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Diane Rivers A Bird House Builder Extraordinaire

Updated on August 8, 2012

How She Got Started

Diane Rivers is a very talented artist who lives in the small upstate New York village of Cohocton. Her highly collectible, fun and functional bird houses have been featured in several magazines, including Country Woman and Mary Jane’s Farm.

After searching in vane for unique rustic bird houses, one day Diane decided to learn how to make a bird house herself. She wanted to create a unique bird house to fit her own personality. Diane asked her husband to teach her how to use the tools necessary for building her bird house, and she was off and running!

Barn wood Bird House with Horseshoe Perch
Barn wood Bird House with Horseshoe Perch | Source
Rustic Bird House with Padlock Detail
Rustic Bird House with Padlock Detail | Source

A Very Creative Lady!

All of Diane’s items are made from salvaged and reclaimed wood, including barn wood, pieces from contractors’ burn piles, found wood from friends and neighbors, vintage decorative molding, finials, etc. from remodeling projects, rummage sale finds, etc.

Old hardware as well as kitchen utensils, old tools, metal scroll work, small architectural pieces, antique doorknobs and other vintage items then become perches and decorations. There is no limit to Diane’s creativity!

As a result, all her bird houses are one-of-a-kind clever creations. But they all have the correct dimensions and entrance hole sizes for each particular backyard bird.

Incredibly, to date Diane has made over 2500 bird houses! Each one is meticulously assembled with sturdy materials and fasteners, and then sealed on the outside with low or non-toxic wood sealer to insure longevity. The inside where the birds will nest and raise their families is left natural and unsealed.

There is a handwritten tag attached to each of her unique buildings. She includes examples of the birds that would use that particular birdhouse, the entrance hole size and where the cleanout can be found. Diane also outlines from where the materials used were obtained. Though this is of local interest, it also creates a very personal touch.

Diane makes her birdhouses for use outdoors of course, but they can also be added to an indoor collection, or a grouping on a sheltered porch. For instance, she has created a unique collection of birdhouses with wood quilt blocks. The patterns are hand painted by Diane and dated. The block is mounted on the front of the bird house and is then a convenient perch for a very lucky bird, should the owner decide to use it outside.

Female Hairy Woodpecker
Female Hairy Woodpecker
Male Northern Cardinal
Male Northern Cardinal

Lots of Different Birds Can Use Her Bird Houses

Some of the many types of birdhouses, roosting shelves, and nest boxes Diane has made include those suitable for chickadees, tree swallows, sparrows, wrens, robins, cardinals, mourning doves, woodpeckers, owls, ducks, blue birds, finches, nuthatches and purple martins.

Because these birdhouses are made of thick (½” to 1”) wood, the larger ones for purple martins, owls and ducks tend to be quite heavy. The weight for most of the birdhouses, however, is between 5 and 7 pounds, some even less than that.

The thickness of the wood ensures your backyard birds will be insulated from weather extremes. All have air vents close to the roof to keep baby birds comfortable. These birdhouses should be securely mounted and face to the southeast for morning warmth. They will then be shaded from the hot afternoon sun to help keep baby birds healthy. The roof overhang will also serve to keep baby birds dry when hard rains hit.

Diane Rivers is happy to build special birdhouses for backyard birds. You can be sure whatever she makes will be unique, fun, functional and original!


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    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hi Peggy, so nice to see you again! Diane is a very rare 'bird' indeed. Unfortunately sales of her bird houses have gone to such an all-time low she was forced to take 2 part-time jobs just to make ends meet.

      This time of year people should be installing bird houses, but it seems the economy has put a damper on such things sadly.

      I hope that your tweet will open up new doors. Thank you so much for your valuable support and friendship. Your votes are appreciated more than you know!


    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Her birdhouses look rustic and beautiful. Thanks for introducing me to this lady artist who creates such unique and one of a kind bird houses for our feathered friends. Up, useful and interesting votes! Will tweet!

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      carol7777, thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Can you tell I love birds! I appreciate the vote--it is very much appreciated.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      Love the photos and the different birdhouses. I can see I will be learning a great deal about birds here. Thanks for all the great information. Voted UP.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hi rsusan, Yes, that would have been an awesome pic for my profile indeed. I feed my backyard birds everyday no matter what the weather. So I guess that was their way of showing their appreciation!

    • rsusan profile image

      Rika Susan 6 years ago from South Africa

      Pleasure, Connie. Never thought of bird house building as an art, but it clearly is! Wish you had a pic of the chickadee on your hat! That would have been super for your profile. Birds give such pleasure if one takes a bit of time to enjoy them. Guess that is one of the secrets of life - learning to recognize and appreciate these small pockets of pleasure in every day.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Hi rsusan, Thanks for the Follow and your comment, and for sharing your extraordinary experience with your native birds. I once had a chickadee land on my hat when I was adding seeds to the feeder. That was fun and unexpected and unforgettable!

    • rsusan profile image

      Rika Susan 6 years ago from South Africa

      Wonderful hub, Connie! We don't have a huge variety of birds in our garden, but I love the ones we see. And most special of all are the Cape Francolin. They have become so used to me that they feed from my hand. What a privilege!

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Yes, Diane is amazing. Her husband bought her this huge chop saw for Christmas last year and she just has the best time with it. That allows her to turn out so many wonderful and unique bird houses. Thanks for your comment.

    • carcro profile image

      Paul Cronin 6 years ago from Winnipeg

      Wow, 2500 bird houses, that's incredible. Very talented and creative. Thanks for sharing! I have never made a bird house, but it looks like it would be very addictive.

    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A. Johnson 6 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      These look wonderful. Thanks for sharing.