Bamboo Wind Chimes for Birds

One of the finished chimes

The picture above shows one of a couple bamboo wind chimes that Seth and I built to put up around Xandari. The sound is, err, rather wooden–but definitely mild and pleasant! You may be asking why we took it upon ourselves to demonstrate our mighty artistic prowess. Well, we really had the birds of Xandari in mind with this project. Specifically, a poor Buff-throated Saltator who had thrown himself against the spa window so many times that he had knocked himself senseless. Polished windows provide a problem for birds in general, as they can fly into them without seeing the surface or, if the surface is reflective enough, believe that their own reflection is another bird and peck at it repeatedly. The highly polished windows at Xandari’s spa and a few other locations have been attracting this unwelcome and potentially dangerous (for the bird) behavior.

One solution to this kind of problem is to put up opaque or translucent stickers that break up the glass surface. The spa at Xandari already has these stickers, but the one point where the glass lacks them was the Saltator’s target. Seth and I hit upon the idea instead of hanging wind chimes in front of the windows–and what better way to build them than from the bamboo that abounds on Xandari’s property? We were resolved to use only bamboo, 15lb fishing line that José Luis kindly picked up, and our pocket knives to fashion the chimes.

We first found an approximately 10′ bamboo length that had been felled and stacked to the side by the grounds-keeping crew. We cut it along its joints into about 10 open segments, each of slightly different length. To do this, we used the saws on our pocket knives. Here is Seth with the load of cut bamboo joints:

Cut, open bamboo lengths

The next step was to prepare the various tubes for hanging. We used the reamer, a stout, short blade on the pocket knife meant for drilling holes, to pierce the end of each piece of bamboo perpendicularly. This would let us run fishing line through it and hang it from a base tube:

Hanging chime piece

Then, we took some of the longest pieces to use as a base tube and drilled four holes along its length, from which would be suspended each of the four lengths of bamboo. (With ten pieces, we were able to make two 4-piece chimes.) Here is what the base tube looks like with holes along its length:

Base tube

With this work done, it was only a matter of tying each hanging length to the base tube and threading a piece of fishing line through the base tube so that we could hoist it onto some nearby tree limbs (to test integrity before moving them to their more permanent spots near the spa). Below is a picture of the two wind chimes hanging from a tree outside of our villa. You’ll notice that the chime on the right, the one Seth produced, has its hanging pieces of bamboo notched. Why is this? Apparently, slicing off a portion of the bamboo can aid in producing a more melodious “clink.” Whether or not this is the case–well, you’ll have to come and hear for yourself!

Wind chimes at dusk

3 thoughts on “Bamboo Wind Chimes for Birds

  1. Pingback: Handy Bamboo | Raxa Collective

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