Bird box
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Category Gardening & Environment | Skills: Skill | Author: Moviéndote | Language : Language | Difficulty level : Hard | Time : 60min Share Take Challenge Add Activity

Want to have some sparrows or birds close to your garden? Do you realize they have no place to start and grow a family, even if it is time to do so? Add more wildlife to your surroundings by elaborating a bird box, hand made by yourself! You can provide them a shelter and customize it as you want it to!

The activity shall be implemented in 4 stages:

  • Prepare all the materials needed beforehand.
  • Plan and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Create your own bird box and customize it.
  • Conduct a research about which is the most appropriate location for your bird box.  


Learning objectives

You will learn:

  • How to work with precise measures.   
  • How to work with units of measure.
  • How to work with solid figures.
  • How to work with spatial calculations.
  • How to conduct researches on the net.
  • How to copy-paste images and change their size.


Skills addressed

After completing the activity, you will achieve the following skills:

  • Work with the exact measures.
  • Improve your gardening abilities.
  • Develop ICT research skills.
  • Learn about which location is more appropriate for the location of the bird boxes and why.  
  • Use your imagination for decoration.



After completing the activity, the learners will acquire the following competences:

  • Careful reading in order to avoid any possible mistake.
  • Ability to focus and work with exact numbers, avoiding estimations.
  • Capacity to put in practice a theoretical research using ICT methodologies.
  • Gardening competences.
  • Creativity.
  • Organization, planning and development of the whole creation process.


Material required

  • A plank of wood 15cm x 1.4m long x 1.5-1.8cm thick and not treated
  • Hole saw/cutter for making the hole
  • Screws
  • Pencil and tape measure
  • Sandpaper
  • Hammer screwdriver
  • Water based paint & any other decoration
  • Small patch or waterproof rubber


How to build a handmade bird box?


1. Prepare the materials you will need to use to develop the activity starting by having an adequate wood. It should be at least 15mm thick wood and it is very important that it is not treated. You can use exterior-quality plywood (for a light box) or, for something sturdier, hardwoods (such as oak and beech) or soft wood (such as pine, but this will deteriorate more quickly).

2. The size of the hole will determine which type of bird will be attracted to your bird box. It should be a perfect circle. In case you want to know more and decide which species of bird are attracted depending to the size of the hole, you should carry out a research on the net. Try with the key words “birdbox hole” or with the most common kind of bird (for example, blue tits). Then, decide by yourself which size of hole will you use.

3. Where to locate the nest box? It is very important to follow some advices of experts. Make a little research on the net about the collocation of the bird boxes and them work with the concrete measures provided to find the perfect place. You will see that even the direction and concrete height is studied!  



1. Taking into account the measures here illustrated, mark with the pencil the wood with the concrete measures. It is very important to stick to them. All of the pieces, except the roof should have a perfect right angle (90º).

Cut the wood along the pencil lines using a wood saw. Sand down all rough edges to protect the birds.

Unable to see the sizes of the picture? Click on it with the left button of the mouse, choose “Copy”, open a new document, click the same button and select “Paste”. You can now make as big as you need.

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2. Nail your box together rather than gluing it (remember to use galvanized/stainless steel nails to stop rust) as this allows water to drain. Nail one of the sides to the base of the bird box, then nail them both to the back section. Hammer gently to avoid splitting the wood. Turn the nesting box on to the fixed side and nail the other side into position. Three nails for each join should be enough.

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3. Before fixing the front panel to the sides, make an entrance hole for the birds with a cutter or a wide drill bit. Sand the hole carefully. Remember you should have decided the size of the hole beforehand by searching on the net. Then place the bird box on its back and nail the front to the sides. The pieces should all fit together without gaps.

4. As it is necessary to access for inspection and cleaning, bird boxes should have a means for easy access. To do so, you can attach a waterproof hinge to the roof of the box, so that it can be lifted easily but won’t fall off. It is important to use a waterproof material. Cut the rubber to the width of the box, and then nail the rubber along the back of the box and to the roof. Another possibility is to use self-tapping screws or hinges.

5. Now it’s time to decorate it. There is no limit regarding it, if you always use water-based paint and leave space for the birds to use the hole.

6. As you have previously conducted a research about the correct place to locate the box, you should drill a hole in the top of the bird box and attach it to a tree using a screw.


 In case you enjoyed it, you can surf on the net and see how many different types of bird boxes are available and which ones are more attractive for each type of birds.

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Some examples...