How to Make a Bluebird House

How to Make a Bluebird House
Bluebird boxes provide essential nesting sites that bluebirds are losing from urban development and competition from house sparrows and the European starling. The Native American Bluebird Society recommends cedar or redwood as an ideal wood choice, but adds that other types of untreated wood such as plywood or pine will work as well. Their nesting box plan here has a rectangular shape with a sloping roof and a side door that opens for cleaning. The box works for either Eastern or Western bluebirds.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Cutting

Step 1
Cut 1/2-inch from the floor and side board, making it 5½ inches wide.
Step 2
Cut the floor section 4 inches long. Cut a very small diagonal cut from each corner of the floor to allow for drainage.
Step 3
Cut the side sections with one end at an 80-degree angle and the other end straight. The longer side of each section will be 10¼ inches and the shorter side will be 9¼ inches.
Step 4
Cut the front section 9 3/8 inches long.
Step 5
Cut the back section approximately 1-foot plus 1 3/4 inches.
Step 6
Drill a 1½-inch hole centered in the front section about 6½ inches from the bottom. Use a 1 9/16th-inch hole if you live where Eastern or Western bluebirds overlap with mountain bluebirds
Step 7
Cut the roof section 9½ inches by 10½ inches.

Building

Step 1
Nail the front and one side piece to the floor.
Step 2
Nail the back and roof to the structure. The back of the box will be longer than the floor.
Step 3
Attach the second side to the front and back pieces with two pivot screws 9 inches up from the floor. This allows you to raise the side to clean out the box.
Step 4
Drill a hole on the front near the bottom to insert a nail through in order to hold the side door closed.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Locate your box where there are scattered trees and low or sparse bushes.
 
Mount the box with the entrance five feet above the ground and facing a tree or shrub within 100 feet.
 
Apply a coat of grease on the mounting pole to discourage predators like squirrels or snakes.
 
Do not add a perch to the box. This will attract sparrows and wrens that will displace the bluebirds.
 
Do not mount the box on a tree if raccoons live in the area. Use a pole instead.

Article Written By Susan Lundman

After retiring from work in a nonprofit child development agency, Susan Lundman began writing about her passions of healthy foods and gardening. She writes for a variety of websites and blogs about her adventures for family and friends. Lundman holds a Master of Arts in English from Stanford University.

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