Choosing a Bluebird House

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In nature, bluebirds choose to build their nests in cavities in dead trees. Pretty simple. Since we homeowners don’t leave too many dead trees standing in our yards, we’re lucky that bluebirds happily move into man-made bluebird houses. But how to choose? The array of bluebird houses available these days is amazing. They range from the plain wooden box to the highly decorative bluebird mansion. In terms of aesthetics, what we choose matters more to us than to the birds. When you’re shopping from the birds’ point of view, you might want to consider a few of these features:

  • The entry hole size is the first thing to think about. Entry holes are typically either 1-1/2 inch or 1-9/16 inches round in diameter. The Eastern Bluebirds prefer the smaller size, while the Western and Mountain Bluebirds like the larger holes. You can also find oval holes and even rectangular slots, which are believed to discourage House Sparrows.
  • Just like our own homes, bluebird houses need to have good ventilation and drainage but should stay nice and dry inside.
  • It should be easy to clean out after the nesting season, so look for a house where the top, side, or front panel opens for easy access. This is even more important if you want to monitor the nest.
  • Pine, cedar, and man-made materials, such as the recycled “plastic lumber” used in many of our eco-houses are all excellent materials. The plastic is more sanitary — less likely to harbor bacteria and parasites from year to year. Avoid pressure-treated wood, which can be extremely toxic.
  • Some birdhouses come with mesh floor inserts to help keep the baby birds free of blowfly larvae.
  • Look for a house with a built-in predator guard to keep snakes, raccoons, cats, and other climbing animals from reaching in to the nest box. Whether mounted on the inside or outside of the box, this is a critical component.

Does this sound overwhelming? It doesn’t need to be! The well-named Ultimate Bluebird House is a perfect example of what a bluebird house should be. It’s available in natural pine or in soft colored recycled plastic. Duncraft’s own Eco-Friendly Bluebird House also offers everything the modern bluebird family looks for in their dream home. If these don’t appeal to you, we can offer a choice from over thirty other houses with enough variety in color, shape, and style to suit any bird lover.

Don’t hesitate to give us a call with any questions! Our customer service staff are trained to assist you with any questions about your backyard birds. Give us a call at 1-888-879-5095 or send us an email at We’re available Monday-Friday from 8:30am-5:00pm eastern time and we look forward to hearing from you.

Happy Birding!

Heidi Babb

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  • Rachel Finn February 2, 2016 at 11:40 am

    I’m just learning about birdhouses, so I didn’t know that something as seemingly simple as the entry hole could make such a big difference. I like the idea of using a build-in predator guard because I want to keep my birds safe. Do most houses come with that protection?

    • Heidi Babb February 2, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      Many birdhouses do come with built-in predator guards, and it really is an effective way to keep the birds safer while they’re in the house. We also sell some predator guards separately. The best thing is to give us a call when you’re ready to make a purchase, and we can tell you if the guard is built in. Some guards are on the inside of the box, you can’t necessarily see it from the photos. Our friendly, knowledgeable customer service team is available Monday – Friday from 8:30am-5:00pm ET at 1-800-763-7878.