For the Birds

Branching Out While Cooped Up.

Home, Sweet, Downy Woodpecker Home…

HAVING SET OUT a few bird feeders during the winter, it just seemed natural to extend our welcome to nesting as well. And since we’re stuck home nesting ourselves, what better time? So an old Reno buddy and I went in on a really cheap but actually pretty okay little table saw* and I learned how to make birdhouses.

Turns out birds are kind of fussy about certain details: internal dimensions, hole size and placement, ventilation—and NO, absolutely no dowel in front to perch on (predators love to perch on them too. Who knew!?). So, having a little extra time on my hands anyway, I read up about their preferences and made three slightly different versions, ones specifically for bluebirds, chickadees and downy woodpeckers. Whether those species, or any other, show up is yet to be revealed. But building birdhouses out of rough cedar fencing planks is a bunch of fun because good enough is more than good enough. Heirloom furniture this is not. So now, if any birds actually move in, that will just be a bonus.

*Yet Another Unkind Cut.

DAMNED if I do, damned if I don’t. Of course, that new, cheap but okay table saw is not-in-the-too-distant-future toxic landfill, made of bio-indestructible plastics and metals not found in nature. And at that price, how many Chinese political prisoners were harmed making this movie? The dilemma seems irresolvable. If I make myself—and some birds—happy, I unavoidably help to eventually destroy their habitat. And ours. Makes me crazy. No perfect choices. And far fewer good ones than I generally assume, once analyzed. Just gotta go on living, doing my best to be mindful.

In Case You Missed It…

  • Mattie’s Song. Channeled wisdom inspired by the late child prodigy poet and philosopher Mattie Stupanek. Sonic comfort for anxious times, available free on YouTube by clicking the CD cover photo.


Author: Bodhi Bill is about sharing the songs I've been gifted with. Where did they come from? Two remarkable, life-changing events happened In 1996. First, I experienced an unexpected encounter with a friend of the family who was dying. The impact was so profound I left my career in advertising and became a board certified chaplain, working with the dying. Second, original songs began channeling through me with no warning. This was a complete surprise. Even though I'd played guitar since high school, I'd never considered myself a songwriter—or even a singer for that matter. More like a third-rate folk music plunker. But the songs came through anyway. Since I retired in 2015, I now have the time to record and share these songs. Although they are not "commercial" in style or content, I feel they are lovely little gems worth preserving and sharing.

2 thoughts on “For the Birds”

    1. And I’m NOT returning my table saw. We are inextricably caught in the net of a system built on extraction, exploitation and destruction. We in the West are its “beneficiaries.” While being aware of the truth of our situation in a larger context can be uncomfortable, I don’t think it should be avoided. Grief and “guilt” are not necessarily the same thing. Our world is dying because of our actions. To me, grief seems an appropriate response. Better choices can foster change, and even a reversal, but the choices currently available will only slow the inevitable. So we work to make the system offer better choices (at the expense of the sociopaths who have seized control, which makes change dicey). And meanwhile, for me, recognize the pain and suffering even my most benignly intended choices foist upon the world beyond my backyard–and it’s newly installed bird haven.

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