Bluebird bird house

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Project by Dave Polaschek posted 06-20-2021 08:14 PM 770 views 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Made from reclaimed pallet wood. There’s oak, fir, and poplar in there for sure. Maybe something else, too.

Base is 5” square on the inside, and the hole is 6” off the base, and 1.5” in diameter, which are the numbers for the western bluebird.

The roof overhangs enough to hopefully keep ravens out. The front is hinged at the top with a couple dowels so you can clean out the old nest easily. Gravity will keep the front closed, but the nail with a handle will make sure it stays closed.

Drainage holes in the bottom (the cut off corners), and vent holes at the top (again, cut off corners). I think this is about as simple as a birdhouse gets.

Glued and screwed butt-joint construction. Should last a few years, but mostly I wanted to test this idea for the hinged front, and one of my neighbors wanted a (free) birdhouse.

Can be mounted to a pole by putting screws through the back or the bottom.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

23 comments so far

View splintergroup's profile


5430 posts in 2376 days

#1 posted 06-20-2021 08:49 PM

These are on my list!

I’ve read up on the hole sizes and surprising to me is the bluebirds are very particular as to the sizing. Seems the mountain BB wants something just slightly different, maybe 1/8” (can’t remember which way)

You nailed the essentials!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7935 posts in 1736 days

#2 posted 06-20-2021 09:02 PM

Yeah, the mountain bluebird wants 1 9/16, rather than 1 1/2 (which is fine for the western bluebird). But around here, if we make bigger holes, the house finches claim the house (they prefer 1-3/4, but aren’t very fussy), so I’ve settled on 1-1/2 (plus, I have a spade bit in that size).

I’ve seen much fancier houses, but the birds don’t really seem to mind a little irregularity. I try to glue up the pallet wood so that it’s flat-ish, and then do the minimum planing to get it workably square. I think this one might’ve been just a little too rough, but it went together pretty darn quick.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View EarlS's profile


4611 posts in 3502 days

#3 posted 06-20-2021 09:11 PM

You should make a bird house for every bookcase you make.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7935 posts in 1736 days

#4 posted 06-20-2021 09:13 PM

My plan for birdhouses is one per year, plus a few spares for the neighbors, Earl. Not sure I want to live that long. ;-)

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View pottz's profile


18610 posts in 2138 days

#5 posted 06-20-2021 09:22 PM

nice rustic birdhouse dave,my wife loves bird houses,im surprised she hasn’t hit me up for some.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View 987Ron's profile


1612 posts in 470 days

#6 posted 06-20-2021 10:02 PM

In our area of S Georgia the Blue Birds became endangered years ago. The Univ. started a project to put Bluebird houses all around the county. Along back roads on telephone poles, golf course rough areas etc. Worked great. When we moved into the area I made one for the back yard after hearing of the project We had Blue Birds first year and every year.
Keep it up. One a year or so is all it takes.

-- Ron

View oldrivers's profile


2627 posts in 2720 days

#7 posted 06-20-2021 10:31 PM

Dandy little Rustic bird house good job.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View Eric's profile


1665 posts in 1027 days

#8 posted 06-20-2021 10:45 PM

Nice rustic Bluebird house, I am sure it will get used. Seems like I read they have 2 or 3 nest during a season.

That is on my list of builds for the yard here, the lot is large enough for a few of them.

-- Eric, building the dream

View recycle1943's profile


5599 posts in 2776 days

#9 posted 06-20-2021 10:51 PM

simple and (hopefully) effective biuld. it should only take a week or so to see if they like it

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View jeffswildwood's profile


4924 posts in 3131 days

#10 posted 06-20-2021 11:05 PM

Nice little blue bird house. I have a family living in one I made in the yard. I got lucky with the size they like, it’s not to scale but if they live there, it’s okay. We had an old one in the place for a couple years with no one living there. When they moved in, It was already weathered. So I built them a new, fancy one. They do come back year after year once the adapt a house.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View crowie's profile (online now)


4751 posts in 3105 days

#11 posted 06-21-2021 12:51 AM

We don’t seem to do any of the birdhouses downunder but understand the need in the colder parts of North America

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View Oldtool's profile


3263 posts in 3344 days

#12 posted 06-21-2021 01:57 AM

Nice design, with the included drainage holes and the easy clean front opening.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View doubleDD's profile


10500 posts in 3197 days

#13 posted 06-21-2021 02:50 AM

As the saying goes, build it and they will come. I feel the more rustic looking or natural helps bring them along.
Watch out for free birdhouses for neighbors, that can become a job. LOL.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7935 posts in 1736 days

#14 posted 06-21-2021 03:12 AM

Thanks, Pottz! If you need a design, I think I’ve just about got this one worked out.

Thanks, Ron. The challenge here is keeping the house finches from thinking it’s theirs. They chased one pair of bluebirds away this year.

Thanks, Oldrivers!

Thanks, Eric. It depends on the year, I think. As hot and dry as it’s been here this year, most of my neighbors are reporting that the bluebirds just had one and done.

Thanks, Dick. Probably too late for them this year. We’re in the hottest month already here,

Thanks, Jeff!

Thanks, Peter! Protection from ravens is another reason here. Plus we’re on the edge of the forested area, so having a birdhouse up means we may have birds in our yard most of the summer. Without it, they’re just passing through.

Thanks, Tom! I still need to work on the latch a little, but I’m fairly happy with the design.

Thanks, Dave! I figure if it’s a freebie, I’m only going to pay for glue and screws. And this neighbor gave us a bunch of fresh tomatoes last summer, so it’s a swap I’m okay with. I will have to go grab a few more pallets from the hardware store one of these months, though,

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View awsum55's profile


1095 posts in 1662 days

#15 posted 06-21-2021 04:56 PM

I wanted to make a few bird houses and I haven’t done the research on where they need to be placed. We have a ton of squirrels around here and when we tried to use a bird feeder the little buggers would just sit there and eat everything.

I have a small bird bath under a crabapple tree right outside my office window and really enjoy watching the birds splashing around. Do birds use the houses when they are not laying eggs? I guess i need to do a little reading before I go any further.

-- John D, OP, KS

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