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Old 07-21-2019, 04:32 PM
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Birdhouses / Nesting Boxes



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My wife mentioned a few years back how much she loved seeing bluebirds. There was an old man that lived on the road leading into our neighborhood who had several nesting boxes on fence posts. We were seeing bluebirds all around there as we came and went. Something happened to the old man. An auction sign appeared in the yard and soon there were new owners. They don't keep things as nice looking as the old man did and the bluebird boxes are falling apart.

I purchased our first bluebird box around that same time and put it up out front of the porch where we could see it from the livingroom window. . We had nothing the first year, but had them show up the second and even more this year. We've had two broods of baby bluebirds in that box. I purchased a second bluebird box about two weeks ago and put it in the back yard. Within a couple of days we had bluebirds starting a nest in it. The female laid 5 eggs and has been sitting on the nest incubating them for 11 days now, so before long we should have more baby bluebirds.

Now on to the thread title. Earlier this past week, I purchased my first power saw. I debated over getting a table saw or miter saw, opting for the latter. I thought that I would start with something simple to build, so a nesting box seemed appropriate. I built a Gilwood box modified with an hinged angled roof. Yesterday I had my wife stop by Lowes on the way home where I purchased a 1x12x4 and 2x4x8. I had been considering building a Peterson box and after coming up with an idea for hinging the double layered roof, took the plunge. Below are the results.

I started with this plan.
http://www.nestboxbuilder.com/pdf/Peterson.pdf




I shortened the height of the box by 1/2 inch off the bottom end because of the cut limitations on my saw. I can cut up to 14 inches, which is what the front angle length measures with my modification. 1/2 inch off the bottom doesn't affect the internal nesting area measurements at all.


I like a hinged roof for taking photos without disturbing the babies by opening the front. Especially so on this design because the floor is very small and angled. I've seen a video of baby bluebirds falling out as a guy opened the front. Opening the front is simply for ease of cleaning out the old nest once the babies leave.


Gap purposely left at top for ventilation.


The block of wood on the bottom side of the roof is my modification. This is the inner part of the double roof design which would normally be screwed in place between the side walls at the top. It would run all the way from the back of the box to the front. I cut off a section from the front to screw in place across the front of the box. This pulls everything together while not blocking my view from above. I made sure to glue the ends well on that piece.




The 2x4 block is supposed to insulate the inside from the sun heating the top roof panel.


I left a little wiggle room to allow for any wood expansion. It gets very humid here in Tennessee.




The angled pin/screw is used to latch the front door.







Brent

Last edited by Brent; 07-21-2019 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 07-21-2019, 04:54 PM
Uturnwilly1

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Very nice. I will use your plans & hints to build some new box’s to replace my old ones for next spring
Thanks for the info & plans
Silly
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:07 PM
RJF22553
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Thanks!!!!

We love all our wildlife, but Bluebirds are special. I built one for them a few years ago and they were a hit! For one year.

Thanks for the post. I'll refresh the 'house and likely build some more.
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:27 PM
62Ranger13
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Beautiful job, Brent!
I am going to re-read your post at a later time as I plan to build one to your specs. On my quick review, I didn't see where you had previously spoken about the cross-hatches in the front door for the chicks to climb up to the opening when they fledge.

Thank you for your contribution to the Bluebirds. I'm partial to them as they are our state bird.
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uturnwilly1 View Post
Very nice. I will use your plans & hints to build some new box’s to replace my old ones for next spring
Thanks for the info & plans
Silly
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJF22553 View Post
Thanks!!!!

We love all our wildlife, but Bluebirds are special. I built one for them a few years ago and they were a hit! For one year.

Thanks for the post. I'll refresh the 'house and likely build some more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 62Ranger13 View Post
Beautiful job, Brent!
I am going to re-read your post at a later time as I plan to build one to your specs. On my quick review, I didn't see where you had previously spoken about the cross-hatches in the front door for the chicks to climb up to the opening when they fledge.

Thank you for your contribution to the Bluebirds. I'm partial to them as they are our state bird.
Thanks guys! ......and thank you Ranger for the reminder. I forgot to put the cross-hatches on the door of this one. Easy fix though. I also intend to add the vent holes on the side like in the plans. Need a better bit for that first.


Brent

Last edited by Brent; 07-21-2019 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:27 PM
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I will go ahead and copy my post on the modified Gilwood box here as well.

My first trial run was a bluebird nesting box. It's a Gilwood design with a couple of modifications. The front panel opens downward instead of upwards. Also, the roof has an 11° pitch instead of being flat and I hinged it from the back instead of screwing it down.

I've read that studies in the Northeast showed that bluebirds chose this design 6 to 1 over the standard 1-1/2" hole box. It's a 2-1/4" hole offset at the top of the door, then a 1/8" wire (or nail) inserted across the opening to restrict the entrance height to 1-3/8". This design allows more light into the box while the bluebird enters or is leaning in to feed the babies. They "think" this is why the bluebirds prefer the Gilwood design. We shall see how it works in the South.











Cross-hatches added.......


Below is a link to print the plans that I started with. With an 11° slant on the roof, your measurements on the side panels would be 9" on the front end and 10-7/16" on the rear end. Don't forget to change the length of your rear board to the 10-7/16" also. I also used 4 screws up the back sides instead of the 2 shown in the plans. I also cut the corners off the floor board to allow more air circulation.

Since my roof opens, I didn't put the 3/4"x3/8" deep hole on the underside of the rear of the roof for the 1/2" conduit mount as shown in the plans. I will use the 1/2" EMT brackets, but will drill a hole in the conduit just below one of them and insert a machine screw. That will provide a stop should the box try to slide down the pole. I kept the roof at 10", but did cut the 11° angle on the rear end so it was straight with the rear of the box.

http://www.nestboxbuilder.com/pdf/Gilwood.pdf


I didn't like how the hole came out on the first door, so I did a new one.




I also came up with a roof latch.








What roof latch?






Brent

Last edited by Brent; 07-21-2019 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:25 PM
Bullet Bob
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"Something happened to the old man."

That's starting to hit close to home.

Nice work on the boxes!
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Bullet Bob View Post
"Something happened to the old man."

That's starting to hit close to home.

Nice work on the boxes!
Thanks Bob!

Never know what the day may hold.


Brent
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:23 PM
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Great job. Bluebirds are the state bird of NY but they are gone. English Sparrows and Starlings took over. Immigrants or invasive species? I knocked plenty of the crapping starlings down in my city hood when I was a kid. I still do in my yard.
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:36 PM
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Great job. Bluebirds are the state bird of NY but they are gone. English Sparrows and Starlings took over. Immigrants or invasive species? I knocked plenty of the crapping starlings down in my city hood when I was a kid. I still do in my yard.
Thanks! Keep up the good work. Anything messes with our bluebirds and they're history.


Brent
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:29 PM
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Baby bluebirds are hatching in the back yard box. They sure start out ugly, but end up pretty.






The two that fledged from the front box Monday last week.




Brent
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:19 PM
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Not sure what to call this newest bluebird nesting box. It has some of the Peterson design, as well as Gilwood and Triton. I grabbed some paper and started trying different angles to attain both the exterior and interior dimensions I was aiming for. I didn't want to go over 12" high on the side panels. I started with a 1x8x6' board. The door, back, and floor are 4-1/2" wide, cut from the 1x8. I'm wondering if the wider design will help on hotter days, distancing the babies from the warm sides of the box. Just a theory and maybe not a big deal. I wanted the tapered side panels using a 3" deep floor so less nesting material would be required for the nest build. Recommended height from the floor to the bottom of the entrance hole is 5" to 6", so I designed it for 5-1/2". Also added was the inner roof panel for more insulation from the sun hitting the roof and heating it.

My wife said it's her favorite of the ones that I've built. I'm thinking it's my favorite as well, but that really doesn't matter. It's what the bluebirds like. I honestly don't think the ones around here are that picky, but we shall see next Spring.















Brent
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:41 PM
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Housing for Bluebirds. If you have any Nuthatch that first one looks as if they'd like it. If you have HOSP, house sparrow kick em out permanently or they'll kill your BB's.
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Old 08-01-2019, 05:25 AM
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Housing for Bluebirds. If you have any Nuthatch that first one looks as if they'd like it. If you have HOSP, house sparrow kick em out permanently or they'll kill your BB's.
Third year with the bluebird boxes and no house sparrow problems thus far. Hopefully won't be. I've read that the high entrance hole with the overhanging roof deters them. We'll see.


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