Interest in custom birdhouse building increases amid pandemic
REGINA -- While many people look for new indoor hobbies to pursue, birdhouse building has become increasingly popular in southern Saskatchewan.
Dan Fradette, who has been woodworking for years, said he’s noticed a spike in other crafters since the pandemic started.
“I spend quite a bit of time looking on Facebook and Pinterest and stuff like that and I’ve noticed there’s quite a few local people that are building birdhouses,” he said. “They’re building the basic birdhouses, and some of them are very nice and there’s a lot of talent out there. I think people have a lot more time because of COVID-19, so I think they’re spending a lot of time, just like I am, in the shop.”
When Fradette retired five years ago, his hobby of woodworking turned into another job. He’s been kept busy with his business, Dan’s Custom Bird Houses and Woond Crafts, which is based in Weyburn.
He said his attention to detail is what he’s known for, and he’s received orders from across North America. His houses can range from $50 for something more basic, up to $1,500 for large, intricate designs.
“I like doing unique birdhouses and just helping out the birds in their habitat,” he said. “I’m always looking for unique things to do with them.”
He said many houses are not only custom built to their owner’s taste, but also for the birds that will likely use them.
“Different birds require different bird entrances, so I’ve got charts for that as to what bird needs what size of hole,” Fradette said.
Some of his unique designs include Saskatchewan grain elevators, Snoopy’s plane and a Moose Jaw church.
(Photos Supplied: Dan’s Custom Bird Houses and Wood Crafts)
FINDING A NEW HOBBY
Jeffrey Ayran, who lives in Regina, started building birdhouses last summer during the pandemic.
He said after building his deck, he noticed a lot of leftover wood that he didn’t want to waste, so he built his first birdhouse.
“I see the purpose in them. I like to think that I’m actually helping the environment in doing these kinds of things,” he said. “At the same time, it gives me something to do and takes care of my garbage.”
Jeffrey Ayran works on a new build in his workshop. (Stefanie Davis / CTV NEWS)
Ayran only uses recycled wood for his birdhouses. He said it’s his way of helping to protect the environment.
While he’s only a few months in, his creations have become quite popular. He has received orders from all across Saskatchewan.
Ayran said people often request the birdhouses to match their own home, so he can stain his creations to match in most situations.
He said he hopes to continue building the houses - giving himself a new hobby and the birds in the province a little added shelter from the cold.