Cheery bluebirds greet the day.
image by mrmac04/morguefile.com
This bluebird house is simple to make. It's a good family project, or parents can cut and gather everything into "kits" so each child can make his own. It features an easy swing-open side panel so you can clean inside after the baby birds leave the nest.
Bluebirds need rough wood to cling to, so don't sand your wood. They do not use a perch, but they swoop directly into the small opening or alight at the opening for a moment as they enter. Bluebirds help keep your yard and garden free of insect pests; they will devour thousands of bugs over a summer.
Prepare the Pieces
Measure and cut the following lengths of the board: back 13 1/2 inches long, roof 8 1/4 inches long, front 9 inches long, two side pieces, each 9 inches long, floor 4 inches long. There will be a few inches of waste wood left over.
Mark ventilation holes.
Each side piece should have two holes, one inch in from each side edge and 2 inches down from the top edge.
The floor piece needs 4 holes, one in each corner. They should be spaced 1 inch in from the edges.
Drill the marked ventilation holes with a 3/8 inch bit.
Mark the entrance opening on the front. It should be 7 inches up from the bottom of the front piece, centered. The hole should be 1 1/2 inches round. Do not make it larger, or starlings or cowbirds could get into the nest.
Cut the hole using a 1 1/2 inch hole saw in your drill. Or, drill a start hole and use a coping saw to cut out the opening.
Mark and drill mounting holes on the back piece. Locate one hole at the top of the back piece, and one hole at the bottom of the back piece. Each should be centered and 1 inch in from the upper or lower edge.
Assemble the Bluebird House
Assemble the floor, front, roof, and one side piece using glue and nails. The front should be placed over the edge of the side piece, nails through the front.
Nail the partially assembled house to the back piece, centering it. Nail through the back.
Attach the second side piece. NO GLUE is used on this piece. One nail through the front, one inch down from the top, and one nail through the back aligned with the first nail will serve as pivot hinges for clean-out. The pivot nails must be horizontally aligned for the side panel to swing properly.
Use one screw centered along the lower edge to secure the movable side piece to the floor.