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Whimsical Homes Attract Birds

Birds will keep the bugs in your garden under control, but how do you get them to stay? Try offering free housing, says Fred Jakubiec , birdhouse maker extraordinaire. Fred creates fanciful homes for feathered friends using recycled wood and found objects.

“I was in the rat race for a long time,” says Jakubiec, who used to work for McDonalds as an area supervisor. “I’ve always liked working with my hands,” he says. He also likes trolling yard sales and collecting things nobody else wants, like old window locks, mismatched cutlery and rusty funnels. When he wasn’t on the road, Fred built birdhouses and decorated them with his tag sale finds.

Birds are the best eco-friendly pest control system.They will gobble up insects and grubs from flowerbeds, kitchen garden and lawns as fast as they can find them. Caterpillars, which can destroy a garden overnight, are a favorite snack.

Encourage birds to stay by giving them somewhere cozy to live for the summer. Bluebirds, chickadees, purple martins, titmice and nuthatches all build nests in a birdhouse. Larger birds, like robins, prefer to build a nest of twigs in a tree.

Fred no longer travels from one golden arch to another, as he’s too busy making birdhouses and shipping them across the country from his workshop in Torrington, Conn. Prices range from $14 for a single family home to around $100 for a custom, multi-family mansion. If you send Fred a photograph of your house he can make a mini version of your own home-sweet-home. His email is birdhouseaccents@yahoo.com .

Do you know anyone who collects birdhouses? I’d love to talk to them. Please drop me a line at fpearson@mainstreetconnect.us.

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