Birdhouses can be found at almost any home improvement store or easily assembled from kits bought at your local craft supplier, but making your own is far more rewarding and sustainable. Maybe you want to fashion a birdhouse out of scrap or reclaimed wood, for example, or eschew mysterious chemical wood glues for screws, the old-school way. One of the most obvious benefits is, of course, being able to customize the design.
Building a cozy abode for your beloved backyard friends is fun and extremely beneficial for its potential inhabitants. Birdhouses provide them with a safe place to nest away from the elements and predators. And with an ever-growing number of bird species in crisis, these joyous and unfathomably important animals need all the help they can get.
Birdhouse Size, Design, and Safety
Size-wise, different birds require different dimensions. A big bird like the pileated woodpecker might require a height of up to two feet to fully fit in the nest box whereas your average house wren might require only six inches. If you're trying to attract a particular type of bird to your box, refer to Cornell University's handy species-specific nest structure plans.
The below DIY birdhouse is just the right size for small, common birds like chickadees, wrens, titmice, and house finches, which are known to frequent a range of environments—even cities. Feel free to adapt the dimensions to the species you hope to attract.
- Measuring tape
- Carpenter pencil
- Miter or circular saw
- ¼-inch drill bit
- ⅛-inch drill bit (optional)
- Circular hole saw drill bit or jigsaw
- Ladder, if necessary for mounting
- Plank(s) of wood ¾ inches thick and six inches wide totaling at least four feet in length
- 15 to 20 galvanized screws about 1 ½ inches long
- 4 galvanized screws about two inches long
- Small bag of wood chips
- 6 ½-inch strip of rubber or roofing felt
- Predator guard (optional)