Building Birdhouses Dimension Chart For Hole Size, Floor, and Material Type

When building birdhouses, it's important to know what species of birds you'll be building the house for. One size does not fit all when building birdhouses.

Bluebirds and House Wrens have different birdhouse hole sizes and floor-to-opening height requirements.

(Size Chart Below.)

While it's possible to get birds to nest in any birdhouse you build, you'll have greater success attracting the birds you want by building nest boxes to the proper hole size and using the correct materials along with the right dimensions.

There are more than 50 different North American birds that will use man-made birdhouses.

With so much competition from House Sparrows and Starlings, it's important that we help by building properly constructed and monitored birdhouses where we can.

Some of the birds that use birdhouses are Bluebirds, wrens, chickadees, woodpeckers, and Tree Swallows.

The chart below will be useful to more experienced woodworkers in building birdhouses for some of the more common types of birds.

After you build your birdhouses, ensure you don't let the squirrels and woodpeckers damage all your hard work. A metal portal protector will stop this damage before it starts.

Place these around the openings so that they stay the size you want. Available in 1 1/2 inch - 1 1/4 - 1 1/8 inch and 1 9/16 to cover most species of birds. Just click the photo to learn more.

Keep These in Mind Before You Begin Building Your Birdhouses

When building birdhouses, some things to keep in mind are: Choose the right material, birds in the wild nest in old trees, fence posts, or utility poles.

Wood is the preferred material for building nesting boxes. So what type of wood should you use?

Ideally, a naturally decay-resistant wood such as cedar, redwood, or a good grade of exterior plywood is best for building birdhouses.

Wood should be 3/4" thick, anything less will allow heat to build up, which is detrimental to young birds.

Avoid using paint, especially dark paint, as dark paint absorbs heat. Besides, a natural-looking house will be more attractive to the birds.

Make sure that you provide proper drainage to keep the nest and its contents dry.

You can do this with an ample overhang on the roof and 1/4" drain holes bored in each corner of the floor.

Ventilation can be provided by drilling 1/2" vent holes at the top of each side or with a ventilation gap between the roof and sides.

The birdhouse hole size is the most critical when building birdhouses. If it's too small, your chosen bird species may not be able to enter the house.

If it's too large, it could allow bigger, more aggressive species such as starlings or House sparrows to use the houses.

Predator guards are another necessary feature. These can be as simple as an additional 2 x 2-inch block drilled to the same size as the entry hole to add more "depth" to the face of the box.

This makes it more difficult for a predator to reach inside the nest. You also can drill the entry hole at an angle to deflect a predator's reach up and away from the nest.

NEVER add a perch when building birdhouses. Birds don't need it, but it could be an advantage for predators.

Once the young are ready to fledge, building an easy exit is necessary. This can be done in several ways.

You can place the rough side of the wood to the inside of the house, you can horizontally score the inside of the front below the entrance hole, or add a piece of screening material below the hole and finally, you can add pieces of wood below the hole to act as a ladder for the young birds.

Any of these suggestions offer the nestlings a way to climb up to the entrance hole when it's time to fly.

You also must provide easy access for cleanout. You can do this simply by hinging the front panel or one of the side panels or by having a removable floor or roof.

Building birdhouses is a hobby that can be fun and rewarding. Consider giving your birdhouses as gifts to friends and family.

Even if they are not now a birdwatcher, they might become one once they see a family of birds nesting in the house that you built.

Check Out These Birdhouses Others Created Click This Headline

American Robin*7" x 8"8"--------6-15'
Barn Owls10" x 18"15-18"4"6"12-18'
Bluebirds5" x 5"8-12"6-10"1 1/2 to 1 9/16"4-6'
Chickadees4" x 4"8-10"6-8"1 1/8"4-15'
Common & Northern Flicker7" x 7"16-18"14-16"2 1/2"6-20'
Flycatchers6" x 6"8-12"6-10"1 1/2 to 1 /4"5-15'
House Finch6" x 6"6"4"2"8-12'
House Sparrows4" x 4" to 5" x 5"9-12"6-7"1 3/16 - 2" --
Nuthatches4" x 4"8-10"6-8"1 1/4 to 1 3/8"5-15'
Osprey48" x 48" Platform----------------
Phoebes6" x 6"6"--------8-12'
Purple Martins7" x 11"6"1-2"1 3/4" - 2 1/4"10-15'
Downy Woodpecker4" x 4"8-10"6-8"1 1/4"5-15'
Hairy Woodpecker6" x 6"12-15"9-12"1 1/2"8-20'
Pileated Woodpecker8" x 8"16-24"12-20"3x4"15-25'
Red-Bellied Woodpecker6" x 6"12-15"9-12"2 1/2"10-20'
Red-Headed Woodpecker6" x 6"12-15"9-12"2"10-20'
Red-Tailed Hawk and Great Horned Owl24" x 24" Platform----------------
Screech Owls and Kestrels8" x 8"12-15"9-12"3"10-30'
Barn Swallows*6" x 6"6"--------8-12'
Violet-Green and TreeSwallows5" x 5"6-8"4-6"1 1/2"5-15'
Titmice4" x 4"10-12"6-10"1 1/4"5-15'
Prothonotary Warbler5" x 5"6"4-5"1 1/8"4-8'
Wood Ducks10" x 18"10-24"12-16"4"10-20'
Wrens4" x 4"6-8"4-6"1 to 1 1/2"5-10"
Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker5" x 5"12-15"9-12"1 1/2"10-20'
*Robins prefer a nesting shelf. See one here.

In addition to building birdhouses, consider building or purchasing a Nesting Shelf. Some birds, such as the American Robin, Eastern Phoebe, Barn swallows, and Mourning Doves, can be attracted to nest on these.

Got a birdhouse you or someone you know built? Tell us about it. Take a photo and show us your unusual or decorative birdhouses.
Want to see what others have shared? Follow the link. To share your birdhouses Click Here

No matter what type of birdhouse you decide to build, a Birdhouse Video Camera will make it even more enjoyable. Give it a try, you might be surprised.

See Also:

What You Need to Know When Building Bluebird Houses

Before Buying or Building A Wren House

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