Bird House Dimensions

There are different bird house dimensions for different species.

To attract the species you desire you will need to construct your bird house with specific sizes for the box itself, entrance holes and the species desired height placement above ground.

Use the correct hole size for your birdhouse. Here is a box with a tree swallow sized hole.

Using the correct bird house dimensions will also help to exclude undesirable species, i.e. house sparrows and starlings.

The table below will give you the recommended bird house plans/nest box sizes for various species:

Bird House Dimensions Chart By Species



& Tits

4x4 6-10 1 1/8 4-8 6-15
Titmouse 4x4 6-12 1 1/4 4-10 6-15
Wood Duck 10x18 10-24 4 12-16 6-20
Ash-Throated 6x6 8-12 1 1/2 6-10 5-15
Great Crested 6x6 8-12 1 3/4 6-10 5-15
American Kestrel 8x8 12-15 3 9-12 8-30



24x24 platform - - - at least 14
Brown-headed, Pygmy & Red-breasted 4x4 8-10 1 1/4 6-8 5-15
White Breasted 4x4 8-10 1 3/8 6-8 5-15
Osprey* 48x48 platform - - - at least 15 over water**
Barn 10x18 15-18 6 4 12-18
Great Horned Owl* 24x24 platform - - - -
Screech 8x8 12-15 3 9-12 8-30
Phoebes* 6x6 nest shelf 6 - - 8-12
Barn* 6x6 nest shelf 6 - - 8-12
Purple Martin 6x6 6 2 1/4 1-2 6-20
Tree & Violet Green 5x5 6-8 1 1/2 4-6 6-15



American Robin* 7x8 nest shelf 8 - - 6-15
Eastern Blue Bird 5x5 6-12 1 1/2 4-10 4-10
Western Blue Bird 5x5 6-12 1 1/2 4-10 4-10
Mtn Blue Bird 5x5 6-12 1 9/16 4-10 4-10
Downy 4x4 8-10 1 1/4 6-8 5-15
Hairy 6x6 12-15 1 1/2 9-12 8-20
Lewis's 7x7 16-18 2 1/2 14-16 12-20
Flicker 7x7 16-18 2 1/2 14-16 6-20
Pileated 8x8 16-24 3x4 12-20 15-25
Red-headed 6x6 12-15 2 9-12 10-20
Yellow-bellied 5x5 12-15 1 1/2 9-12 10-20
Prothonotory 5x5 6 1 1/8 4-5 4-8
House 4x4 6-8 1 1/8 4-6 5-10
Carolina 4x4 6-8 1 1/4 4-6 5-10
Bewick's 4x4 6-8 1 1/8 4-6 5-10

*These species species use a nesting shelf (3 sides and an open front) or a platform instead of a closed-box design.

**If the Osprey platform is placed inland, the height should always exceed the height of any nearby trees or 20 feet whichever is greater.

Using the right dimensions for your bird house is a good start to attract certain species, but you will also want to do a little research as far as placement.

For example, if you install a bluebird house under trees as opposed to an open area, like a grassy meadow, your chances of having occupants will be greatly reduced.

If you follow the links below to specific bird house designs, there are more tips according to species.

Building a Bird House

The video below shows you how to build a bird house from scrap pieces of wood and offers some tips on construction. The ornithologist also explains why the decorative bird houses you buy from your local knickknack store isn't always best for the birds.

Below are some great books on bird house construction, bird house plans, building your own bird houses and bird feeders from beginning to advanced designs:

For more specific designs and step by step instructions, go to these pages:

Bluebird House Plans

Purple Martin Bird House Plans

Gourd Birdhouses

How to Build a Bird House - Hollow Wood Log

Phoebe and Robin Nest Box Plans

American Kestrel Nest Box Plans

Wren House Plans

And for tips on bird house construction and materials go to:

Making Bird Houses - Construction Tips

Install a Bird House Hole Guard

Winter Bird House Plans

Wooden Bird Houses

Bird House Designs

Bird House Plans Main Page

Birdhouse Dimensions Chart

Free Bird House Plans

What birds use birdhouses?

As mentioned before, not all birds use bird houses or nest boxes; only cavity nesters like chickadess, wrens, bluebirds, swallows, purple martins, woodpeckers, etc.. Often people contact use and say they cannot find the correct hole size for a hummingbird, robin, mockingbird, waxwing, catbirds, cardinals, etc. but that is because they build their nests between the branches of trees and shrubs and not inside a tree cavity or hole and therefore won't use a birdhouse.

Hope you enjoy building your bird house and its future occupants!

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