Cavity-nesting Song Birds are Not very fussy about their shelter. They will build at the darnedest places to the dismay of the Craftsman who spends hours on a Model Mansion, only to discover their nest in a broken plastic Jug two feet from his prized creation.

So if you're a utilitarian rather than a perfectionist; you're in luck !
Anything you make will be cherished or rejected at the whim of the prospective (usually Female) tenant.

Different species build different nests. So your greatest hope in attracting tenants is to build for cavity-nesters like Blue Birds, "Jenny" Wrens, and Titmice.

A Baltimore Oriole would never build in your box, but prefers its woven nest suspended from a whippy twig high in a tree. Likewise, a Robin prefers an open-to-the-world nest plastered to a limb with mud.

This page will show the simplest of boxes that can be built with the simplest of tools. A Saw of your choice, Pencil, Ruler, and a Hammer or Screwdriver will start you in the business of building Bird Houses.



INSTRUCTIONS:
You will need one Board -  1" X 6" four feet long.

A Carpenter's Square would be handy, but a Cereal or Cracker Box will do; Remove the Panels so you are left with the Front, Side, and a straight Factory Bottom Panel. Use it as shown here:


(1) - Measure and draw the six lines across the Board.
Next make an Angle Marker from leftover Box Panels:

Measure and cut out a 1" square. Mark the 4 edges in the middle. This 1/2" mark will be used to mark the 4 corners of the Bottom. Fold it as shown above. It will be used full size to mark the entrance triangles.

(2) - Mark and carefully cut the four 1/2-inch Bottom drainage holes.
Then cut off the 4" X 5-1/2" Bottom.

(3) - Mark and cut out the two 1-inch triangular Entrance shapes.
Center them EXACTLY so they will match up when assembled.

(4) - Mark and cut the 7-1/2" slot down the center of the board to create a 2" wide Front Piece and a somewhat wider Roof piece.

(5) - Mark and cut off the small square waste piece ("x")
creating a 2" X 5-1/2" narrow Front piece.

(6) - Cut off the narrow Front piece and the narrow Roof piece.

(7) - There should be a small amount of Board end waste, determined by the width of your saw blade. This waste should be removed now.

(8) - Cut the remaining panels apart. Sanding all edges is optional.
Note that the Back is 1/4" shorter than the other panels to allow for ventilation under the Roof.



ASSEMBLY:
It can be assembled with Nails or Screws. Pilot holes are optional.
Clamps are helpful, but not essential.

(9) - The Back is nailed onto the Sides with all 3 pieces aligned at the bottoms. This will create the 1/4" ventilation slot in back. 3 Nails or Screws into each Side panel will suffice. Waterproof Glue is optional.

(10) - Fasten the Bottom in place, keeping it 1/4" above the Sides to prevent rain from seeping inside.

(11) - Center the two Roof panels side to side. Put the narrow one in back, with your sawed edge flush to the Back. That allows 2 milled edges to butt together. This Roof joint can be caulked, but it's not necessary.

(12) - Fasten the narrow Front piece (with the triangle cutout) up against the Roof with only 2 fasteners. Glue is optional.

(13) - Carefully saw two 1" kerfs to accept Screw Eyes 2" down from the top of the Front as shown in the drawing above.

(14) - While holding the Front up against its mate, scribe a line through the kerfs onto the Sides.

(15) - Using a small Nail, tap a starting depression in the center edges of the Sides where the Screw Eyes will screw in to hold the Front in place. In use, either of the Screw Eyess is turned horizontal to release the Front.





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