Free Birdhouse Plans for Building Bird Houses for Specific Birds 

an old hat used as a birdhouseWe have free birdhouse plans here that are unique. Use an old hat, some old kegs or a couple of pieces of wood for building bird houses at home.

 It is a mistake to have bird houses too showkeg birdhouse plansy and too exposed. Most birds naturally choose an out of the way place for their nests, and slip into them quietly, that no enemy may discover where they live.

All that is required in a bird house is, a hiding place, with an opening just large enough for the bird, and a water-tight roof.

There are so very many ways in which these may be provided, and a simple solution can be made to provide all the birdhouses that may be needed.

An old hat, with a hole for a door, tacked by the rim against a shed, such as shown above,  will be occupied by birds sooner than a showy bird house.

Above right is an example of our free birdhouse plans where six kegs are placed together to rest upon a pole; the kegs are fastened to the boards by screws inserted from beneath.

Why build Nesting Boxes and Birdhouses?

It has been positively proven that birds will return annually in greater numbers to areas where they have been fed or given help, in the form of nesting boxes, than to those places where no such provision has been made.

The return made by our feathered friends by ridding our gardens and orchards of destructive worms and insects, is many times as valuable as the small commission they collect by sampling a berry or two here and there.

Innumerable quantities of seeds of plants and weeds which would otherwise overun our gardens are eaten by the birds. This, together with the fact that these same birds with their brilliant plumage and beautiful songs, are a valuable asset to our neighborhood, ought certainly to impress us that they deserve our assistance and protection.

Help is best given by preparing suitable birdhouses and feeding shelves for them, and also by placing bits of string, horsehair, and other nesting material convenient for them. Just remember to build your birdhouses in such a way that cats and other bird enemies cannot get to their nests. However, more importantly when building bird houses you need to know that different birds need different bird houses.

large birdhouseLeft we have free birdhouse plans showing how a two-story house may be made separate from two shallow boxes, each divided into four tenements.

Each box has a bottom board, projecting two inches all around, to answer as a landing place.

The roof should be tight, and the whole so strongly nailed that it will not warp. It should be well painted.

framework of large birdhouse






The foundation of the house, shown right, is any convenient sized box, such as may be had at the stores. A piece is nailed to each end, cut to the slope it is desired to have the roof.

As the roof is to be thatched, it had better be pretty steep; it will not only shed the rain the more readily, but the house will look better.

The upper end of the pole which is to support the house is made square ; it passes through a hole in the bottom of the box, and extends far enough above the ridge of the roof, to form the chimney.

A ridge pole is, then passed through the upright pole and the end pieces, as shown in the figure. Places for the windows are to be cut out, but the door may be only a dummy, and painted black.

Small branches of any straight, easy-splitting wood are to be cut of the proper lengths, and split lengthwise. These, with the bark on, are fastened by small nails all over the exterior of the house, as shown below, which gives this form of bird house complete.

completed homemade birdhouse

Free Birdhouse Plans - Using Gourds

Another idea on our free birdhouse plans page is using dried gourds. Dried gourds are easily converted into very good bird houses. All you need to do is to  drill a small hole through the top for a hanging cord. On the side, cut a hole large enough to accommodate wrens, barn swallows, or other small birds. Shake out the dried seeds. It is also wise to drill a  small hole in the bottom of the gours so that if any rainwater finds its way into the birdhouse, it will help drain it away. These natural-gourd birdhouses can last for many years.

Free Birdhouse Plans Using Flower Pots

homemade birdhouse using flower pots

A novel use of the common garden flower pot may be made by enlarging the small opening at the bottom with a pair of pliers, and carefully breaking the clay away until 
the opening is large enough to let in a small bird.

Place the pot, bottom side up, on a board, 3 in. wider than the diameter of the largest pot used, and fasten it to the board with wood cleats and brass screws. Fit the cleats as close as possible to the sides of the pot. One or more pots may be used, as shown in the sketch.

The board on which the pots are fastened is nailed or screwed to a post or pole 10 or
12 ft. in height. The board is braced with lath or similar strips of wood, making a framework suitable for a roost. In designing the roost, the lath can be arranged to make it quite attractive, or the braces may be of twigs and branches of a tree to make a rustic effect.

Free Birdhouse Plans and Hints and Tips Regarding Size When looking at these free birdhouse plans what size hole do I drill for my birdhouse? 

The size of the hole will be determined by what bird species visit your birdhouse, and the concern here is enticing an unwanted bird species such as the brown-headed cowbird and even European starlings to name a few.

Entrance hole sizes vary from 1inches in diameter for species such as tufted titmice and Carolina wren, to a 3inch diameter for screech owls and American kestrels.

The distance in height from the entrance hole to the birdhouse floor should also be considered. Generally, about 6-8 inches is a good rule of thumb for most bird species, however species such as the Northern Flicker and Screech owl require greater depths up to a foot or more.

The height the box is above the ground may also be important, and it will vary by species. It has also been proven that ignoring the proper placement of a predator guard can be costly, and the simple fact of using one may lessen the importance of attention to box height placement. Simple sheet metal or aluminum can be used as a pipe guard, tree guard, or cone guard.

Although the size of the hole is an important consideration, another item to take careful note of is the habitat chosen for the box. For example, placing a bluebird nesting box in the forest will do little to attract a bluebird, however, you may get some Carolina chickadees and other cavity nesters curious. Bluebirds generally require open meadows and fields, keeping in mind to also place the boxes approximately 100 yards apart due to their apparent territorial nature.

Free Birdhouse Plans for Specific Bird Types

To successfully entice the birds there are certain rules which experience has proven we
must follow. Different birds need different sized boxes. The table given below gives the correct dimensions for a variety of houses for different birds.

The size of the opening is very important for building bird houses, as it is essential that it be no larger than is necessary for the bird for whom it is intended, to conveniently enter.

The smaller birds will be bothered a great deal by the English sparrow, who enters if
the opening is not kept very small. It is considered by a majority of authorities that a perch is not a help but a hindrance at the opening. The sparrows alight there and by their incessant chirping drive out or annoy the more desirable occupants.

Again, the bluebird and most of the other song bird can fly directly to the edge of the opening and thus go in, while the sparrow, not quite as clever, must first alight on the perch and get his bearing before hopping in.

It is exceedingly important that there be some means of cleaning out the bird houses at season's end or removing any dead baby birds. This can easily be taken care of by making a birdhouse with a removeable roof or hinged bottom when building bird houses of this nature.


bird house dimensions for specific types of birds

When building bird houses, always drill a few small holes into the bottom to allow for drainage. A few more holes, about a quarter inch in diameter, should be drilled just under the eaves to allow ventilation into the birdhouse, but not too low that it will affect the baby birds.

In boring the entrance hole, tip the bit upward slightly so that rain water will not drip
inward.

Some device for attaching the house to a building or tree should be provided. It is best
to have the house stationary to prevent undue swinging in a high wind, perhaps causing the breaking of eggs and discomfort to the mother bird.
 
Houses of unusual shape or design are not considered as good as the plainer types, the idea being to make each house harmonize as naturally as possible with the surroundings.

One can see from the above that there is a lot to take into consideration when building bird houses in order to get it right, and making sure that your birds visit again and again.

We have more information on bird houses for you, including different plans for specific birds, so please follow the links below.

Free Birdhouse Plans - Dimensions and Blueprint

If you are serious about placing some homemade birdhouses in your garden this spring then we suggest you look at this very informative article on building birdhouses according to the species you want to house. Dimensions are give, along with diagrams of building a basic birdhouse.


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Do you have any Birdhouse Plans of your Own?

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