Art in Flight

Build a nesting box for your outdoor room (and other spring lingo explained).

With the increased emphasis on “outdoor rooms” — from patios to pergolas, herb container gardens to edible rooftops, simple decks to elaborate grill setups that double as second kitchens — comes a new interest in related amenities.

Take birdhouses. Design-wise, they can exhibit as much artistic range as the houses they adorn. And the newest trend is appointing them to attract certain species: chickadees in winter, bluebirds in summer, etc. Thus they double in function — feeding their winged occupants while homeowners get to learn a little more about how the bird world works.

It’s no accident that artisans like Walt Cottingham of Zirconia, birdhouse-maker extraordinaire, are now included in high-end curatorial resources such as the WNC Design Guide. And an upcoming workshop, Birdhouse Basics, at Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, lets families craft their own birdhouses, lending a personal touch and, ideally, jumpstarting a taste for a new hobby.

Teacher Rich Leppingwell, along with Pisgah Center staff, will show families how to construct a rough-cut pine birdhouse. “Really, they’re nesting boxes,” says program coordinator Lee Sherrill. “We talk about why certain types of [houses] work well with certain species, and about maintenance [once they’re built].”

It’s form and function on a manageable scale, with endless possibilities for elevation. 

Birdhouse Basics, April 9, 2-3:30pm, at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education. 1401 Fish Hatchery Road. Free. Pre-registration required. 828-877-4423.

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