DIY: Build a Bluebird Box

“One of the most welcome signs of spring is the emergence of the cheerful bluebird. In the past, bluebirds relied on woodpeckers and other cavity-dwellers to provide the majority of their nesting places. They’d select abandoned cavities in dead trees or rotten fence posts to raise their families. As development wiped out many of these natural nesting sites, the bluebird population declined dramatically. Bluebirds prefer to nest in open areas with low or sparse ground cover.  Easy to build, these DIY shelters can be constructed from scrap lumber. Assembled with specific dimensions designed to replace the natural hollows and cavities found in mature trees, a homemade bluebird house will provide a safe location for bluebirds to nest and hatch their eggs.”

Photo by

Warren H. Lauder, who spent 38 years analyzing bluebird boxes, created the design for this bluebird box.



Tape measure or ruler


Chisel or knife



You can use any type of wood, but it should be 3/4-inch thick and unpainted/unfinished. White pine is a good choice because it is easy to obtain. Do not use particleboard or plywood.

One 11-inch piece of 1×12-inch wood (for the roof)

One 23-inch piece of 1×8-inch wood, trimmed to 61/2 inches (for the sides)

One 32-inch piece of 1×6-inch wood, trimmed to 5 inches (for the front and back) Carpenter’s glue

16 seven-penny (7d) galvanized box nails or 2-inch deck screws

1 brass 11/4-inch wood screw or 2-inch deck screw

Small tube of caulking compound

1 asphalt roof shingle

8 3/4-inch roofing nails

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