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This is a simple birdhouse built out of moso bamboo and a sheet of copper.

I built this little birdhouse using Moso bamboo and a piece of copper sheeting. You can use any bamboo that’s large enough in diameter. Some other choices would be Vivax or Japanese Timber bamboo. This birdhouse is about 5 inches in diameter. The hole is 1 1/2 inches in diameter. The dowel at top projects out about a half inch past the copper roof on each side. This allows the birdhouse to be hung with a piece of cord and the top can be easily removed for cleaning.

The natural color of bamboo (dried) is tan or beige. In order to get the color you see here I treated the bamboo with flame. Start with green bamboo (dried bamboo usually burns or chars instead of turning black). I use a small propane torch and play the flame slowly over a small section of the bamboo. You should drill a hole for the dowel or the opening first as the heat from the torch may cause the bamboo to split (violently!) with a bang. As you slowly play the flame over the green bamboo it will start turning black/dark brown. Once you have a small area blackened move the torch slightly and the blackening will progress faster as the bamboo has already heated up. Once I’ve done a few square inches I take a cloth rag and wipe the oils off that are extruded by the heat.