Bird number: 106
Date: October 2, 2012
Wood: Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis)
Source: Reader from Vermont
This is the second piece of wood sent from the person who works at the Birds of Vermont Museum. I received it a couple of months ago, rough-cut it, and let it dry in the garage. I ended up carving it a little too soon (before it was completely dry), but I managed to get away with just one small crack.
Yellow birch is a fairly common tree in the eastern U.S. and Canada. It’s a large tree, usually around 60 or 70 feet tall, unusually up to about 100 feet. It’s the provincial tree of Quebec, Canada.
The wood is used extensively for flooring, cabinetry, and toothpicks, of all things. I’ve also seen it used for cooking utensils and turned objects. I don’t see a lot of birch carvings, which I find somewhat curious. I carved this bird with a knife, and found the wood to be quite nice to work with. Carved green, the wood is plenty soft enough to work with a knife. Dried, it would be pretty hard but still possible.
In any case, it sure is pretty stuff.