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70birds

That Nest in Birdhouses

70birds

That Nest in Birdhouses

70birds

That Nest in Birdhouses

More than 70 North American bird species live in nest boxes or on platforms.

See which birds live near you. Learn about those birds and how to make birdhouses for them.

 

Too many bird houses can drive off nesting birds, including a specific bird species we want to attract.

For most yards, select just one or two bird species that are known to nest in bird houses in that region.

 

Nest boxes simulate tree cavities.

Some birds that nest in tree cavities will also nest inside wood nest boxes if they are the right size.

Some birds that nest on tree branches, cliffs, and rock ledges will also nest on wood platforms.

Birds like birdhouses to be in their favorite places.

 

Feeding birds will not attract birds to nest and raise a family in a bird house.

Nesting, egg laying birds need seclusion and are unlikely to nest in a bird house near throngs of birds flocking to bird feeders.

 

Wear Eye Protection!

Eye injuries are the most common serious injury and the most easily prevented.

 

Use softwood. Cedar is beautiful, easy to work with, is often rough-cut, or simulated so for fencing, which is good for grip, and it endures. When fresh, it has a repellent effect on some insect pests. Pine is also a good, abundant softwood.

Hardwoods are difficult to work with, heavier and more suited to fine joinery used in furniture. It’s more work and not necessary.

 

Use a hand held screwdriver to assemble work pieces. This allows the crafts person to feel and better judge appropriate hole sizes and snugness to prevent stripping and splitting wood.

 

You may prefer Side Opening Doors instead of hinged roof doors, especially for the larger nest boxes.

 

Woodpeckers that Nest in Bird Houses

Nine woodpecker species nest in boxes in North America. See where they live, their foraging and nesting habits, birdhouse plans, how to build and where to install birdhouses.

See species information for downy woodpeckers
Downy Woodpecker
Smallest and tamest of the woodpeckers. Downy Woodpeckers excavate their own cavities in deciduous and mixed forests, apple orchards, groves, farms, country homes and towns. They also nest in birdhouses. See the downy woodpecker nest box page and view or print nest box plans.
See species information for red-headed woodpeckers
Red-headed Woodpecker
Searches trees and waits on fence posts for passing insects to catch. Hammers out its own cavities in partially decayed trees or telephone poles, in open sheds and also nests birdhouses. Visit the Red-headed Woodpecker nest box page and view or print nest box plans.
See species information for pileated woodpeckers
Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated woodpeckers forage under loose bark of large older decaying hardwood trees for ants and beetle larvae. They excavate cavities from twenty to eighty feet high and will also nest in high mounted nest boxes. See the pileated woodpecker nest box page and view or print nest box plans.
Select to read information for red-bellied woodpeckers.
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied woodpeckers ascend trees hammering to roust insects from under bark. They chip out tree cavities up to twenty feet often deep in forests and may nest in abandon cavities or bird houses. Select to visit the red-bellied woodpecker nest box page and view or print nest box plans.
Select to read species information for northern flickers
Northern Flicker
Northern flicker nests have been discovered in barrels, the crevices of deserted barns, out houses and even in an old wagon wheel hub on the treeless prairie and they will also nest in birdhouses. Visit the Northern Flicker nest box page and view or print nest box plans.
Read species information for yellow-bellied sapsuckers
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
These beautifully colored birds make rows of holes in trees and return to feed on insects attracted to sap dripping from them with their long bushy tongue. They nest in deep cavities they’ve bored out and also in birdhouses. Visit the yellow-bellied sapsucker nest box page and view or print nest box plans.
See species information for hairy woodpeckers
Hairy Woodpecker
Hairy woodpeckers can feel a moving insect’s vibration and can also hear insects munch on wood while they forage tree bark for insects and larvae. They chisel out their own cavities and will also nest in birdhouses. Visit the hairy woodpecker nest box page and view or print nest box plans.
See species information for Lewis's woodpeckers
Lewis’s Woodpecker
Unlike other woodpeckers, they fly in straight paths with consistent laborious wing movements. They nest in tree cavities which they excavate often in coniferous trees and also nest in birdhouses. Visit the Lewis’s woodpecker nest box page and view or print nest box plans.
Visit the species information page for golden-fronted woodpeckers
Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Forages for beetles, ants, and grasshoppers, corn, acorns, berries and other wild fruit. Builds nests in cavities it excavates in trees, telephone poles, or fence posts and also nests in birdhouses. See the golden-fronted woodpecker nest box page and view or print nest box plans.

Woodpecker  Birdhouses

Woodpeckers that Nest in Bird Houses

Nine woodpecker species nest in boxes in North America. See where they live, their foraging and nesting habits, birdhouse plans, how to build and where to install birdhouses.

See species information for downy woodpeckers
Downy Woodpecker
Smallest and tamest of the woodpeckers. Downy Woodpeckers excavate their own cavities in deciduous and mixed forests, apple orchards, groves, farms, country homes and towns. They also nest in birdhouses. See the downy woodpecker nest box page and view or print nest box plans.
See species information for red-headed woodpeckers
Red-headed Woodpecker
Searches trees and waits on fence posts for passing insects to catch. Hammers out its own cavities in partially decayed trees or telephone poles, in open sheds and also nests birdhouses. Visit the Red-headed Woodpecker nest box page and view or print nest box plans.
See species information for pileated woodpeckers
Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated woodpeckers forage under loose bark of large older decaying hardwood trees for ants and beetle larvae. They excavate cavities from twenty to eighty feet high and will also nest in high mounted nest boxes. See the pileated woodpecker nest box page and view or print nest box plans.
Select to read information for red-bellied woodpeckers.
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied woodpeckers ascend trees hammering to roust insects from under bark. They chip out tree cavities up to twenty feet often deep in forests and may nest in abandon cavities or bird houses. Select to visit the red-bellied woodpecker nest box page and view or print nest box plans.
Select to read species information for northern flickers
Northern Flicker
Northern flicker nests have been discovered in barrels, the crevices of deserted barns, out houses and even in an old wagon wheel hub on the treeless prairie and they will also nest in birdhouses. Visit the Northern Flicker nest box page and view or print nest box plans.
Read species information for yellow-bellied sapsuckers
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
These beautifully colored birds make rows of holes in trees and return to feed on insects attracted to sap dripping from them with their long bushy tongue. They nest in deep cavities they’ve bored out and also in birdhouses. Visit the yellow-bellied sapsucker nest box page and view or print nest box plans.
See species information for hairy woodpeckers
Hairy Woodpecker
Hairy woodpeckers can feel a moving insect’s vibration and can also hear insects munch on wood while they forage tree bark for insects and larvae. They chisel out their own cavities and will also nest in birdhouses. Visit the hairy woodpecker nest box page and view or print nest box plans.
See species information for Lewis's woodpeckers
Lewis’s Woodpecker
Unlike other woodpeckers, they fly in straight paths with consistent laborious wing movements. They nest in tree cavities which they excavate often in coniferous trees and also nest in birdhouses. Visit the Lewis’s woodpecker nest box page and view or print nest box plans.
Visit the species information page for golden-fronted woodpeckers
Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Forages for beetles, ants, and grasshoppers, corn, acorns, berries and other wild fruit. Builds nests in cavities it excavates in trees, telephone poles, or fence posts and also nests in birdhouses. See the golden-fronted woodpecker nest box page and view or print nest box plans.

Woodpeckers that Nest in Bird Houses

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Nine woodpecker species nest in boxes in North America. See where they live, their foraging and nesting habits, birdhouse plans, how to build and where to install birdhouses.

See species information for downy woodpeckers
Downy Woodpecker
Smallest and tamest of the woodpeckers. Downy Woodpeckers excavate their own cavities in deciduous and mixed forests, apple orchards, groves, farms, country homes and towns. They also nest in birdhouses.
See species information for red-headed woodpeckers
Red-headed Woodpecker
Searches trees and waits on fence posts for passing insects to catch. Hammers out its own cavities in partially decayed trees or telephone poles, in open sheds and also nests birdhouses in the right places.
See species information for pileated woodpeckers
Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated woodpeckers forage under loose bark of large older decaying hardwood trees for ants and beetle larvae. They excavate cavities from twenty to eighty feet high and will also nest in well placed, high mounted nest boxes.
Select to read information for red-bellied woodpeckers.
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied woodpeckers ascend trees hammering to roust insects from under bark. They chip out tree cavities up to twenty feet high often deep in forests and may nest in abandon cavities and bird houses.
Select to read species information for northern flickers
Northern Flicker
Northern flicker nests have been discovered in barrels, the crevices of deserted barns, out houses and even in an old wagon wheel hub on the treeless prairie and they will also nest in birdhouses.
Read species information for yellow-bellied sapsuckers
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
These beautifully colored birds make rows of holes in trees and return to feed on insects attracted to sap dripping from them with their long bushy tongue. They nest in deep cavities they’ve bored out and also in birdhouses.
See species information for hairy woodpeckers
Hairy Woodpecker
Hairy woodpeckers can feel a moving insect’s vibration and can also hear insects munch on wood while they forage tree bark for insects and larvae. They chisel out their own cavities and will also nest in birdhouses.
See species information for Lewis's woodpeckers
Lewis’s Woodpecker
Unlike other woodpeckers, they fly in straight paths with consistent laborious wing movements. They nest in tree cavities which they excavate often in coniferous trees and also nest in birdhouses.
Visit the species information page for golden-fronted woodpeckers
Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Forages for beetles, ants, and grasshoppers, corn, acorns, berries and other wild fruit. Builds nests in cavities it excavates in trees, telephone poles, or fence posts and also nests in birdhouses.

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