bright yellow coloring and a distinctive “po-ta-to-chip” flight call. The state bird of New Jersey, Iowa and Washington, the finch is common throughout the United States. The sociable, attractive bird is a favorite among birdwatchers, and may inhabit a birdhouse in the right surroundings. To attract the finch to your yard, plant native milkweed and thistles in a weedy spot, set up food and water sources and build a simple pipe-mounted wooden birdhouse.
Things You'll Need
- Cedar wood plank, 1-by-7 inches by 4½ feet long
- Keyhole saw
- Wood screws
- Finishing nails
- 1 eye screw
- 8 feet of 1-inch thick PVC or metal pipe
- 2 2-inch-long bolts
- 2 lock washers
- 2½-inch nuts
- Predator guard
- Bird feeder
- Sunflower seed
Saw the cedar wood plank(s) to make the back, front, top, base and sides of the birdhouse. Saw a 5½-inch by 13½-inch piece for the back; a 5½-inch by-9-inch piece for the front; a 5½-inch by 7½-inch piece for the top; two 5½-inch by 9-inch pieces for the sides and a 5½-inch by 4-inch piece for the base.
Take the front piece and lay it with the short end toward you. Measure up 6 inches from the bottom, 2 inches down from the top and 1¾ inches in from both sides. Mark a rough circle with a pencil. This is where the birdhouse entry hole will go.
Drill a hole in the center of the circle to make it easier to cut it out. Use a keyhole saw to cut out the rest of the hole. Don’t install a post under the hole, since this can invite predacious and/or invasive birds to the birdhouse.
Drill two small holes near the tops of each of the side pieces.
Drill a few small holes in the base piece so that liquids can drain.
Attach one of the side pieces to the base with finishing nails or wood screws. Next, attach the front and base pieces to that side piece.
Attach the second side piece to the rest of the bird house with nails near the top, directly opposite each other. This will let the side piece pivot open and close so you can check on the inhabitants of your birdhouse and eventually remove the nest. Attach the eye screw to the bottom of the side piece to hold it closed until you need to open it. The eye screw will enable you to open and close the side more conveniently than a regular screw.
Wrap a predator guard around the pipe to protect the birds. You can purchase your own guard at home and garden stores, or make your own using the resource at the end of this article.
Drive the pipe 2 feet into the ground near a water source and thistles. Goldfinches eat the seeds and use the down to line their nests.
Drill two holes vertically near the top of the pipe.
Drill two holes in the back of your birdhouse so that the birdhouse poles line up with the pipe poles. Attach the birdhouse to the pipe with the 2-inch bolts, washers and nuts.
Attach the top onto the birdhouse with nails or screws.
Hang a sunflower seed feeder in a bushy area of your yard, at least 15 feet away from other food sources and the birdhouse. Attach a predator guard to the feeder, too, to protect the birds while they eat and prevent other animals from eating the food. The seeds will attract goldfinches to your yard.
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