Here are two simple Bird House designs that you can easily build in a single weekend!
Tips for Bird Houses
Here are a few valuable tips of interest to Bird House builders:
Use woods that are suitable for outdoors. Redwood, cedar, cypress and exterior grade plywoods are all good choices. DO NOT use pressure treated woods as they may be harmful to wildlife.
Use only rust-resistant hardware made of galvanized steel, aluminum, brass or stainless steel for best results.
Build all Bird Houses so they can be cleaned out at least once a year to control lice. Hinged tops or sliding bottoms are just two construction techniques that allow for easy clean-out.
Finish Bird Houses with exterior grade stains or paints. When painting, choose light colors to minimize heat absorption on hot Summer days.
Never place a Bird House where squirrels, cats or other bird enemies may pose a threat.
Keep Houses away from noisy human or automotive traffic areas.
Drill all entrance holes from the front side of panels until the bit tip barely comes through the wood. Then, stop drilling and drill the remainder from the back side to prevent splintering that could injure birds.
If your House will be placed where it is not protected from heavy rainfalls by eaves, etc., it's a good idea to drill a few 1/8" diameter drainage holes in the bottom.
Hatchlings often benefit from footholds inside the house. If your house has smooth sides, it may be difficult for them to reach the opening. These footholds can be provided by gluing small 1/4" square scraps of wood or dowels to the inside surfaces...or by using a saw blade or chisel to cut a series of horizontal grooves across surfaces to roughen them.
See “Ask Smitty” questions in this issue for example birdhouse entrance hole sizes.