The Kentucky Bluebird Box


tools and materials:
  • 1x4 and 1x6 lumber pieces
  • hammer
  • saw
  • drill
  • ruler
  • number 5d, 6d, or 7d galvanized nails
  • number 6 or 8 finishing nail

  • From the 1x6, cut 3 8-inch pieces for sides and roof. From the 1x4, cut 2 7-inch pieces for the front and back, and 1 4-inch piece for the floor.

    1. Drill through side into the edge of the back and nail. Repeat the other side.
    2. Put the floor in place against the back and inset one inch from the bottom. Drill and nail into place.
    3. Drill the roof and nail into place, or fasten with drywall screws.
    4. Put the front into place so that its top edge is within 28-30mm (1 1/8) inch of the roof. Drill through the side (1/2 inch above its lower edge) into the edge of the front and nail. Repeat other side.
    5. Drive a finishing nail half way into the edge of a side and bend it over to hold the front in place. It can be pushed aside to open the box.
    6. Check your entrance measurements. It must be at least 28mm at some point and no more than 30mm at any point. Slight errors can be corrected by tapping with a hammer.
    7. Drill holes in the sides or back, or both for wiring your box to a fence or post or bolting it to a pipe.
    Note: Bluebirds prefer a deeper (4 to 5-inch) box. If sparrows are a problem, put in a piece of 2x4 to make box more shallow. Keep boxes low (4 to 5-feet), because sparrows prefer higher boxes. Always have at least two boxes up; sparrows take the empty box, rather than evict the bluebirds.

    Dr. Wayne H. Davis, Retired School of Biological Sciences, University of Kentucky
    130 Jesslin Dr., Lexington, KY 40503
    Feel free to contact for questions and comments.