- Wipe off any moisture and keep them in a cool and airy place to dry for 2-3 months. If mold appears, just scrape it off with a knife. You can also wipe it down with bleach or alcohol to discourage bacterial growth. Gourds that are fully dry or cured will be light-weight, light brown and hard. The seeds inside will rattle when you give it a shake.
- First you'll drill an opening for the birds (see the next section for the specifics) and empty out the seeds. Then drill a few small holes on the underside for drainage, and two holes on either side at the very top of the neck for threading a cord or wire through to hang it. You can also paint or varnish the outside of the gourds. (NEVER paint the inside of the gourd, which can be toxic to the birds.)
Birdhouse Specs by Species
- Nuthatch – You’ll want a gourd about 4” wide,. Drill an entry hole 1 3/8” wide, 7” from the bottom of the gourd. Layer the floor of the gourd with wood shavings.
- Bluebird – Choose a gourd that’s about 5” wide and drill the entry hole 1 3/8” wide, 8” up form the bottom of the gourd. Mount the birdhouse gourd at the edge of a clearing.
- Wren or Chickadee – The gourd needs to be about 5” wide with an entry hole drilled 1 1/8” wide, 7” up from the bottom of the gourd. Layer the floor with wood shavings.
- Tree Swallow – Choose a gourd that’s 5” wide. Drill an entry hole that’s 1 1/2" wide, 5” up from the bottom of the gourd. Mount the house at the edge of a clearing.
- Titmouse – Choose a gourd that’s 4” wide and drill an entry hole 1 ¼" wide, 7” up from the bottom of the gourd and layer the floor with wood shavings.