Birds Nesting in Your Porch Awning Again?


Here is an easy, inexpensive Do-it-Yourself project that will keep you bird free for many, many years. I will show you from start to finish, how to keep birds (ususlly, House Sparrows, aka English Sparrows) from building nests in your porch awnings.

The English (House) Sparrow; the usual culprit.

The male

fig. 17

The female

fig. 18

English house sparrows photos by K. W. Bridges www.botany.hawaii.edu/biology101/birds/campus_birds.htm

The House Sparrow or English Sparrow as it was formerly known, in not indigenous to North America. It was introduced from Europe in the 1850's. They have spread across the North American continent, and are abundant in urban and agricultural habitats.

House sparrows seek out human habitat. They know there's a lot of good, sheltered spaces in and around buildings. These birds are very aggressive towards people and other birds. Some might even call them rude and obnoxious. They will take over any bird house that they can fit into. The Bluebird birdhouse, is one of the House Sparrows favorite targets, because of the size of the entrance/exit hole. Even if the Bluebird is already nesting in the birdhouse, the House Sparrow will bully its way in and push and or remove the beautiful Bluebirds and eggs/young from the birdhouse and setup their own housekeeping.

Alright! You're set now. Keep in mind that if you are even a little leery, (lets say of climbing a ladder), get someone to help you with this worthwhile project. You will not be disappointed, and will save a good deal of money by Doing It Yourself.

Good Luck

Ralph



Materials Needed:


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A Good Step Ladder...

The reason I mention a good step ladder is the fact that ladders account for about 100 thousand injuries each year. Some people believe that ladder falls are always the fault of the victim. Many are blamed on a lack of common sense. OSHA research, on the other hand, concluded that 100% of ladder accidents might be eliminated with proper attention to the application of equipment, and the proper training of climbers. Human failure causes most ladder falls, but the preventable error is often administrative; not the fault of the victim.

Remember; Safety Is No Accident!

fig. 1



Cordless Drill...

fig. 2

Self Tapping Screws 1/2" max. length (try to use stainless steel). Some different types below...

fig. 3


fig. 4



Sheet aluminum (brown/white coil stock) This coil is 14 inches wide...

fig. 5



Sheet metal shears...

The aviation type shear is probally the easiest to use (yellow handle). The older style Wiss "tin snips" can make a very long, straight and smooth cut.

fig. 6



Gloves...

Gloves are a must when cutting and handling any sheet metal. Leather gloves can be used also, but cotton gloves will work just fine.
fig. 6a



Pencil...

If you use a pencil when you mark the aluminum sheet(on the white side), you can erase the cut lines. If you use a marker, you will probably have to paint your finished work.



Well, Let's Git-R-Done!


Below is a picture of my awning, where I started on the right side. You need to measure the valleys center to center. You must measure the distance from the peak of the awning to the bottom of the channel (height), the awning is resting on. My valleys are on 6 inch centers. My peak to bottom of channel measurement is about 5 inches. I am using my measurments in this information. Yours may be different. Always measure.

Remember the old saying "measure twice, cut once".

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fig. 8





Use a piece of cardboard (I use the backs of paper tablets), and make a template of the 6 inch valley and a half (you will use halves on the right and left ends of the awning). Leave at least a 1/4 inch space between the actual sheet metal barrier and the awning. The gap is for ease of installation. See below.

Depending on the height of your peak/valley (minus 1/4 inch), to the bottom of the valley, you must add an amount for the base of the sheet metal barrier (this is where you will attach the piece to the channel with your screws).

Mine is about 4 inches, but cardboard templet I show in the 1st pic below is 5 inches high. The second picture below shows how much I cut off the templet, about 1 inch. You want to have that straight cut bottom edge of the aluminum, up above the bottom of the channel. The cut edge can be very sharp. Be safe! See 2nd pic below.

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fig. 10





Below shows the excess cut off, about 1 inch. Remember, these are my measurements. Yours may be different.

fig. 11





Cut a strip of aluminum sheet metal, what ever your height is (mine is 4 inches high or wide) by 30 inches long (the aluminum piece I used as a demo below (fig. 12) is 5 inches wide by 24 inches long). Lay the template on the sheet metal and make an outline of the templet. Slide the templet down to the left and mark your pieces to be cut out. So you don't get confused on which way to cut, put an X on the part of the sheet metal that's going to be removed.

Once you have one 30 inch piece cut out, use that piece as a templet to mark the remaining 30 inch pieces (saves time) or continue to use your cardboard templet.

fig. 12



fig. 13



Installing the 30 inch long pieces is pretty straight forward. Cut out 2 or 3, 30 inch pieces. Remember, if you use a 30 inch long piece as a templet, that piece will be your last piece to install. Start on the left side or the right. I started on the right.

Cut the right end last peak in half as shown below. You may have to trim off little pieces for clearance, as I did on mine.

fig. 14



The second piece you install can overlap either under or over the first piece or you can just butt the pieces together. If you butt them together you must cut the ends very straight for a neater appearance. Also you will use more screws.

fig. 14a


You will probably end up needing a piece that is considerably shorter than 30 inches. See below. You should use it in the middle somewhere. Also, overlap each piece as this will save screws (you will lose a little bit of length on each 30 inch piece).

fig. 15




When the job is completed it should look something like this.

fig. 16

And...

fig. 16a



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