Bird Sanctuary | Living the Country Life
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Bird Sanctuary

The framework of an old greenhouse, some birdseed and a hops plant create a bird paradise.
  • The idea

    "I want one of those," Betty Kezar said to her husband eight years ago, pointing to a bird shelter while visiting the University of Minnesota arboretum. Many different types of birds were flying in and out of the structure, creating a peaceful scene that Betty thought would be a perfect compliment to her garden.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 23, 2012
  • Repurposing a green house

    Back home, Betty and her daughter brainstormed ideas to recreate the shelter on the Kezar farm place. They decided the wooden framework of the old greenhouse had the most potential.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 23, 2012
  • DIY bird sanctuary

    Building the bird sanctuary was a rather simple process. The first step was to knock out the greenhouse's plexiglass panels, leaving the framework bare. Betty then planted hops along the base of the frame, which would eventually wind their way up and over the structure, creating walls and a roof.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 23, 2012
  • Managing hops

    Although the hops provide a covering for the sanctuary, they must be trimmed back in the fall so new shoots can grow in the spring. Betty says if she doesn't prune the plants, they grow over the sanctuary's entrance making it impossible to refill the feeders or water bowl kept inside.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 23, 2012
  • Growing hops

    "The hops keep growing bigger and bigger," Betty says. "They don't like growing on the south side, but they've grown so large on the north that they hang over and cover that side anyway."

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 23, 2012
  • Garden sanctuary upkeep

    Keeping the hops under control and refilling water containers and birdfeeders are the only upkeep involved with the sanctuary, Betty says. The birds stop by for a sunflower seed snack or a drink of water and then fly off again. She says they never nest in the shelter.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 23, 2012
  • A bird sanctuary

    Betty can watch and enjoy the birds that visit the sanctuary from both a sitting place in her garden and from the house. "I love watching the birds go in and out," Betty says. "Many types of birds come, including nuthatches and finches -- whatever birds are around."

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: April 23, 2012
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