The giant hood is a great way to transport your bird. It keeps prying eyes out, keeps the bird quiet and safe, controls the mutes and keeps your car clean. The problem with most wood giant hoods is they are too heavy. This giant hood uses one sheet of coreplast and is extremely light. You can purchase coreplast from sign stores. They run from $10 to $15 a sheet. I like the black color because it is completely opaque, but I’ve seen it done in white and yellow.
A free source for coreplast
After elections are over, find the large signs and use them. They will be white, but, hey, it’s free.
I would suggest printing out this pattern onto heavy weight paper and go through the steps below. This is a good way to see exactly how it all goes together and make more sense to you.
4′ x 8′ Black Coroplast
Fresh Contact cement
White china marker
Cheap throw away brushes for the glue
General instructions – Marking the coroplast can be difficult. If you can’t find a white china marker, you can try a white colored pencil. When gluing the sides together, cover both sides to be glued together completely and allow to dry first.
1. SIDES – Fold down J then F, glue.
2. BACK – Fold in this order, B, A, C, D, glue This order gives a smooth surface inside and out.
3. FRONT – Fold door cut-out first. Glue K, L next. Glue door last.
4. VENTILATION HOLES – Come down from top edge 1″ and in from side 1″ Cut 4 slits 1 ½” high and ¼” wide. Each slit is 3 grooves wide and 4 grooves apart. Don’t make these too large. You want as little light to get in as possible, yet still allow for ventilation. ALTERNATIVE – Go to a hardware store and find the round eves vents. Get the smallest ones you can find. You will need at least three at each location
5. DOOR – For extra strength, duct tape the door hinge.
6. Using a good soft nylon or dacron rope, attatch two pieces for the handles. Poke a hole in the back and front and insert the rope. Tie a knot on the inside at each end. A washer can be slipped on the rope so the knot does not come through the hole. Don’t make them too long. When you carry the box, you need to carry it easily without it hitting the ground.
7. Use velcro to close the door. Cut two pieces about 7″ long. Separate the hook side from the loop side. Cut the loop side in half. Glue one on the door at the top and the other on the side so it lines up with the one on the door. Keeping the hook strip whole, simply attach it to both side and door. Repeat on the bottom of the door as well.
8. Cut a scrap piece of 2 x 4 for the perch. This is screwed from the outside. You can use washers here for extra security. Cover the 2 x 4 with whatever material you choose. I like the long “grass” you get from a door mat.
9. Allow the Giant Hood to cure and air out for several days before you use it.
10. Simply place some newspapers on the bottom and your ready to go.
- Materials for Harris’ hawk or redtail hawk box:
- 0.5″ x 0.75″ wooden reinforcement struts
- 0.25″ x 4′ x 8′ external glue lauan plywood
- 1.25″ diameter hardwood dowel
- 0.5″ and 0.75″ wood screws
- 1″ x 2.5″ safety hasp (1 for single box or 2 for double box)
- 2″ non-removable pin hinges (2 hinges for a single box and 4 for a double box)
- 1 quart exterior polyurethane
- 0.375″ x 50′ 100% manilla rope (3/8″ rope)
- 0.25″ braided nylon rope (for single box handle) or 0.375″ nylon rope (for double box handle)
- two part epoxy glue (and masking tape to hold the rope in place until the glue dries)
- 2″ wide paper clip (hung on the inside back panel to hold newspaper)
- lock and key or clip to keep hasp closed
- Tools: jigsaw, drill, screwdriver, and paintbrush
- Materials for American kestrel, merlin, or sharp-shinned hawk box:
- same as before except use:
- 1.5″ non-removable pin hinges (2)
- 0.75″ x 2.75″ hasp
- broom handle
- stadium astroturf or 0.25″ x 50′ 100% manilla rope
- Dimensions for Harris’ hawk or redtail hawk single box:
- 23″ high x 20.75″ deep x 11″ wide (outside dimensions)
- center of perch is 6.25″ above the floor and 6.25″ in from the door
- 3″ x 0.75″ top panel air hole (near the back)
- [For a large female redtail hawk, add 1″ to the height and width and 1.5″ to the depth. Also position the perch so that it is 7″ above the floor and 7″ in from the door.]
- Dimensions for Harris’ hawk double box:
- 23″ high x 20.75″ deep x 20.25″ wide (outside dimensions)
- each compartment is 9.75″ wide (inside dimension)
- two 3″ x 0.75″ top panel air holes (one near the back of each compartment)
- Dimensions for American kestrel, merlin, or sharp-shinned hawk box:
- 16″ high x 9.5″ wide x 14″ deep
- center of perch is 4.75″ above the floor and 4.75″ in from the door
- omit top panel large air hole
Details and Comments:
Put the 0.5″ x 0.75″ supports along every corner of the box and use them to make a support frame around the door opening.
For Harris’ hawks and redtail hawks, we recommend using rope to wrap the perch because some hawks pick and tear at carpet or astroturf coverings. However, astroturf (especially stadium astroturf) works well for kestrels, merlins, and sharp-shinned hawks. A smaller diameter rope would also be suitable for the smaller hawks.
We cannot stress enough the importance of proper placement of the perch. If you modify this design, make sure that you still leave enough tail room.
Inspect the inside of the box for any protruding screws. Cut or file the ends down where necessary.
Before coating the box with polyurethane, use a drill to add several small air holes (0.375″ diameter) to the sides of the box (these are in addition to the large hole on the top back panel). For the small hawk box, we use only the small air holes (0.375″) and omit the large because the smaller species raptor seem to be less tolerant of light entering the box.
Apply three coats of polyurethane and place the open box in the sun for two weeks prior to putting a bird in the box (to get rid of the fumes).
We drill two holes in the top panel and use a short piece of braided nylon (with knots on each end) as the handle.
Line the floor and back with newspaper. Hang a clip on the inside of the back panel to hold the newspaper in place.
Warning: When transporting any raptor, always keep in mind the dangers of heat and of carbon monoxide fumes. If you hunt on warmer days, park your vehicle in the shade and crack the windows. Birds are particularly sensitive to carbon monoxide. Do not warm the vehicle up with the birds in the car. Air the vehicle out after warming up the engine before you place your birds (and the boxes) in the vehicle. Never park next to someone who leaves the engine running. Do not leave your engine running if you stop to talk to someone. Avoid traffic where possible, but if you are caught in traffic, pull over at some point to air out the hawk boxes. Do not tail gate as you may be pulling in the exhaust of the car you are following. Install a tailpipe extender and put the transport box as far away from the tailpipe as possible.
Thank you to: Kathie Miller