Bufflehead Nest Box

Build the bufflehead nest box with cedar, pine or most any softwood. Use wood stock rough-cut on both sides to simulate tree cavities and so birds can grip surfaces.

Make a 7″ by 7″ floor (inside dimensions) and a 16″ floor to ceiling height (inside front). Cut a 2 7/8″ diameter round entrance opening located 14″ above the floor (to top of opening). Drill or cut ventilation openings in the floor and under the roof.

Make Side Opening Doors for easier access to duck houses.

Always use corrosion resistant screws and hardware.

Drill countersunk pilot holes in primary and regular pilot holes in secondary work pieces. This reduces a tendency for wood to split. It makes for easy assembly in minutes with a power or hand held screwdriver.

A bufflehead nest box.
Bufflehead nest box dimensions.
If full width wood stock is not available, use two 1″x 6″, or 1″x 8″ boards. They usually vary from 5 1/4″ to 5 1/2″ wide and 7 1/4″ to 7 1/2″ wide. Cut them to width and secure well. Reinforce with chamfer strips (inside) or batten strips (inside or outside) fastened perpendicular to vertical panels.

Plywood consists of glued, thin laminated panels. They are strong but prone to deterioration from moisture even when surfaces and edges are sealed with paint.

Print or view bufflehead nest box plans.
The back wall panel extends beyond both top and bottom. Drill pilot holes in these panels for mounting. Drill an extra mounting hole inside the box just under the roof. Stagger these holes so that all are not in line along a single wood grain. Holes in line with grain can weaken and cause wood to split.

Some attach wire mesh on the inside front panel to help ducklings climb out of the box. If you do, bend the needle sharp ends over and fold behind. A better alternative may be to use plastic poultry or snow fencing, or similar material.

Fasten duck boxes firmly to metal (preferable) or to wood posts. Mount 4′ above water, 6′ if above ground, higher if it is likely to attract the curious. If above ground, locate near ponds and where vegetation provides cover for ducklings to travel to water. Always protect with 3′ wide cone predator guards around the post, under the box.

Place 3″ to 4″ of wood chips (not saw dust) in the boxes. Remove everything from the box and clean well after the brood rearing season is past.

Do not mount duck boxes in trees. Not on, under or too close to trees where squirrels can leap on to boxes. Predation from snakes, raccoons and a number of other mammals and birds is a horrible thing. You can prevent this.

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Visit the bufflehead species page.

Bufflehead Nest Box

A bufflehead nest box.
Build the bufflehead nest box with cedar, pine or most any softwood. Use wood stock rough-cut on both sides to simulate tree cavities and so birds can grip surfaces.

Make a 7″ by 7″ floor (inside dimensions) and a 16″ floor to ceiling height (inside front). Cut a 2 7/8″ diameter round entrance opening located 14″ above the floor (to top of opening). Drill or cut ventilation openings in the floor and under the roof.

Bufflehead nest box dimensions.
Make Side Opening Doors for easier access to duck houses.

Always use corrosion resistant screws and hardware.

Drill countersunk pilot holes in primary and regular pilot holes in secondary work pieces. This reduces a tendency for wood to split. It makes for easy assembly in minutes with a power or hand held screwdriver.

If full width wood stock is not available, use two 1″x 6″, or 1″x 8″ boards. They usually vary from 5 1/4″ to 5 1/2″ wide and 7 1/4″ to 7 1/2″ wide. Cut them to width and secure well. Reinforce with chamfer strips (inside) or batten strips (inside or outside) fastened perpendicular to vertical panels.

Plywood consists of glued, thin laminated panels. They are strong but prone to deterioration from moisture even when surfaces and edges are sealed with paint.

View or print bufflehead nest box plans.
The back wall panel extends beyond both top and bottom. Drill pilot holes in these panels for mounting. Drill an extra mounting hole inside the box just under the roof. Stagger these holes so that all are not in line along a single wood grain. Holes in line with grain can weaken and cause wood to split.

Some attach wire mesh on the inside front panel to help ducklings climb out of the box. If you do, bend the needle sharp ends over and fold behind. A better alternative may be to use plastic poultry or snow fencing or similar material.

Fasten duck boxes firmly to metal (preferable) or to wood posts. Mount 4′ above water, 6′ if above ground, higher if it is likely to attract the curious. If above ground, locate near ponds and where vegetation provides cover for ducklings to travel to water. Always protect with 3′ wide cone predator guards around the post, under the box.

Place 3″ to 4″ of wood chips (not saw dust) in the boxes. Remove everything from the box and clean well after the brood rearing season is past.

Do not mount duck boxes in trees. Not on, under or too close to trees where squirrels can leap on to boxes. Predation from snakes, raccoons and a number of other mammals and birds is a horrible thing. You can prevent this.

Above all, please do not attract duck families and leave them vulnerable to predators. Significant reduction in predation has been achieved through proper location, installation and use of cone predator guards. 

Visit the bufflehead species page.

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