Birdhouses can be as easy or as difficult to build as you want, and there are birdhouse plans available for many different styles. How do you choose the best one for your backyard birds?
What Attracts Birds to a House
Different species prefer different styles of birdhouses and even a small change in a house design can affect what type of bird will use it. Factors that affect which birds will use the birdhouse or nesting box include:
- Hole size
- Cavity depth
- Interior dimensions
- House shape or design
- Materials used
- House location
To choose the best birdhouse plans, learn what backyard birds are frequent visitors in your region and plan which species you’d like to invite to become more permanent residents.
Building a Better Birdhouse
You can make any birdhouse plans more bird-friendly. A good house will be used repeatedly and new birds will take over each year.
- Include ventilation holes to reduce heat and keep nestlings comfortable.
- Use a roof overhang or countersunk hole to keep rain out of the house.
- Choose natural building materials. Wood is best.
- Do not paint or varnish the house interior, which could be toxic.
- Choose natural exterior colors that blend with the surroundings.
- Avoid houses with perches that make it easier for predators to reach nestlings.
- Include a hinged roof or sliding floor that can be opened for seasonal cleaning.
Online Birdhouse Plans
Many companies offer birdhouse plans in a variety of styles, sizes and species preferences for sale or free downloads. Always check plan packages to be sure material lists, sketches and instructions are included.