Once you start building projects around your home and for friends, it’s natural to think about ways to turn your hobby into profit. Whether you are looking for a full-time income or just some extra spending cash, a great place to start is by building bird houses.
Bird houses are cheap and easy to build, can be customized to fit your specific need and can even be customized to attract certain types of birds. No matter where you live, you can use locally-available materials that are inexpensive (or possibly even free) to build with. You can incorporate any amount of skill and artistic ability in designing/building your birdhouses.
Birdhouses make great gifts and can be sold locally (Craigslist, craft shows, classified ads) or on a more national level (Amazon.com, eBay, etsy.com).
In short, building birdhouses is a great way to test your entrepreneurial capabilities and your woodworking skills.
According to the National Audubon Society, birds that build nests in tree cavities are called “cavity-nesters.” These include bluebirds, chickadees, some owls, woodpeckers, kestrels, and many others. Each species has its own “ideal” specifications that it looks for when choosing a cavity for nesting; so when you provide that cavity in the form of a nest box, you are more likely to attract the desired species if the box meets the bird’s preferred design. A classic book of 28 different nest box plans was developed by Carrol Henderson of the Minnesota DNR (link to purchase book is below).
Test your skills by building a birdhouse to create a bird-friendly environment in your yard, then see what kind of money you can make by selling your design!