Ohio Bluebird Society, The Holden Arboretum, 9500 Sperry Road, Kirtland, OH 44094    440.462.9084    ohiobluebirdsociety@gmail.com

Nest Box information

The Bluebird Nest Box

  • A good bluebird nest box should be well ventilated, have watertight seams, contain drainage holes on the floor, be easy to monitor, and be easy to clean.
  • Cedar and Redwood are ideal, although Pine, plywood and other types of wood can be used. The outside of the boxes can be painted or stained. A light color is preferred to control heat.
  • Various types of treated lumber should not be used because of its chemical toxicity.
  • Boxes for Eastern Bluebirds should have a round entrance hole of 1-1/2" to 1-9/16" (38 - 40mm).
  • Oval holes measuring 1-3/8" X 2-1/4" may also be used for the Eastern Bluebird.

Mounting the Box

  • Smooth round pipe is probably the best and simplest mounting system. An ideal pole material is 1/2" electrical conduit, but any smooth round pipe will also work. Metal poles can be polished with steel wool and coated with carnuba wax.
  • If rat snakes are known to be in your area consider a proper pole baffle.
  • Unless your trail is in an area where raccoons are not present, avoid mounting Bluebird boxes on a fence line or on trees. Raccoons are known to walk fence lines and may find your boxes.
  • Mount nest boxes so the entrance hole is approximately five feet above the ground. If possible, face the box away from the prevailing winds and facing towards a tree or shrub which is within 100 feet of the box. Trees and shrubs provide a landing spot for the young bluebirds when they leave the box. This will keep them off the ground, away from predators.
  • Boxes for the Eastern Bluebird should be spaced approximately 100 yards apart. If you are trying to "pair" your boxes, place two boxes within 18 to 20 feet of each other.
  • Do not face box opening toward open roads, a large pond or lake.