Log Birdhouse

 

Use the diagram below and the following instructions to build a birdhouse out of a firewood sized log.  This plan can be used for small birds especially chickadees or for small or larger woodpeckers.  See other plans at Scott’s Birdhouse Homepage.

 

Please Read the Safety and Liability Statement Before You Begin Working.

 

These plans are NOT for commercial use.  © 2002-2003 Scott’s Backyard Habitat Enhancement

 

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First locate birdhouse dimensions for a bird you want to attract.  See this link: USGS Birdhouse specs page. Using those dimensions let the x in the diagram above be the length of one side of the bottom and y be the total inside height.  Also note the opening size and height of opening above the floor.  The example included below are for a 4” by 4” floor, 10” tall, and a 1 1/4 “ opening 8 inches from the floor (good for chickadees which should love this house)

 

  1. Find a log that has a diameter of at least 2x plus 4 inches (e.g. a 4” by 4” bottomed house would need a log at least 12 inches (2 times 4 plus 4) in diameter) and a height of at least y plus 6 inches (e.g. a 10” tall house would need a 16” long log).  You might be able to get by with smaller logs, but the chance for cracking is greatly increased with smaller logs.
  2. Looking down from the top (or up from the bottom) split (or saw) off the front face of the house making sure that the over all width of the split off piece is at least x plus 4 inches (8 inches for our 4 by 4 inch example floor).  Save the all pieces.
  3. Split off (or saw off) the back so that the middle piece that is left has a width of x (4 inches in our example).  It doesn’t have to be perfectly square, but as close to square as possible.  Discard the back piece, but keep the rest.
  4. Split off (or saw off) both side pieces leaving a square column that is x by x (4” by 4”) and as long as the original log. 
  5. The pieces you have should look like those in number 5
  6. Saw out a y inch (e.g. 10”) section from the center of the column.  The size of the remaining pieces is not critical but should be 2 to 3 inches or more each.
  7. Dry assemble the sides and then the front piece around the top and bottom of the column and drill pilot holes to accept the long screws that you should now use to reassemble the split off pieces leaving the back open.
  8. Drill out the entry hole to the diameter you found on the specs page (e.g. 1 1/4 inch) at the appropriate height from the floor (e.g. 8”).  If the front is very thick you should try to make the opening widen toward the inside to make entry by the birds easier.  If you are building a woodpecker house now is a good time to stuff the house with wood shavings.  Leave empty or place only an inch of wood shavings for other species. Then attach a back made of plywood or wide dimensional lumber that is about 4 inches longer than the overall length of the log and as wide as the split off back. (You could use the back you split off, but that makes it harder to hang.) The extra length should be distributed between the top and bottom to leave room to attach the house to a tree, post, or building.
  9. Screw on a roof of plywood or dimensional lumber that over hangs the sides by 1 or more inches and the front by 2 or more inches to keep rain out.  Hang house in early spring, facing out of prevailing winds.

 

 

Safety and Liability Statement:

Please read the plans carefully and completely before beginning and use the proper safety equipment, especially safety glasses and ear protection, when working with any tools.  I am not responsible for any errors this plan may contain.  Use the plans at your own risk.  Let me know if you find any errors and I will fix them.

 

Good Luck attracting birds!!  Let me know how it turns out!!

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Last Update 12/25/02 SMH