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Home Best Backyard Bird-Feeding Practices Bird Houses, Bird Baths, and Native Plants Bird Houses
Bird Houses

A bird house, which is also known as a nest box, is an important resource for a bird's success providing a place to build a nest and brood young.  In winter, several birds may huddle together in a nest box to keep warm.

Choosing the Right Bird House

Typically, bird houses are constructed of wood.  Each house is specially designed for different kinds of species.  The entrance holes should be the appropriate size and shape for the birds you intend to attract.  A nest box should have adequate drainage and ventilation, and should provide protection from the elements and predators.  When choosing a bird house to buy or build consider asking yourself the following questions: 1) what kind of species would you like to attract?, 2) do you have the appropriate habitat for that species?, and 3) what type of bird house attracts that species? 

Check out Build Your Own Bird House, which provides instructions for building a bird house.

Bird House Dimensions

Different bird species require different sized bird houses.  Visit our Bird House Dimensions page for more information.

Bluebird Bird Houses 

According to the North American Bluebird Society, the entrance hole for Eastern Bluebirds should be about 1 1/2 inches in diameter so that other species cannot nest in the house.  For Mountain and Western Bluebirds, the entrance hole should be 1 9/16 inches in diameter.  The bluebird nest box should be water resistant, well ventilated, and should not contain perches that make it easy for other species to gain access.  Bluebird houses should open readily from the top, side, or front to allow for easy monitoring and cleaning. 
Bluebird houses should be placed at least five feet above the ground and 300 feet apart from one another.  Nest boxes should be placed in bluebird habitat, which consists of open or short-cut grassy areas with a few trees nearby for perching.  A few examples of bluebird habitat include cemeteries, hike-and-bike trails, lightly traveled roadsides, golf courses, and open areas in parks. 
Once the bluebird house has been mounted, it is important to monitor the house at least once a week.  Monitoring the bird house on a regular basis can increase the success for the bluebirds using that box. 


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