Download the complete Nestbox Plans (208 Kb) - This is a two-page PDF document with plans to design your nestbox. The 2nd page is how to optimally cut 3-ft 1x12 lumber (preferable cedar).
Our nestboxes are designed to meet the demands of the Texas environment. The design plans are sized for Eastern Bluebirds and will accommodate other small cavity nesters.
White pine and cedar have proven to be the most durable in the hostile Texas environment and easy to work with. But other wood can be used as long as it is NOT chemically treated to repel insects or resist decay. (Wolmanized is the most common of these chemical treatments that should NOT be used.) All of the nestboxes can include the insulating 2nd roof, which is shown on the Heatshields tab above. This additional roof provides insulation from the severe Texas summer heat and provides additional protection from rain as well.
The following briefly describes teh features of our nestboxes - built from standard 1x12 lumber. The builder must have access to a table saw because the 1x12 lumber must be ripped lengthwise.
|Built of 3/4" or thicker wood||Greater insulation from summer heat and greater durability|
|Ventilation slots (or holes||Air movement / cooling for summer heat (On a typical nestbox a 1-1/2" slot at the top of each side provides 4-1/2 square inches, as much area for air movement as ten 3/4" holes.)|
|Entrance hole 1-1/2" diameter||Hole size excludes large winged competitors / predators|
|Entrance hole smooth||Rough, jagged hole damages feathers|
|Exterior - if painted, light color||Light color better for heat. Painting really unnecessary and may attract vandals|
|Interior - no paint or stain||Some paints or stains can give off toxic fumes|
|No "perch" below entrance hole||Bluebirds don't need perch - perch improves predator access|
|Floor has drainage holes/cut out corners||Must be well-drained to keep nest from staying wet|
|Mounted on smooth pipe/conduit||Slick metal post makes it more difficult for predators to climb|
|Roof overhangs on all sides||Overhang creates shade and protects from rain|
|Shaded from intense summer sun||A source of shade, natural or artificial, can reduce nestbox temperature|
|Depth of nestbox 5-1/2 to 8 inches||Shallow nestboxes are more accessible to predators. (Depth is measured bottom of entrance hole to top of floor.)|
|Mounting hardware for House Sparrow trap||Allows for quick installation of trap|
|Predator baffle||Where climbing predators are a concern, a baffle keeps most predators from being able to reach nestbox|
HeatShield Plans. - This is a one-page document with plans for adding a HeatShield to a nestbox.
An easy way to protect you nestbox is to use the Kingston Stovepipe Predator Baffle. It makes difficult for predators (including snakes) to reach the nestbox. Download a plan and build it yourself.