So you want to build a birdhouse. A well-built birdhouse should be durable, keep out rain, not overheat, and be easy to clean. Keep these requirements in mind and let's get started.
1. First, determine types of birds you see around your backyard. Then figure out which ones will use a birdhouse. Some birds build nests in trees or bushes, such as doves, cardinals, and mockingbirds. Others may make their nests on ground or even burrows down in ground. Only cavity nesting birds will use a birdhouse. Examples of common cavity nesting birds are chickadees, flickers, and bluebirds. Determine type of bird that you wish to use birdhouse.
2. Determine dimensions of birdhouse. Most birds require different sizes of birdhouses as well as entrance holes. Below you will find a chart with some specs to build houses for various common cavity nesting birds:
3. When selecting wood to use, use plain untreated lumber. Do not use exterior grade plywood (contains formaldehyde) or pressure-treated lumber (contains toxic preservatives.) Plastic and metal often overheat in hot summer sun.
4. Almost time to pick out a birdhouse plan. First, however, remember these things about good houses: Has some type of ventilation holes or slots near roof so heat can escape. Normally these holes will be on sides of house - NOT roof - so rain will not drip in. •Roof is slanted enough to shed rain and extends well over entrance hole for protection from rain and sun. •No perch. Most people think that there should be a perch under entrance hole. However, birds nesting inside do not need a perch. The perch also invites predators or other birds to attack or bother parents and babies inside. •Has drain holes or small slots in bottom of nest box for drainage (you don't want those babies to be drowned during a storm!) •Has a door, roof, or side wall that can easily be opened to clean out nest box. Leftover nests can attract mites and other parasites as well as make more work for new occupants who must clear out old nest. •Inside wall beneath entrance hole is roughed up or has some type of grooves for baby birds to climb as they get older.