Birdhouse Specification and Location Tips: What You Need to Know
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Birdhouse Specification and Location Tips

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Birdhouse Specs You Need to Know
If you've ever hosted wild birds at nesting time, you can attest that it is an experience to look forward to every spring. It's very fascinating to
Birdhouse Specs You Need to Know
watch birds mate, establish and defend territories, and provide for their young. Many species will use man-made nest boxes or nest platforms, and if you want to use them to attract birds to nest in your yard, it's helpful to know the nestbox specifications required by various species. This will improve the likelihood that the home will be occupied by the species you intend to attract.

You will want to make sure the entrance hole is sized only as large as it needs to be for the species you wish to house. Holes larger than this will invite larger birds and other predators to invade the box, which can be a danger to the chicks or prompt the invaders to take over the box and evict the current residents.

The following chart will help select a birdhouse appropriate for housing a particular species. We not only give you an idea of the specification requirements of the house or platform, but also give you some tips about where and how high to mount it.

Bird Species
Floor Size
Depth of House
Hole Above Floor
Hole Diameter
Placement Above Ground
Mounting Location or Other
Barn Swallow (Nesting Platform) 6" x 6" 6" NA None (front side panel) 8' - 12' Side of building, arbor or in tree
Bluebird 5" x 5" 8" 6" 1-1/2" 5' - 10' Open areas; facing a field
Chickadee 4" x 4" 8" - 10" 6" - 8" 1-1/8" 6' - 15' Thicket of a small tree
Downy Woodpecker 4" x 4" 9" - 12" 6" - 8" 1-1/4" 6' - 20' On tree trunk; needs sawdust
House Wren 4" x 4" 8" 6" 1-1/8" 5' - 10' Post or tree mount
Northern Flicker 7" x 7" 16" - 18" 14" - 16" 2-1/2" 6' - 20' Put sawdust inside
Nuthatch 4" x 4" 8" - 10" 6" - 8" 1-1/4" 12' - 20' Mount on tree trunk; natural color best
Purple Martin 6" x 6"(ea unit) 6" 2" 2-1/2" 15' - 20' Open areas; near water; white is best color; many apartments per house
Red-headed Woodpecker 6" x 6" 15" 6" - 8" 2" 12' - 20' Post mount or tree trunk
Robin (nesting platform) 6" x 6" 6" NA None (front side panel) 6' - 15' Side of building, arbor or in a tree
Screech Owl 10" x 10" 12" - 15" 9" - 12" 3" 10' - 30' Edge of wooded lot or open woods
Titmouse 4" x 4" 8" - 10" 6" - 8" 1-1/4" 6' - 15' In or near a wooded area
Tree Swallow 5" x 5" 6" 4" 1-1/2" 5' - 8' Close proximity to a lake or pond (2 mi)
Wood Duck 10" x 10" 24" 20" 3" x 4" oval 10' - 20' Post over water or on trees facing water

Choose a Bird House that Will Suit Your Needs

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