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Back to How To....    |   Make a Dial-a-Bird Bird House

Most gardeners like to attract birds.  They may have several bird houses mounted in their yard.  If you look closely, the only difference between many bird houses is the diameter of the entrance hole.  The bigger the hole, the bigger the bird that will likely take up residence there.  The entry holes in this birdhouse are likely to attract these species:

1 1/8 “ hole Chickadee or Prothonotary Wabler

1 1/4” hole titmouse, red-breasted nuthatch, downy woodpecker, house wren

1 3/8 “ hole White-breasted nuthatch, tree and violet-green swallows

1 1/2” hole Eastern and Western Bluebirds, Mountain Bluebird, ash-throated flycatcher, hairy woodpecker, and yellow-bellied sapsucker.

Of course, the species you attract will vary by where you live.  To build this unique bird house, you will need 5/8X6X6’ of cedar fence plank.  Cut it into the following pieces:

Front and back (2) 5/8X6X6 7/8”

Sides (2) 5/8X3 7/8 X 7”

Base 5/8 X 3 7/8X10”

Roof (2) 5/8X6X93/8”

Dial 5/8X 6X6”

Take the front and back of the bird house.  Mark a line down the center of the board.  Measure 2 3/4 inches down the board.  Draw a line from the center top to the edge of the board to create two 45 degree angle lines.  Then draw a line on the bottom of the board, centered, that is 3 3/8” long.  Draw lines from the edge of the board at the 2 3/4” mark to the line.  Then draw a 1 1/2 “ diameter hole on the center line 2 1/2 “ down from the top.

Do not cut a hole in the back board.  Cut on the lines to cut out the shapes for the front and back of the house.

Take the 5/8X6X6” dial piece and draw the 5” diameter circle for the dial.  Draw a line down the center of the dial.  Draw a line perpendicular to it at the center of the dial.  Draw a 2 5/8” diameter circle with a center at the crossing of those two lines.  Now, where the circle intersects a line, use that as the center point to draw four circles.  The diameters of the circles are 1 1/2 inch, 1 1/4 inch, 1 3/8 inch and 1 1/8 inch.

Cut out the dial and the circles using a jig saw or a scroll saw.

Now, attach the sides to the front of the birdhouse.  Note that the sides will not go all the way up the front of the birdhouse and they should be flush with the bottom of the front.  This leaves a ventilation crack at the top of the house. Use nails to attach everything.

Attach the back of the birdhouse to the sides with nails.

Attach the base to the sides and front and back of the birdhouse.  Leave the excess length at the front of the birdhouse to form a porch. 

Put the roof boards on the birdhouse.  Overlap one over the other to make them waterproof.

Match the 1 1/2 “ hole on the dial to the 1 1/2” hole on the front of the bird house.  Carefully screw the dial to the front of the birdhouse with a short screw that will not penetrate the back of the front and poke the birds.  Do not screw it in all the way so the dial turns.

Dial the dial to the desired size and mount the birdhouse in your yard.

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