Extreme birdhouses; designed and built by DG member John Looser
By April (Aunt_A)
You may call them bird castles in the sky, luxury bird condominiums or
simply mansions. Some birds call these houses “home”, thanks to John
Looser, a Dave’s Garden member. After a devastating doctor’s
diagnosis, John’s passion for woodworking and building houses emerged
in a relentless drive to build wonderful birdhouses. Here is John’s
story and pictures of his “Extreme Birdhouses”.
|Extreme birdhouses designed by Canadian artist John Looser|
John’s talent for
woodworking began early in life; he began building homes for people
when he was only 15. His natural ability and his love for woodworking
shone through many projects. John’s daddy was a carpenter, so he grew up
on a lumber mill with a hammer in his hand and a head full of plans
and dreams. John built anything: homes, fences, decks. John’s life was
full of woodworking and homebuilding.
before John was 40 years old, an accident at work left him unable to
continue building. Doctors told John that he would never return to work
due to the chronic, debilitating pain. John, an active young man with
so much life before him, was depressed and devastated. He stated,
“After sitting around for a few years, I thought maybe I could still do
some woodworking on a smaller scale. That is when I came up with the
idea of building Extreme Birdhouses.”
first birdhouse was only about 16 inches square with 6 bird apartments.
He says, “the birds wasted no time moving in”. Soon people began to
slow down their cars to look at his bird house. Then, he created larger
birdhouses; more people slowed down to stare. Now, about 7 years later,
John has built 46 Extreme Birdhouses. The largest was over 9 feet wide
and 8 feet tall. One of the houses weighs over 500 pounds, has 32
dormers, 14 different roofs and 103 bird apartments. Some have other fun
features including swimming pools (bird baths) in the roof. John does
not work from plans, so the ideas come to him as he constructs the
homes. Although he spent almost two years working on his favorite (and
largest) birdhouse, most of them require between two days and six weeks
to build. The homes have a natural, rustic look because John creates
them from reclaimed 80 to 150 year old barn wood. Enjoy the following
pictures of some of his work.
people wonder how the birdhouses are mounted. John stated, “They are usually mounted 8
feet in the air. Sometimes I have to use a farm tractor to lift them in
the air. It takes about 1 hour to mount one securely. All the insides
are removable for easy cleaning.” It appears (in the following
pictures) that some of John’s friends wish he would create some fun
houses for them as well…
|“Are there any
others on the market right now?
We, however, have some feathered
who would be delighted with this fancy home.”
said, “I mainly build (the birdhouses) to help me deal
with my chronic pain, but now I am getting more and more people wanting
one so I have been getting requests to build copies of…homes and
part is the birds love them. It is nice to look out the window
everyday and to watch them come and go. The most rewarding
part about building these is it keeps my mind busy from daily pain and
it gives me a reason to keep fighting.”
|Beauty through the seasons|
- John builds two
different styles of houses; the shape of the entrance holes are
different for various species of birds. He focuses on sparrows,
swallows and Purple Martins.
- Although John has given away many of his creations to family
and friends, a “small” 30 inch square Extreme Birdhouse costs about
$400.00, while a home over 5 feet wide costs between $1,500.00 and
- John custom
designs and builds birdhouses.
birdhouses have given him back his life. See below for pictures of
John’s other projects, including rustic arbors and lawn ornaments.
- You may contact
John here, at Dave’s Garden or write: John Looser , RR3 Brussels
- There are two
threads about John’s projects in Dave’s Garden’s community Discussion
Forums. Click here
for the first thread or here
for the second. These threads are open to visitors.
- John’s Dave’s
Garden’s user name is cranbrook2.
- Dave’s Garden
has hundreds of other talented members that love gardens, nature and
animals. This is just a spotlight on one of the many wonderful members