Tips for Drawing up Bird House Plans

Bird house plans will help you build your own bird house. A bird house (also known as a nesting box) is a great way to replace habitat destroyed by forestry and development. According to the National Audubon Society, there are more than 80 species of birds in North America that benefit from artificial nesting sites.

Bird House Basics
At its simplest, a bird house is a wooden box with a hole in one side. For a bird house to be successful, however, there are several key features to consider:

  • Size - Each species of bird has specific requirements for the size of the floor and entrance hole of their house. The United States Geologic Survey (USGS) has a well-written publication that details size and design requirements for different species. Oregon State University (OSU) also provides detailed information on bird house sizing.
  • Materials - Avoid wood that has been painted, stained or treated with wood preservative. Cedar and redwood are excellent choices that provide natural waterproofing. Galvanized fasteners are long lasting and won't rust or corrode.
  • Safety - Consider the danger of predators when designing your bird house. Adding a metal plate over the entrance hole will keep squirrels and woodpeckers from enlarging the hole to get at nests. A 1" thick block of wood with a matching entrance-sized hole will create a short tunnel, making it difficult for predators to reach into your bird house.
  • Maintenance - A hinged roof or side wall will allow for easy inspection and cleaning of your bird house. Make sure the hinged wall is secure when the bird house is occupied, either with a hook and eye latch or temporary nail.
  • Other features - Make sure your bird house has ¼" drainage holes in the floor and ventilation holes in the side walls. Also, roughen the inside walls of your bird house or add 1/8" deep grooves to the inside front wall. The rough surfaces will make it easier for young birds to climb out of the bird house when it's time to leave the nest. Bird baths can be included in your yard for more enticement.
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