When the gourd is completely dry, use a wire brush and sandpaper to clean the outside surface. Next, you should treat the gourd with a 10% solution of bleach and water. This will protect the gourd from rot and fungal molds. Handle with care and be sure to wear rubber gloves and eye protection! Soak the gourd in the bleach solution for 15 minutes. Remove the gourd from the solution and place on a clean surface and allow to dry. To avoid this first step, buy a gourd that has been dried and cleaned.
For an entrance, using an expansion bit or
hole saw, cut a hole* slightly above the center of the gourd. Clean out the inside of the gourd using a serrated knife to break up the pith and seeds. The gourd is now ready for finishing.
To hang the gourd drill two 1/4 inch-diameter holes at the stem end for the hanger, which may be a piece of rigid wire (such as a coat hanger) or a strip of rawhide.
Drill four or five holes in the bottom, approximately 3/8″ using a drill bit, and possibly 2 or 3, 3/8″ holes on the sides for drainage and ventilation.
The outside of the gourd may be finished with an oil based primer, followed by enamel paint. Lightly sand first with fine sandpaper so the primer adheres well to the surface of the gourd. White is a good color choice as the white will reflect the sun, keeping the inside of the birdhouse cool. For a more natural look, just use 2 -3 coatings of clear polyurethane directly on the gourd.
Hang from a tree branch or from wire suspended between sturdy structures.**
*The size of the gourd and the size of the entrance will determine the type of birds that will use the gourd for their home. See
hole size chart.
**The distance from the ground will also determine what type of birds will use the gourd for their home. See
hole size chart.
Do you know why there are no perches on the gourd birdhouse?
Birds do not need a perch to enter the nest, they have such precise flying skills that they can land on the edge of the entrance opening. A perch would be an invitation for other predator birds to enter the nest. Therefore you do not need a perch.