DIY Bluebird House

Materials

  • One 4-foot 1-inch x 6-inch rough cedar board
  • One 10-1/2-inch 1-inch x 10-inch rough cedar board
  • 2-inch finishing nails
  • 1-5/8-inch galvanized deck screws
  • 8 feet of 3/4-inch conduit and two straps
  • Table saw
  • Power drill

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS:

STEP 1

Using the full width of a 4-foot 1-inch x 6-inch rough cedar board, cut the pieces as pictured in the board layout below. When making the angled cuts, keep in mind that all the pieces will be assembled rough side out.

STEP 2

Drill a 1-1/2-inch entrance hole in the front piece with a spade bit for eastern and western bluebirds. In areas where mountain bluebirds reside, drill the entrance hole 1-9/16 inches. Center the hole about 1-1/2 inches from the top of the board.

STEP 3

Starting about 1/2 inch below the entrance hole, make three shallow cuts about 1/4 inch apart on both sides of the front board. On a table saw, set the blade at 1/8 inch deep and use the saw's miter gauge to cut the notches. Flip the piece over and make identical cuts on the other side. If you want the front board to fit flush with the roof, cut an optional angle along the top edge by tilting the table saw blade 12°.

STEP 4

Position the sides flush with the top of the front board. Fasten the right side to the front with two 2-inch finishing nails. Fasten the left side to the front with a 1-5/8-inch deck screw near the top (drill a pilot hole first). Be careful not to over-tighten this screw because it will serve as a hinge for the side door.

STEP 5

Cut an optional 12° angle along the top edge of the back piece if you want it to meet flush with the roof. Then place the assembled front and sides on top of the back piece, leaving the top of the back board 1/4 inch higher than the sides. The space provides ventilation.

STEP 6

Turn the box over and attach the back to the left side of the box (the one with the "hinge") with a 1-5/8-inch deck screw. Drill a pilot hole first directly opposite the screw on the front (this ensures proper hinge action) and fasten with a screw. Again, don't make it too tight. Secure the other side to the back with three 2-inch finishing nails.

STEP 7

Cut about 1/2 inch off each corner of the floor to provide drainage. Position the floor 1/4 inch up from the bottom of the nest box. (Recessing the floor helps keep the box dry.) Attach the floor with 2-inch finishing nails on the front, back and right side. Do not use nails through the "hinged" left side or you won't be able to open it.

STEP 8

Drill a hole on the hinged side 2 inches up from the bottom and 1/2 inch in from the side. Drill at a slight downward angle, going through the front of the house and into the side. Make the hole large enough for a double-headed nail to slip in and out easily. Insert the nail to hold the side door closed. 

Align the roof flush with the back and attach with 1-5/8-inch deck screws (drill pilot holes first).

STEP 9

The nest box is ready to mount. Keep the entrance hole about 5 feet above ground.

The Bluebird Society recommends attaching it to a smooth round pipe, such as a 3/4-inch electrical conduit, rather than on a tree or fence. Conduit straps attached to the back work well for mounting. For extra protection from predators, coat the pipe with grease and put hardware cloth under the box to deter snakes.

Face the box away from prevailing winds and towards a tree or shrub no more than 100 feet away. This will provide a landing spot for young birds when they first leave the box.

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Pictures taken at Patsy's place

during our June meeting

(Click here)


2014 Plant Swap

Pictures

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Kids Camp and 4H - Day Camp

August 2013

Pictures

Kids Wellness Camp

July 2112

Classroom Activities at CAN HELP Facility:














Outside Activities at AgriLife Facility (Coleman Park)

























Plant Swap - April 28, 2012









A lesson in self-sufficiency

July 2011


AgriLife Building Landscaping

March 30, 2009

Fall Festival

September 19 - 20, 2008

Master Gardeners Meet at Heritage Park

May 22, 2008







Master Gardeners Plant Swap a Success

May 17, 2008

Doris White (left) and Joyce Bussell (right) swap oleander and bianca plants with Hopkins County Master Gardeners President Linda Ward during the Annual Plant Swap hosted by the Hopkins County Master Gardeners and Texas AgriLife Extension, Saturday on Gilmer Street.













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