Win a Copy: “Audubon Birdhouse Book”

New book explains how to build and place DIY bird homes for more than 20 North American species, from wrens to raptors.

We're giving away 10 copies of the Audubon Birdhouse Book, by Margaret A. Barker and Elissa Wolfson. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below, and be sure to include a viable email address (it won't show up on the page). The official rules are below. The contest ends at midnight, Friday, March 7, 2014. In the meantime, here's a little about the book from the foreword, by Steve Kress, vice president for bird Conservation for Audubon. Good luck!

Building a nest box for wild birds can be one of the most gratifying projects a person can undertake. When placed in the proper habitat, a nest box or birdhouse may be occupied, defended, and filled with eggs almost immediately. The best nest boxes are simple, without elaborate detail, void of paint and embellishment. The first nest box builders and skilled construction pros were woodpeckers, making homes by excavating cavities in tree trunks. By observing woodpecker homes, we can learn much about avoiding predators, preventing drainage issues, and locating a nest to minimize the effects of extreme weather. When building a nest box, try to think like a woodpecker.

With care, woodworkers can provide housing that is nearly as good as natural nesting cavities. In some habitats, everything a bird needs, including food, shelter, and singing posts, may be available—except for suitable nesting cavity. By installing nest boxes in such otherwise-ideal habitats, people can help to increase the carrying capacity of the land for these birds.

Some birds are now totally dependent on human housing, in part because natural housing is scarce, but also because young birds tend to look for familiar housing. Bluebirds, Purple Martins, and Chimney Swifts now make their nests almost entirely in the human-created housing. The responsiveness of these species to human-provided nest boxes has encouraged the formation of organizations, websites, publications, and most important, passionate and creative birdhouse builders who are constantly tinkering, with the goal of building increasingly better nest boxes.

The boxes and nesting structures described here are the results of decades of caring field-testing, sometimes by groups of amateur carpenters and bird aficionados, culminating in designs such as the “Xbox,” a recent state-of-the-art bluebird box. This innovative design challenges some of the classic rules of birdhouse building, such as required drainage holes. New methods provide adjustable ventilation depending on season, location, and latitude. Other new ideas shared here are based on astute observations of bird behavior, such as Dick Tuttle’s clever kestrel box with pseudo-holes on two side walls to help attract cavity-seeking birds from varied angles, an idea that may eventually prove useful for other species as well. These latest plans offer significant improvements over older designs; many are easier to build, install, and clean. Most important, they offer housing that is more adaptable to extreme weather and safer from predators.



1) Sponsor: Audubon Magazine, an operating unit of National Audubon Society, Inc., 225 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014 (“Audubon Magazine” or “Audubon”). 

2) No purchase necessary.

3) The “Audubon Birdhouse Book” (“Contest”) is open from 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) on February 21, 2014 through 11:59 p.m. ET on March 7, 2014.

4) Eligible entrants must be at least 18 years old as of February 21, 2014 and a resident of the contiguous 48 United States.  Employees, officers, and directors of Sponsor and any and all entities directly associated with the Contest, including immediate family members and members of the same household, are not eligible to participate (collectively with Sponsor, the “Contest Entities”). Void where prohibited by law. Contest is governed by U.S. law and subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. By entering the Contest, entrants agree to accept and be bound by all the terms of these Official Rules and Regulations (“Official Rules”). 

5) To enter leave a comment by completing the “Your name”, “E-mail” and “Comment” fields (the Submission”) on the following article page of Audubon Magazine’s website: “Homepage” field on such article page is optional and will have no effect on your chances. Email addresses submitted with any Submission must be valid.  Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify and remove any Submission and/or entrant at any time in the event of any evidence of false or deceptive acts by an entrant, including, but not limited to, multiple Submissions or Submissions reasonably suspected to be generated by script, macro or other automatic means; any Submission determined to be offensive, inappropriate, not in keeping with Sponsor’s image or if it is otherwise determined that the entrant has not otherwise complied with any portion of these Official Rules. 

6) Only one entry permitted per person.

7) Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received.

8) Ten winners will each receive one copy of the book Audubon Birdhouse Book, by Margaret A. Barker and Elissa Wolfson, Quayside Publishing Group 2014 (value: $24.99) (Total value of all prizes: $249.90).

9) Winners will be selected by a random drawing conducted by Audubon Magazine on March 10, 2014 and notified by Audubon Magazine via email on or before December 12, 2014.  If within five (5) business days using Audubon Magazine’s reasonable effort, any winner does not respond to Audubon Magazine’s notification email, or otherwise cannot be contacted, or is found to be ineligible, an alternate winner may be selected.

10) Sponsor is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate entry information, viruses, bugs, malfunctions, or other any other errors, human or otherwise, regardless of the cause (collectively, an “Error”).  In the event of any Error, Sponsor reserves the right, in their sole discretion to discontinue, suspend, cancel, or modify the Contest.   In the event of cancellation, Sponsor reserves the right to judge all eligible, non-suspect entries received prior to the Error requiring such cancellation using the selection procedure outlined above.   Prize is subject to availability.  No substitution or transfer of prizes or cash redemptions permitted, except at Sponsor’s sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute for any reason whatsoever a prize (or portion thereof) of comparable or greater value, at their sole discretion.  Sponsor does not have, nor shall have in the future, any duty or liability, direct or indirect, vicarious, contributory, or otherwise, with respect to the infringement or protection of any copyright in and to entrant’s Submission.  Winners are responsible for the reporting and payment of all taxes as well as any other costs and expenses associated with acceptance and use of their prize not specified herein as being awarded.

11) Sponsor and its designees have the right, unless prohibited by law, to use entrant’s name, city and state of residence, voice, picture and likeness, without compensation, notification or approval, for the purpose of advertising and publicizing the goods, services and mission of the Sponsor and all matters related to the Contest, in any manner or medium, now or hereafter known, throughout the world in perpetuity. 

12) Entrants may be required to execute any documents necessary to perfect such rights in the Sponsor.  By entering this Contest and/or accepting the prize, entrant and/or winner agrees to, and hereby does, release the Contest Entities from any and all liability, loss or damage arising from or in connection with participation or attempt to participate in the Contest and/or the awarding, receipt, use or misuse of the prize or participation in any prize related activities, and claims based on publicity rights, defamation or invasion of privacy. The Contest Entities and their parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates and divisions, and their respective directors, officers, employees, attorneys, representatives and agents make no warranties, and hereby disclaim all warranties, express or implied, concerning any prize furnished or awarded in connection with the Contest, including, but not limited to, any winner’s ability to claim a prize awarded in the Contest for reasons of the prize provider’s bankruptcy, insolvency or failure to continue its business.  WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERALITY OF THE FOREGOING, SUCH PRIZES ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AND THE CONTEST ENTITIES HEREBY DISCLAIM ALL SUCH WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND/OR NONINFRINGEMENT.

13) You may obtain the name and city of residence of winners by mailing a self-addressed stamped envelope to The Audubon Birdhouse Book, 225 Varick Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10014.

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