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Construct and Maintain Nesting Boxes

There’s a serious shortage of accommodations in the bird world these days. About 24 Canadian bird species nest in natural cavities such as holes in decaying trees and stumps. But it’s getting harder for them to find lodgings. Many potential homes are cut down for firewood or blown down in storms. Hectares of forests and woodlands are bulldozed to make way for subdivisions and other developments.

Nesting boxes around your community will be a real bonus for birds that raise their young in cavities. Many of these species settle comfortably into human-made dwellings. Some species, like the eastern bluebird, once declined seriously because of the dwindling number of natural cavities available to them, then rebounded because of nesting box programs organized throughout their range.

Nesting Box Dimensions

Species

Entrance hole diameter

Height of hole above floor panels

Size of floor panels

Height of wall panels

Height above ground

American kestrel

7.5

31

25 x 25

40

6-9

Bluebirds

4

15

13 x 13

20

2-3

Bufflehead

6

30

15 x 15

37

3

Chickadees

3

15

9 x 9

20

2-5

Downy woodpecker

3

15

9 x 9

20

2-3.5

Flying squirrel

3

15

10 x 14

20

3.5-4

Great crested flycatcher

5

15

15 x 15

20

3-5

Grey and red squirrel

7.5 (on side)

50

25 x 28

60

6-9

Hairy woodpecker

4

22-30

15 x 15

30-35

3-5

House wren

2.5-3

10-15

10 x 10

15-20

2-3

Northern flicker

6

35

15 x 15

40

2-5

Nuthatches

3

15

9 x 9

20

2

Red-headed woodpecker

5

25

15 x 15

30

3-6

Screech-owls

7.5

31

20 x 20

40

4-9

Tree swallow

4

15

13 x 13

20

2-3

Diagram 1, Nesting BoxDiagram 2, Nesting Box