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4-H students compete in birdhouse-building contest

TES students have been busy building houses – birdhouses, that is.

“A totally cool bird moves into your neighborhood. It’s a blue bird with a fabulous sense of style. Would you expect it to live in a plain old wooden box? No way!” – is the introduction students are given for the 4-H eXtreme Birdhouse contest.

Stephanie Crandell, TES 4-H agent assistant, said students compete by themselves or on a two-person team. Birdhouses can’t be any larger than 18 inches by 18 inches by 18 inches, including the base.

“You must create an original design and do all the construction yourself. You can’t use a kit or build from an existing birdhouse,” Crandell said.

Prizes are ribbons are awarded for first, second and third place with honorable mentions included, in junior and senior categories, Crandell said. The winner in the junior county category will get a chance to to go to the regional contest, usually held in Decatur. Ninth through 12th grade winners are eligible to take their birdhouses on to the state level 4H competitive events, usually held during the summer.

Students are challenged “to construct the absolutely coolest birdhouse possible. It doesn’t have to be a real birdhouse. Don’t worry about it being weatherproof, so it can be made of any material. And there is no right way or wrong way of doing it!”

The contest allows students to show off their creativity and design abilities and learn about art and constructions as well as practice planning and decision-making skills.