Construction and Installation of Bluebird Boxes and Predator Guards

Boxes should never be constructed of pressure treated wood because it is toxic to birds. White pine and/or cedar are good choices for boxes.

Bluebird House Construction Plans can be found on the North American Bluebird Society website at: http://www.nabluebirdsociety.org/nestboxes/eastwestbox.htm

Boxes should be placed in open spaces, not in heavily forested areas, and should be at least 8 feet away from any overhanging branch or shrub to prevent a pathway for raccoons, squirrels, or snakes. Do not mount houses on trees or fences, as they cannot be secured from predators. Bluebirds are primarily insect eaters and hunt for insects close to the ground in grassy areas. For this reason, it is best not to install a bluebird house on a lawn where pesticides are used.

The bird entrance hole can face in any direction except toward the hot afternoon sun. When possible, face the hole toward a nearby tree or shrub (at least 8 feet away) so fledglings will have a safe place to fly to avoid predators. If they land on the ground, they are easy prey for cats, snakes, and birds of prey.

Mount boxes 5' – 6' off the ground on either a metal, or wooden post.

For a metal post, purchase a ¾", 10' long electrical conduit pipe from a hardware store such as Home Depot. The post should be cut to 8', burying 1 ½' in the ground and securing the top of the wooden box level with the top of the post. Secure the box to the post with a metal strap that is screwed to the back of the box.
For the wooden post, purchase an 8' pressure treated post, 4" x 4", burying 2 ½' - 3' in the ground and mounting the box 5' – 6' off the ground with galvanized screws.

Before attaching the house to the post, attach a predator guard on the post at least a couple of inches below where the house will be, once installed. The stovepipe predator guard seems to work the best.

Predator Guard Construction Plans for metal posts can be found by clicking http://www.tampaaudubon.org/documents/bluebirds/guardsto.pdf.

Predator Guard Construction Plans for Wooden Posts can be found by clicking http://www.tampaaudubon.org/documents/bluebirds/predatorquards.pdf.