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With a few basic hand tools and a couple of afternoons, do-it-yourselfers can give all the birds in the neighborhood a place to rest, eat, socialize and watch out for cats.

The seven projects pictured here include two large bird "apartments," two single-bird dwellings, a "covered bridge" feeder, a sheltered feeder and a hanging feeder.

Traceable pieces and basic construction techniques make these excellent projects for beginners. The materials needed for each house and feeder are inexpensive and easy-to-obtain scrap wood can be used for many of the parts. The largest of the projects, the martin palace at right, requires only two sheets of exterior-grade fir plywood, two pieces of pine lumber, two dowels, pine shelving and brads, nails, glue and paint or stain.

All of the projects follow a simple step-by-step process: trace the parts onto wood, cut them out, sand and assemble. Then paint, stain or leave the wood rough for a rustic look. The finished martin palace measures 34 inches tall by 20 inches square.

The seven plans of the Birdhouse Collection, No. C12, are $14.95. Each plan includes step-by-step instructions, full-size traceable patterns, construction diagrams and shopping lists and cutting schedules.

To order by mail, clip this article and send it with a check or money order to U-Bild Features, c/o The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 2383, Van Nuys, CA 91409. To order by credit card, call (800) 828-2453. Visit U-Bild on the Web at

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