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Bluebird Nest Boxes

Bluebird Nest BoxesMaterials

3/4 inch wooden boards or PVC pipe with attachable wooden roofs are commonly used for bluebird boxes. Peterson boxes often use 2 x 4 inch boards

Do not use pressure treated wood because they include toxic compounds

Paper milk carton style or corrugated cardboard boxes are unacceptable

Woods such as redwood and cedar are long-lasting even when left natural

Entry Holes

Eastern Bluebirds use 1-1/2 inch round holes, 1 3/8 x 2 1/4 inch vertical oval holes, or 1-1/8 inch horizontal slot entrances

Western and Mountain Bluebirds use 1-9/16 inch round openings

Where the ranges of the species overlap use 1-9/16 inch round openings

Oval holes should only be used in eastern bluebird boxes with moderate to small dimensioned boxes to reduce the possibility of starling use

Floor Sizes

Eastern Bluebirds: floors in wooden boxes should be approximately 4 x 4 inches or 5 x 5 inches (Peterson style boxes are somewhat smaller), floors of circular boxes (such as PVC pipe) should be approximately 4 inches in diameter

Western or Mountain Bluebird boxes should be at least 5 x 5 inches or 5-1/2 x 5-1/2 inches to accommodate larger clutch sizes


It is imperative that all bluebird nest boxes open readily from the top, side, or front to facilitate box monitoring and cleaning

If box sides or front pivot to allow access to the box, they should do so at as high a point as possible to ensure that you can observe tall nests without the door obstructing your view

A screw or angled nail in a pre-drilled hole should be provided to ensure that mammalian predators can not readily open the nest box


Natural wood is acceptable

If painted or stained, use light colors to minimize having the box overheat during warm weather in areas where overheating is likely


Drainage holes must be provided in the box bottom to allow any rain entering the box to drain from the box and to provide air circulation to keep nesting material dry

The box should be water-tight

The roof should provide sufficient overhang beyond box entrance or vent holes to minimize possibility of rain entering these openings

The roof should cover top edge of the box back unless other features eliminate any possibility of rain entering the joint between back and roof of box even if the wood warps

Heat/Cold Protection

Vents providing cross ventilation should be present near the box peak. These openings should be protected from rain by having the box roof overhang a sufficient amount to minimize precipitation entering the box.

Dark colors should be avoided to minimize overheating

It should be possible to plug or cover vent holes during cold weather periods early in the nesting period

Long roof overhangs minimize the possibility of sun, rain, or snow entering the box

Predator deterrence

The box should be easy to mount on a predator-resistant post in areas with raccoons or cats

A 5 inch roof overhang above the entrance hole reduces the possibility of raccoon or cat predation

Wooden guards placed over the entry hole are not effective in eliminating raccoon predation

Boxes mounted on heavily greased pipes or on waxed metal electrical conduits will deter many climbing predators

Mounting boxes less than 5 feet from the ground increases the opportunities for climbing or jumping predators to raid the nest

Wooden posts, un-greased pipes, PVC pipes are readily climbed by nest predators such as raccoons


Boxes should be designed so that they may readily and securely be mounted on a support post such as water pipe or electrical conduit

Fence posts are acceptable mounts in areas where raccoons are rare

Having the back extend beyond the main box body below or above the box will allow you to attach the box with screws, nails, pipe clamps, wires, or u-bolts


Perches should never be used on any bluebird boxes because they are not needed by bluebirds and only facilitate harassment by non-native species such as House Sparrows

Inner Walls

Interior walls should not be painted or stained

The front wall below the entrance hole should feature a rough surface to facilitate chicks climbing to the entry hole

Parasite Control

Nest boxes with raised screen floors may reduce blowfly infestations but this has not been proven conclusively

Exotic Nutrition™ supports legitimate scientific research projects with financial donations to help advance the health and well-being of Sugar Gliders and other exotic mammals. A percentage of the profit from sales goes toward funding of these scientific projects. We hope you will join us in our quest to advance research in the exotic mammal health care fields.

The Exotic Nutrition Pet Company specializes in the manufacture and distribution of exotic mammal feeds, supplements, and accessories. Our facility is located in Southeastern Virginia.

We have always prided ourselves in meeting the needs of our exotic mammal friends when they are kept in captivity, and have always strived to bring the finest quality animal diets and accessories to conscience pet owners worldwide. Ensuring the health and well-being of your captive exotic is our main concern.

We are, and will continue to be, a company whose objective is to deliver the best possible products and services at an affordable price. Our company stands behind the products that we manufacture, and continuously monitors quality and freshness to offer you, and your pets, the highest quality foods, supplements, and accessories for exotics available.

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Bluebird Nest Boxes