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Our Free Newsletter: The Birder Alert!
Free Bird House Plans
"Why are there so
many different bird house plans?"
Many bird house plans are species specific and for good reason. For example, cavity-nesters require
different entry-hole diameters. A hole size for bluebird bird house plans
will be different than one for wood ducks,
Also, the appropriate size hole will exclude certain undesirable species. For example, a hole size 1 1/8 inch
in diameter will exclude starlings and house sparrows, which often monopolize nest boxes and even evict
more desirable species. So it is important to choose the appropriate bird house plan for the species you
wish to attract.
How To Build A
Bird House Video
This is a more elaborate design, but gives you a quick look at one type of bird
house design. View our birdhouse plans further below for an easier to build box.
Some great inexpensive books on building bird houses from Amazon:
Approximately 1 dozen cavity-nesting birds will use boxes with a 1 1/2" entrance hole. These include Tree & Violet-green Swallows, bluebirds, chickadees, wrens, nuthatches, and
possibly titmice. Wrens will use holes that are smaller than 1 1/8" in diameter. Woodpeckers will prefer larger holes, 2 1/2" across.
Bird House Plans
Here are general bird house plans that will attract a variety of birds to nest.
If you want more species specific designs, such as for bluebirds, purple
martins, wrens, robins, chickadees, owls or others, then view our
house dimensions chart that includes bird house plans 34 species.
Habitat and Placement
Birds nest in different habitats. So if you place your house in an open field, you are more likely to attract bluebirds or swallows. If you place your house in a more wooded area, you are more likely to attract chickadees or nuthatches. So if you want to attract a certain species to your box, keep in mind their natural habitat when looking for a location.
Placement is also important. Your bird house site should not be surrounded by thick foliage, as parents need an open flight path
to and from the nest. All locations should have an abundance of food, protective cover, and water.
Don't put a perch on the nest box. This makes it easier for raccoons,
and other predators to reach inside.
In general, bird houses should:
Be several feet off the ground
Face away from prevailing spring winds
Have an angled front to prevent rain from entering the hole
The roof or one wall should be hinged, so the box can be opened and cleaned after use, and there should
be small drainage holes in the bottom.
Unique and Fancy Bird House Design
I always think simpler is better, but some woodworkers like to make really
elaborate and fancy birdhouses. That's okay if that's what you want, but the
bird house in the video below is way over the top, don't you think?!
Keeping Predators Out of Your Bird Houses
If you mount a box on a pole, tree, or post, the same predator guard devices
should be included.
Some examples of predator guards are baffle blocks or
Noel wire raccoon guards
around the entry-hole, and
or metal/PVC sleeves around the pole, tree, or post the house is mounted on.
Some birds do not nest in holes. Robin and phoebes
for example, will use a tray-like ledge
with a roof, attached to a tree or the side of a building.
will use an unroofed
shelf under the eave a building.
Wooden strips nailed under the eave on the outside of a barn or other large building in the open will
make it easier for cliff swallows
to attach their nests. After the nesting season is over, knock
off the swallow nests, so that each pair will build a new one. This avoids occupation by house sparrows before the swallows return.
Bird House Plans By Type
Choose the appropriate link below for specific
free bird house plans:
Purple martins nest colonially in martin apartment houses. Bird house plans for martins
vary from very simple to quite elaborate. Gourds may be used for martins as well
and are very popular in the south. Hard shell gourds are members of the species, Lagenaria, also
called bottle gourds. They can be suspended from crossbars on a tall pole.
Gourd Birdhouses -How to grow gourds and how to dry gourds in order to make gourd birdhouses
for purple martins or other cavity-nesting birds. Also birdhouse gourds for sale and seeds.