Nest Box Resources

 

For Birds

Easy One-Board Bird Box Plan:  Use this link.

 

Features of a Good Nest Box

1. Well-constructed:  Untreated wood; galvanized screws.

2.  Keeps birds dry:  Sloped roof overhanging front and sides; floor recessed 1/4" from bottom; drainage holes in floor.

3.  Helps regulate temperature:  Boards 3/4-1" thick; ventilation holes or spaces at top of side walls.

4.  Keeps out predators:  No perch below hole; consider some type of predator guard.

5.  Right-sized entrance hole:  For many songbirds, diameters of 1½” or 1¼” will work, but see species info. below.

6.  Helps fledglings leave the nest:  Rough interior walls; horizontal interior grooves below hole.

7.  Makes monitoring easy:  A hinged side or door provides easy access for clean-out in winter; latch should be secure.

See these links:  https://nestwatch.org/learn/all-about-birdhouses/features-of-a-good-birdhouse/   

                             https://nestwatch.org/learn/all-about-birdhouses/

 

Purchasing Boxes and Kits:

High-quality nest boxes and nest box kits can be purchased at local retailers such as Wild Birds Unlimited, and online at sites such as BestNest.com and others.  Boxes built for wrens or bluebirds can be used by several different bird species.

 

Managing House Sparrows and Starlings:  Use this link.

 

Installation:

See this brief video for an easy nest box installation method. 

Recommendations for placement vary depending on bird species.  In general, nest boxes should be placed in appropriate habitat at the recommended height, with steps taken to discourage nest predators, such as mounting the box onto a post instead of tree. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Right Bird, Right House site provides installation recommendations for each species (see below).

 

Local Cavity-nesting Birds

Here is a list of the cavity-nesting bird species found in the Mid-South, with links to plans and other useful information at Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birdhouses website.   Those listed as high-priority species have declining numbers in some parts of their range.

High Priority Species (in decline):

American KestrelNest Box Plan and InformationNest Box Plan, Species Information

Carolina Chickadee:  Nest Box Plan and Information, Nest Box Plan, Species Information

Eastern Phoebe:  Nest Box Plan and Information, Nest Box Plan, Species Information

Eastern Screech Owl: Nest Box Plan and Information, Nest Box Plan, Species Information

Great Crested Flycatcher: Nest Box Plan and Information, Nest Box Plan, Species Information

Great Horned Owl:  Nest Box Plan and Information, Nest Box Plan, Species Information

Northern Flicker:  Nest Box Plan and Information, Nest Box Plan, Species Information

Prothonotary Warbler:  Nest Box Plan and Information, Nest Box Plan, Species Information

Purple Martin:  Nest Box Plan and Information, Nest Box Plan, Species Information

                         See also Purple Martin Conservation Association

Tree Swallow:  Nest Box Plan and Information, Nest Box Plan, Species Information

Other Species:

Barn Owl:  Nest Box Plan and Information, Nest Box Plan, Species Information

Barred Owl:  Nest Box Plan and Information, Nest Box Plan, Species Information

Carolina Wren:  Nest Box Plan and Information, Nest Box Plan, Species Information

Eastern Bluebird:  Nest Box Plan and Information, Nest Box Plan, Species Information

                              See also North American Bluebird Society

Hooded Merganser:  Nest Box Plan and Information, Nest Box Plan, Species Information

Pileated Woodpecker:  Nest Box Plan and Information, Nest Box Plan, Species Information

Tufted Titmouse:  Nest Box Plan and Information, Nest Box Plan, Species Information

White-breasted Nuthatch:  Nest Box Plan and Information, Nest Box Plan, Species Information

Wood Duck:  Nest Box Plan and Information, Nest Box Plan, Species Informationor

 

For Bats

Bat Conservation International's Bat House Information and Plans

Habitat for Bats E-store (for Kits and Finished Boxes)