Nashua Birdhouse Artist David Johnston

Building a better birdhouse

Photo by Susan Laughlin

When David Johnston of Nashua was a general contractor he would often build a replica of the house for the owner to use as a mailbox or birdhouse. Now he builds only for birds. Using recycled cedar and pine fencing, Johnston creates charming dwellings “for people,” he says. The birds are really secondary as most become decorator items. In particular, one is constructed as an unfinished barn and is perfect for robins who do not build in houses or, as Johnston notes, the open space is perfect for storing wine bottles.

Each of the birdhouse styles — ranch or New England barns with copper roof or Shaker barns complete with stone façade — have a “clean out” for actual bird occupancy. Larger “build outs” have divided spaces inside so smaller birds feel comfortable.

Johnston also will work with photos to build a custom birdhouse to match any real dwelling. He also is knowledgeable about bird nesting habits and can make the hole size appropriate to attract the desired species.

Bird homes range in price from $100 to $225. Currently, Johnston only exhibits at small fairs and has work at Birch, a gift shop at 154 Amherst St. in Nashua. 

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