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Diane Rivers A Bird House Builder Extraordinaire
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!
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.
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!