Plans For Blue Bird Houses – In this post I have listed everything you need to know about getting started with Bluebird houses: (Click on the linked text below to jump to that specific section!)
Bluebirds are considered cave breeders, meaning they will only nest in a cave that is completely enclosed except for the entrance hole. You will never see a thrush building a nest outdoors like an American robin or a mourning dove.
Plans For Blue Bird Houses
To complicate the issue, bluebirds cannot build their own nesting hole. So, in the wild, thrushes rely on holes in trees that woodpeckers dug up in previous seasons.
Wild Wings Wwch3 Cedar Blue Bird Box House (cosmetic Damage) Please Read
About 100 years ago, bluebird populations (particularly Eastern Bluebirds) began declining due to an extreme decline in available nesting sites, mainly for these three reasons:
These two invasive birds use the same nest cavities that bluebirds require, except these two alien bully birds can outperform bluebirds and easily drive them from their nest site. It is not uncommon to find a thrush brutally killed by a house sparrow or European starling.
The North American Bluebird Society has tirelessly promoted thrush conservation to increase public awareness of the nest cavity problem, along with an incredible increase in knowledge of the year-round requirements and behavior of all three thrush species.
Window And Log Bird Houses And Feeders
Are you ready to join bluebird fanatics across North America and start building (or buying) nest boxes?
As you can imagine, there are thousands of different bird feeder plans available online. The problem is that most of them weren’t designed for Bluebirds.
I’ve done my best to find bird feeders that are effective at attracting thrushes, come with clear instructions, and are relatively easy to build!
Eastern And Western Bluebird Bird Houses By Knwoodworks
This short list is by no means all-inclusive, and there are many types of Bluebird homes that work well. If you talk to 100 bluebird enthusiasts, chances are you’ll get 100 different bird box recommendations!
The Peterson has worked wonderfully for many years to accommodate bluebirds. It doesn’t look like a typical birdhouse where the front and back get closer together as you move from top to bottom. Just a warning that building the Peterson nest box can be tricky.
The Gilbertson Bluebird house is mostly made out of PVC pipes! The tube can be removed from the wooden roof to monitor thrush nests quickly and easily.
Bluebird House Plans: How To Build A Simple Diy Bluebird House
The F30 Bluebird nest box has a large overall footprint, measuring 30.25 square inches making it ideal for western and mountain bluebirds. Both of these types of bluebirds have larger clutch sizes than eastern bluebirds, preferring bottom dimensions of 5-1/2 inches per side versus just 4 inches/side for eastern bluebirds.
*Many of the above Bluebird house plans were found on a helpful site called Nestbox Builder. If you don’t like any of the designs above, there are many more DIY projects available for you!*
In the age of YouTube, I think it’s easier to follow video instructions. This is especially true for people like me who aren’t incredibly handy and are generally ashamed of their lack of carpentry skills. 🙂
Birds, Mountain Blue Bird Flying Off From Blue Bird Box/nest, Idaho State Bird, Idaho, Usa Stock Photo
In this video you can see how to build a bluebird house entirely from a 6 foot fence post. Seriously, that’s the only wood needed!
This friendly gentleman shows us how to build a bluebird house from a single plank. I like how much detail he goes into when building the next box, which is especially helpful for a beginner like me. I was able to find the PDF Bluebird house instructions he is referring to in the video. —> View the PDF HERE! (Missouri Conservation Committee)
There is probably nothing more important than drilling the right entrance hole to your Bluebird home. If it’s too small, a bluebird won’t be able to fit inside. And if it’s too big, European starlings and other birds of prey can fit in to either use the nest box or eat the nestlings!
How To Build A Beginner Bird House
The size of the entrance hole will depend on where you live and what specific bluebird species you are trying to attract. FYI, there are THREE species of bluebirds in North America; Eastern Bluebird, Mountain Bluebird, and Western Bluebird.
It can get very hot in a bluebird nest box. Your birds will appreciate some holes drilled in the top to aid in airflow and cooling.
Another way to lower the internal temperature is to use wood that is at least 3/4 inch thick. And the lighter the color of your wood, the better. Make sure you don’t paint the outside of your Bluebird home a dark color like green or black, as darker colors attract warmth.
Free Plans For Building A Bluebird House
If you live in an area where temperatures regularly exceed 90 degrees F, you should consider placing your Bluebird box in at least partial shade or creating larger ventilation gaps.
Any responsible Bluebird host MUST constantly monitor their nearest boxes for house sparrows and other intruders. You’ll thank yourself later if your birdhouse has a side or roof that opens easily to look inside.
Do not attach a perch to the front of the bird house. Bluebirds don’t need one and it will only encourage other birds like house sparrows and European starlings to use the home or give predators a landing spot.
Nichoir Troglodyte En Bois
If you’ve already given up building a nest box, then buy one of these prefabricated houses on Amazon and call it quits!
Made from red cedar, opens easily and has a 1-1/2 inch opening for Eastern Bluebirds. With ventilation openings at the top and drainage holes at the bottom. This house is slightly similar to the Xbox Bluebird house above (#1).
This bluebird house has a 1-9/16″ entry hole and larger floor dimensions, making it ideal for western and mountain bluebirds. The sides open easily and one side even has a plastic window so you can look inside without disturbing the nestlings.
Nest Box Placement
Now that’s one snazzy Bluebird house! First, it’s made from durable, recycled plastic, so it has a LONG lifespan. The house also includes built-in predator protection, a raised mesh floor to protect the nestlings, and ventilation and drainage holes. Finally, the front lifters are easy to open to clean or check on the babies.
So if you like the design of the Peterson Bluebird House in the section above, but aren’t skilled enough (like me!) to build one, you might as well buy this house. The only complaint with this house is that the hole is too big to keep starlings out, but it’s an easy fix by buying a 1.5 inch panel (for Eastern Bluebirds) or a predator screen that goes over the hole is attached.
Before you build or buy any Bluebird homes, you MUST read this section. I wish it was as simple as hanging a few nest boxes in your yard, then sitting back and waiting for bluebirds to start having babies, but it’s not.
Red, White, And Blue(bird)
If you live in an urban or suburban area infested with house sparrows, it may not be worth attracting bluebirds and bluebirds
House sparrows originated in Europe and were introduced to the United States in 1850. Since then, these highly adaptable birds have expanded their range across the continent and are now found in almost every part of the world. House sparrows love to be around people as they are usually the birds trying to steal your popcorn and bread at amusement parks!
That’s because house sparrows use the same nesting cavities as thrushes. They may not look like it, but house sparrows are EXTREMELY aggressive and they almost ALWAYS outperform thrushes for available nest sites and bird feeders.
All Birds Welcome Wooden Bird House
So, if you live in an urban area where house sparrows are already plentiful, putting up an aviary for thrushes will only encourage the house sparrows to nest in it. And if you’re lucky enough to be home to a thrush, you run the risk of being attacked or injured by a house sparrow.
Unfortunately, I live in a suburb outside of Akron, Ohio. We have house sparrows everywhere! When I try to hang bluebird houses in my yard, they’re almost immediately taken over by these invasive, tyrannical birds. There is no way I will SAFELY house thrushes in my yard. 🙁
The BEST way to ensure house sparrows aren’t taking over your Bluebird boxes is to monitor them CONSTANTLY at least ONCE a week. By checking the boxes that many times, you can quickly identify and fix problems.
How To Use Bluebird Houses
When you go to a nest box you want to do it quickly and quietly. Speak softly when approaching, then tap the side of the house lightly to give the adult birds a chance to fly out. It’s not uncommon for a female laying her eggs to remain inside even after you open the box.
The only time you don’t want to open a nest box is when the nestlings are around 12-14 days old.
At this point they are preparing to leave the nest but are not quite ready. Opening the box can prematurely drive the hatchlings outside
Recycled Poly Ultimate Bluebird House
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