Large Winter Bird
Small Winter Bird
Winter Roost Box Plans
|You can help your
backyard birds keep warm overnight with a
specially designed roost box. Any backyard
favorites that typically nest in
boxesbluebirds, chickadees, titmice,
nuthatches and small woodpeckersmay seek
refuge in it. Roosting boxes differ from nest
boxes in several important ways. A good roost box
is designed to prevent the birds' body heat from
escaping, so, unlike a nest box, it lacks
ventilation holes. Also, its entrance hole is
near the bottom of the box so the rising warmth
One rough-cut board (cedar, pine, or fir), 12
feet by 1 foot by 1/2 inch
One 3 1/2-foot hardwood dowel, 3/8-inch diameter
One brass hinge
One small hook and eye screw
Table or circular saw (with tilt blade)
Drill with 3/8-inch bit
1 1/2-inch, 2-inch, or 3-inch (depends on
entrance hole size) hole saw or drill bit
Roost box assembly
Obtain one 1/2-inch-thick, rough-cut board, 12
inches wide and 12 feet long. Cedar is best, but
pine or fir also work wellthey just won't
last as long.
Measure and then cut out each piece as shown in
the diagram at right. When you cut the front and
top pieces, make a 15 degree bevel edge by
tilting the blade of your circular or table saw
to that angle. Label each piece in pencil.
On the inside surface of the front piece, use the
saw to make several 1/4-inch-deep grooves about
3/8 inch apart, perpendicular to the long axis of
the box, as shown on the diagram. (These are to
aid woodpeckers clinging.) Next drill an entrance
hole (size depending on the birds you want to
attract or exclude) that has its bottom edge 1
1/2 inches from the bottom of the front piece.
Finally glue the predator guard onto the outside
surface of the front so the holes line up. This
will prevent squirrels and raccoons from reaching
inside the box.
On the back piece, draw a line 10 inches from the
upper edge. Draw another line 6 inches from the
lower edge. Between these two pencil lines, score
the back with 1/4-inch grooves, as you did for
the front piece.
|Saw 1 inch off the short
side of each of the two side pieces, as shown in
the main diagram. Drill six 3/8-inch pilot holes,
1/4 inch deep, on the inside of each side piece.
DO NOT DRILL THROUGH THE BOARD. These holes will
hold dowels for perches. Stagger the holes so
that the perches are not directly over or under
each other as shown in the cutaway diagram at
Cut the dowel into 3-inch sections. Glue six
perches into each side.
Drill four drainage holes into the bottom, as
shown in the diagram.
Screw the two sides to the back. Insert the
bottom (slightly recessed) and screw it into
place. Screw the front into place, making sure
the beveled edge is at the top, facing forward.
|Line up the top with the
beveled edge flush against the back. Mount the
hinge as shown in the diagram of the completed
box at right.
Attach the hook under the front edge of the lid
and the eye at the top of the front piece.
Drill any holes needed for mounting, as shown.
If you leave your box untreated it will weather
naturally and be more attractive to birds. A coat
of linseed oil on the outside of the box will
make it last longer, however. But never
paint or oil the inside of the box.
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