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.
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:
|SPECIES||FLOOR (IN)||HEIGHT (IN)||HOLE DIAMETER (IN)||HOLE ABOVE FLOOR (IN)||BOX ABOVE GROUND (FT)|
|Great Crested||6x6||8-12||1 3/4||6-10||5-15|
|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**|
|Great Horned Owl*||24x24 platform||-||-||-||-|
|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|
*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.
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:
And for tips on bird house construction and materials go to:
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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