For the Birds

Published 6:59 pm Wednesday, December 7, 2005

By By Janet Little Cooper
Loyd Lynn of Bratt has built two larger than life birdhouses that prove everything is bigger in his home state of Texas.
The retired commercial cabinetmaker left Texas several years ago with his wife en route for Arkansas after she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer.
"We moved to Arkansas for two years," Lynn said. "We just wanted to go and do something before she got sicker. We were not far from Branson, Mo, so we would drive up and see a show and come home that same night."
As the cancer returned and began to spread, the Lynn's moved to Bratt to be close to one of their daughters. The couple purchased a home in Bratt on Rigby Road that had a large workshop in the back yard.
"The workshop is what sold me on the house," Lynn said, "Our daughter and her son moved in with us to help take care of my wife. My wife passed away on April 11, 2005."
Lynn has done wood work all of his life and said that woodworking is nothing new for him. He has just never done this type of project because he never had the time.
Lynn's first project, a barn bird house built especially for Martin's, took at least a month to build working about 50 hours to complete it.
The exterior of the barn birdhouse is made from plywood that has been cut to resemble siding. The bottom is trimmed with a cedar handrail much like a fence around an old farmhouse.
The roof alone consists of 1,200 individual 3/4 x 1-inch cedar shingles that Lynn hand cut, beveled, stapled and glued in place. One panel of the wall unscrews to reveal the triple Decker birdhouse inside for easy cleaning
"This one has already been in our yard," Lynn said. "I took it down before the last hurricane came through. I had it up for my wife to see before she died. She enjoyed watching the birds come to the houses. I also have a blue birdhouse or feeder in the yard. It had two nests last year. She was able to watch that one also. I put the barn birdhouse up too late to attract any Martins. I will probably try again with it this year."
Much like his wife, Lynn likes watching the birds that frequent his property and he wanted to have a nice place for them to live.
With that thought in mind and having time on his hands, Lynn found a pattern for an Italian Colonial Birdhouse from a company in Maine called the Winfield Collection.
Lynn believes that this particular birdhouse was intended for another part of the country, possibly the north due to the small one-inch holes for the birds to enter.
"I modified the plan just a little," Lynn said. "I made the one inch holes bigger so that the Martin's could fit through."
Lynn worked on this masterpiece for about 100 hours spanning over a two-month period. The martin house is estimated to weigh 50 pounds are more according to Lynn.
The round three-story Colonial home made of Ozark Cedar has a total of 15 different homes for its fine-feathered friends. The three stories each have five rooms to it.
"The roof on this house has 450 cedar shingles," Lynn said. "It was a lot more tedious work than the barn roof."
Lynn formed square pegs of cedar into round columns to frame each level of the house. The bottom is encircled with a red wood handrail with birch spindles.
Lynn has no plans to sale the birdhouses. He said that it takes too long to be able to sale them for the labor involved.
If he were to sale the Italian Colonial house, he wouldn't sale it for any less than a $1000. But for now, Lynn has no other plans for his works of art other than putting them in his own yard.
Lynn is currently tackling some smaller projects for Christmas gifts now and said that he may stumble on another birdhouse that peaks his interest.
Lynn hopes to get his two unique bird houses up in time this year to attract the Martins, so if you have a Martin house that is typically full from year to year, don't worry, they have found a new luxurious high rise down the road and are trying it out for a spell.

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