How do I Build a Birdhouse?

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  • Written By: N. Phipps
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2019
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While most birds prefer to nest in trees, some bird varieties will gladly accept a well-constructed, comfortable birdhouse. If built properly, birdhouses offer suitable protection from predators and harsh weather. Numerous birdhouse ideas and birdhouse plans can be found online and in reference books. All of which make building a birdhouse an easy endeavor. A birdhouse can be constructed using various materials, including items readily on hand. Therefore, it is possible to build a birdhouse relatively cheap.

Most people choose to build a birdhouse for one of two reasons — to attract birds or for decoration. When choosing to build birdhouses for bird occupants, it’s important to research information on different types of birds. Generally, birds prefer birdhouses that are left unpainted or weathered looking in appearance. However, those that are painted should be nontoxic. It’s also a good idea to refer back to research notes, as different birds are attracted to various colors. The size of a birdhouse dictates the type of bird most likely to move in as well.

To build a birdhouse from basic wooden birdhouse plans, power or hand tools are usually necessary. The dimensions of the birdhouse should be laid out according to the recommendations for the chosen bird species. A typical birdhouse pattern can be altered to accommodate nearly any bird type. Once the pieces are cut and appropriate-sized entrance holes drilled, the birdhouse should be assembled according to the instructions or birdhouse plans.


Some people like to build a birdhouse from gourds. Gourds come in many colors, sizes, and shapes. For this reason, they make excellent birdhouses for a variety of bird species. As with basic wooden birdhouse, the type of bird often determines what size gourd is used, its entrance hole and location in the garden. Large, bottle-shaped gourds are generally more popular for those wishing to build a birdhouse of this style.

Once a suitable gourd is harvested and dried, the entrance hole is typically drilled into the front center. Holes for hanging and drainage are also added. This is important for building nearly any type of birdhouse. After the seeds are emptied from the gourd, it’s washed out and thoroughly dried. Once the gourd has dried sufficiently, the birdhouse can be hung in a suitable location, depending on the bird species.

For more crafty individuals, common household items, such as milk or juice cartons, can be used to build a birdhouse. These are generally built more for decorative reasons, however, as they will not stand up well in weather. A good birdhouse must always provide adequate protection in weather. With thorough research into the needs of specific bird varieties, the possibilities for building birdhouses are endless.


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