Disclosure: bird feeders were provided at no cost to us by Perkypet for this Bird Sanctuary post! Any opinions expressed are my own.
See our DIY Bird Sanctuary- with materials from your home improvement store or lumberyard!
Bird Sanctuary Idea
We love watching birds! We had a couple shepard’s hooks around the yard but it didn’t seem we wanted more. Sometimes we sit outside in the mornings for coffee, devotions, and even work on our computers, and we also enjoy our backyard in the evenings during the cooler weather.
The birds give us such a cheerful backdrop outdoors! If you haven’t thought of attracting birds to your outdoor area, we recommend it and have enjoyed watching our local wild bird species so much this spring.
So we decided to spoil our birds with the bird sanctuary. It has everything a discerning bird would want. Several selections of meal along with a a place to get a drink. What bird wouldn’t be happy here!
What makes this project even more special, my husband has Ankylosing Spondylitis and is disabled and most days he doesn’t feel like doing anything but he loves to work on projects like this on his good days. Our projects just might take a little more time in normal. So knowing the time and effort he spent putting it together makes it even more special to us.
Our Bird Sanctuary- How To!
Yes, we will say this was a big project. As far as lawn and garden projects go, we did spend more time on this one and of course invested more than the typical small project of sprucing up a corner or filling up a flower bed.
However, this really stands out in the garden as a focal point, and fills up a lot of space we had that needed something. So if you’re looking for a larger outdoor feature, this Bird Sanctuary is a great idea!
First thing is decide what kind a wood you are going to use. Pressure treated wood is a good choice as it will last longer than your regular untreated wood. We went with cedar. It is a little more expensive but it resists rot and we love the look.
- 4- 4″x4″x8′ cedar posts
- 4- 2″x6″x8′ cedar boards
- 5- 2″x4″x8′ cedar boards
- 2- 4’x8′ lattice (we did white plastic)
- Outdoor Wood Sealer
- Hardware (see below)
- Bird feeders – see links below
- Optional- Climbing plants for sides
Plan the Size of the Structure
When your picking out your lumber, make sure you get pieces that are straight and are not cracked. Sometimes this is easier said than done but you’ll be happier with the finished product if you take your time with this part.
We decided to make our bird sanctuary 4’x’8′. It was easier for us to get 8′ boards home.
If you are adding one to your own outdoor space, take into consideration beforehand how big you want this finished project to look. The boards themselves look small in store, but then somehow they suddenly take up a lot of space in a small yard!
So, we recommend measuring your yard and even using some garden stakes and rope to visualize how big you need your own Bird Sanctuary. 4’x8′ worked well for us.
Plan any Additions
We also decided to put lattice on the sides so our CrossVines can grow up them. We went with a plastic lattice but wood lattice or really anything you want to put here will work.
The nice thing about plastic is that it does have some wood grain -looking- etching and from across the yard it doesn’t necessarily look plastic. It should hold up well.
Time to Dig!
After marking where we wanted our holes it was time to dig. I made 3’x7’box with my holes. This way when we put the cross beams up they would hang over 6″ on each side.
Important Tip: Make sure to call your local utilities locating company. Here is Oklahoma it is a free service and just had to call a week before I planned to dig.
Assembling the Bird Sanctuary
After digging your holes, it’s time to get everything square. I attached these braces to make it easier.
Use a square and level (or one all together as I have pictured here) to ensure the bracing is level. If you are new to woodworking projects, a rule of thumb is not to eyeball it! Take the extra time to make sure your boards are level.
After everything is square and level backfill the holes and use a 2″x4″ or an old fence picket and tamp down the dirt.
We decided not to use concrete but you certainly could. I can tell you that after I got this thing built… it’s not going anywhere. It’s pretty sturdy.
As you can see we have a few of the braces in place here, and we did keep it away from the fence line. This wasn’t just for looks– Along with calling your utility company before you dig, it’s important to plan your structure around any existing things like fencing.
If something on the fence needs to be repaired down the road, the last thing you want is your new structure being in the way.
Just repeat squaring up the posts for each corner. Make sure to measure everything. Don’t forget to measure in an X. Both “legs” of the x should be the same distance.
Once I had the posts up and square it was time to assemble the top braces. The top brace is a 2″x6″x8′.
Since I bought 8′ boards there was no cutting necessary. I had a 6″ overhang and made sure everything was level.
On the shorter braces I used a 2″x4″. I cut the 8′ board in half used it for my short side brace. Again make sure everything is level before you screw it in.
Use a large clamp to hold boards against each other during this process.
When it was time to attach everything I decided on deck screws. I have used these in the past and they seem to last.
I used 3 screws to attach each brace to the 4″x4″ post. Just attach the inside 2″x6″x8′. That way you will have a way to screw in the beams that hold the bird feeders.
Next up was placing these 2″x4″‘s as beams. Just measure and cut your wood to fit from beam to beam. I used a bit to drill 3 holes in the wood so we could hang bird feeders from them. Spacing them out gives us plenty of options to choose from.
Use a large level to ensure the cross beams which the bird feeders will hang from are nice and level.
I placed our beams about 15″ apart. After getting the beams level it was time to screw them in. I used 2 screws to hold them in place.
Last on the list is to stain/seal/paint. I made sure to get all the boards that would be hard to get before I attached the outside brace.
We went with a transparent sealer. It brings out the natural beauty of the wood. You can choose a sealer that fits your style and preference, and/or choose to stain the wood prior to sealing. Reminder- any sealing needs to be done on a warm dry day, preferably not too windy!
Since we used cedar we loved the natural wood color. We also think the lighter wood tones go well with the white lattice on the ends.
Here is the finished product! The planters on the sides will eventually feature some nice climbing plants and also give the inside of the Bird Sanctuary some additional shade!
I think the sign on the top says it all.
Add Bird Feeders
After the construction is finished, all that is left is hang up your bird feeders and enjoy!
BIRD FEEDERS WE USED:
Perky-Pet® Coffee Pot Mesh Bird Feeder – 2 lb Seed Capacity $16.99 Your backyard birds may not love coffee as much as you do, but they’re sure to love eating delicious black oil sunflower seed from the Perky-Pet® Coffee Pot Mesh Bird Feeder!
Yellow Metal Tube Bird Feeder – 12 oz Seed Capacity $10.99 Bring charm and simplicity to your outdoor spaces with the Perky-Pet® Yellow Metal Tube Wild Bird Feeder.
Squirrel-Be-Gone® Max Pinecone Bird Feeder – $24.99 (This one is great for keeping the squirrels out of your bird seed)
Perky-Pet® Finch Feeder With Flexports™ – 1.5 lb Capacity – $6.99 Attracting goldfinches, purple finches, redpolls, and siskins to your yard with the Perky-Pet® Finch Feeder.
Perky-Pet® Triple Delight Bamboo Feeder – 3 Suet Cakes $34.99 With the Perky-Pet® Triple Delight Bamboo Feeder, you get an option that’s great for you, for your backyard birds, and for the environment!
Oriole Jelly Feeder – 32 oz Jelly Capacity – $13.99 Did you know that like hummingbirds, orioles have a sweet tooth? They do! What better way to attract them than by offering their favorite sweet treat – jelly!
Perky-Pet® Diamond Wine Top-Fill Glass Hummingbird Feeder – 24 oz Nectar Capacity $23.99 Presenting the patented Top-Fill feature you love with a stunning new color and glass construction, the Perky-Pet® Diamond Wine Top-Fill Glass Hummingbird Feeder is a favorite of birders and hummingbirds alike.
Don’t forget, your birds need water too! I love this Perky-Pet® Mason Jar Wild Bird Waterer – 32 oz Water Capacity $18.99 The Perky-Pet® Mason Jar Wild Bird Waterer offers fresh, clean water to attract a larger variety of birds while adding a rustic look to any bird lover’s yard. The blue color of this bottle is reminiscent of vintage blue glass canning jars used in the 1800’s.
- For hanging these feeders you will probably also need a large hook. Perky Pet has 12″ metal hooks here for $2.99
- For ants, consider this ant guard available here for $7.99
Print Instructions Here:
- 4- 4"x4"x8' cedar posts
- 4- 2"x6"x8' cedar boards
- 5- 2"x4"x8' cedar boards
- 2- 4'x8' lattice (we did white plastic)
- Outdoor Wood Sealer
- Hardware: 12 Deck Screws to attach top braces. plus additional for lower bracing as needed. For cross beams, use 4 Deck Screws for each. Additional nails for attaching side lattices as needed.
- Bird feeders - see links below
- Optional- Climbing plants for sides
- Power Drill
- Circular cutting drill bit
- Circular Saw
- Paint Brush for Wood Sealer
- Small Square with Level
- Large Level
- Large Clamps
Ahead of time, Call your utility companies to mark any underground lines prior to digging.
Dig 4 post holes.
I made 3'x7' box with my holes. This way when we put the cross beams up they would hang over 6" on each side.
After digging your holes, it's time to get everything square. I attached these braces to make it easier.
After everything is square and level backfill the holes and use a 2"x4" or an old fence picket and tamp down the dirt.
Repeat squaring up the posts for each corner. Make sure to measure everything. Don't forget to measure in an X. Both "legs" of the x should be the same distance.
After posts are up and square, assemble the top braces. The top brace is a 2"x6"x8'.
Using 8' boards there will be no cutting necessary. Allow 6" overhang for each cross beam, making sure everything is level.
On the shorter braces use a 2"x4". Cut the 8' board in half to use for the short side brace. Level before screwing in.
You will use 3 deck screws to attach each brace to the 4"x4" post.
Just attach the inside 2"x6"x8'. That way you will have a way to screw in the beams that hold the bird feeders.
Next, place 2"x4"'s as beams.
Measure and cut your wood to fit from beam to beam.
Use a bit to drill 3 holes in the wood, approximately 1" wide each.
These holes will be to hang your bird feeders and decorations.
Spacing them out gives us plenty of options to choose from.
Attach side lattices
Apply Water Seal
Plant desired plants in side planters (optional)
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