Although wildlife habitat conservation is a national issue, there are many individual ways we can help. Setting out bluebird boxes is one good example of how we can lend a helping hand to an animal that is finding it harder to find a home in nature.
If you are handy with a hammer and saw you can put together this simple bluebird box. It can be made with a single 60-inch long 1” x 6” piece of untreated lumber.
(1) 1” x 6” that is 60-inches long
(20) 1 3/4” Nails
(2) 1 3/4” Nails for Hinged Side
Electric Drill with a Circular Bit to Cut Out Entry
Miter Box to Cut One End of the Top and Front at a 60 Degree Angle
Template for Cutting Board:
Cut the board according to the diagram above. The corners of the bottom piece are removed for ventilation and drainage. The entry hole should be 1 1/2-inch for Eastern and Western Bluebirds.
Ventilation is important so drill two holes at the top of one of the side pieces.
There are many ways to assemble your bluebird box, but this is what worked for me.
Attach one side piece to the back board and then secure them to the bottom.
Next hammer on the front and the top.
Now you are ready to add hinged side piece. Fit this piece between the front board and back board and secure at the top with nails. This will enable you to pull the board open from the bottom and reach inside to clean the box.
The final step is to attach the entry guard piece over the hole. This will keep woodpeckers from enlarging the hole, allowing other birds to gain access to the bluebird box.
You can paint the exterior of the box. Use light colors so that it won’t absorb heat. Avoid lead based paints and wood preservatives.