Birdhouse Guidelines

Birdhouse Guidelines

Birdhouse Building Guidelines

Species Dimensions Hole Placement Color Notes
Eastern bluebird 5″x 5″ x 8″h. 1-1/2″centered
6″ above floor
5-10′ high in open; sunny area light earth tones likes open areas,especially facing a field
Tree swallow 5″ x 5″ x 6″h. 1-1/2″ centered
4″ above floor
5-8′ high in the open; 50-100% sun light earth tones or gray within 2 miles of pond or lake
Purple martin multiple apts.
6″ x 6″ x 6″ ea.
2-1/2″ hole
2-1/4″ above floor
15-20′ high in the open white open yard without tall trees; near water
Tufted titmouse 4″ x 4″ x 8″h. 1-1/4″ 4-10′ high light earth tones prefers to live in or near woods
Chickadee 4″ x 4″ x 8″h.
or 5″ x 5″ base
1-1/4″ centered
6″ above floor
4-8′ high light earth tones small tree thicket
Nuthatch 4″ x 4″ x 10″h. 1-1/4″ centered
7-1/2″ above floor
12-25′ high on tree trunk bark-covered or natural
House wren 4″ x 4″ x 8″h.
or 4″ x 6″ base
1-1/8″ centered
6″ above floor
5-10′ high on post or hung in tree light earth tones or white may fill nest boxes with ‘dummy’ nests
Northern flicker 7″ x 7″ x 18″h. 2-1/2″ centered
14″ above floor
8-20′ high light earth tones put 4″ sawdust inside for nesting
Downy woodpecker 4″ x 4″ x 10″h. 1-1/4″ centered
7-1/2″ above floor
12-25′ high on tree trunk simulate natural cavity prefers own excavation; provide sawdust
Red-headed woodpecker 6″ x 6″ x 15″h. 2″ centered
6-8″ above floor
8-20′ high on post or tree trunk simulate natural cavity needs sawdust for nesting
Wood duck 10″ x 10″ x 24″h. 4″ x 3″ elliptical
20″ above floor
2-5′ high on post over water, or 12-40′ high on tree facing water light earth tones or natural needs 3-4″ of sawdust or shavings for nesting
American kestrel 10″ x 10″ x 24″h. 4″ x 3″ elliptical 20″ above floor 12-40′ high on post or tree trunk light earth tones or natural needs open approach on edge of woodlot or in isolated tree
Screech owl 10″ x 10″ x 24″h. 4″ x 3″ elliptical 20″ above floor 2-5′ high on post over water, or 12-40′ high on tree light earth tones or natural prefers open woods or edge of woodlot

Nesting Shelves

Species Dimensions Hole Placement Color Notes
American robin 6″ x 6″ x 8″h. none – needs roof for rain protection on side of building arbor or in tree light earth tones or wood use is irregular
Barn swallow 6″ x 6″ x 8″h. none – does not need roof under eaves of building light earth tones or wood prefers barns or outbuildings
Phoebe 6″ x 6″ x 8″h. none – does not need roof under eaves of building light earth tones or wood prefers water nearby

Source: Garden Birds of America by George H. Harrison. Willow Creek Press, 1996.

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