Nestbox Essentials

The Bluebird’s need for an artificial home (Nestbox) remains because their natural cavities in the forest have decreased. With that in mind, you will want to invest in a quality Nestbox Set that will withstand the elements over time. 

A Nestbox Set consists of three separate pieces …. a Nestbox, mounting pole, and predator baffle.  SCBS does sell the components separately, but we strongly encourage buying and installing the easy-to-install, high-quality Nestbox set. Our Nestboxes meet North American Bluebird Society recommendations.  Before you buy a Nestbox set from someone else make sure it has all the components listed below.

SCBS Nestbox Components

Pros & Cons

One Inch Cedar or Cypress Nestbox Wood

Cedar and Cypress woods have proven to be the best building materials. Many manufacturers use one-half inch wood materials which weather poorly, and cannot be solidly screwed together.

Rough Interior Surfaces

When the nestlings fledge, they climb their way up the inside of the nestbox to the entry portal / hole. Smooth sanded wood, recycled plastic composites, or metal surfaces do not allow their talons sufficient grip to reach the opening. Thus, they may never fledge, and starve to death in the box.

Smooth Exterior Surfaces

Not only aesthetically pleasing, but also prevents splinters when handling the nestbox.

Components are Screwed Together

Glue or staples are commonly used but typically are not strong enough to hold the pieces of the box together for long.  Especially true due to the persistent sun during our nesting season.

Slanted Roof

Flat roofs allow water to stand which causes accelerated decaying of the roof and unwanted moisture inside the box. Slanted provides for runoff.

Roof Overhang

Roof should overhang the front (door) to sufficiently prevent rain from entering the Nestbox through the portal.

Roof Overlaps Back Panel

Roof should overhang the front (door) to sufficiently prevent rain from entering the Nestbox through the portal.

Ventilation Holes

3 one-half inch holes on the upper part of both side panels and a gap at the top of the front door allow interior heat to dissipate. Again, very important due to our persistent sun during the nesting season

Floor Drain Holes

If water enters the box, the nest will be compromised, creating unhealthy mold, and any decay of the box will accelerate. Holes in each corner of the nestbox floor allow for drainage.

One and One-Half Inch Opening

This size portal / hole will restrict most non-cavity dwellers from entering the nestbox. This includes the Starling, and other “nest stealing” species.

Metal Ring Door Hole Protector

This deters other animals, such as Squirrels, from chewing and enlarging the opening so they can use the box.

Bottom Hinged Door

This provides easy access for safe monitoring, allowing you to open just enough to initially observe the nest. This also prevents any chicks from possibly tumbling out of the nestbox. With a top hinge you must raise the door completely to see inside. This can be dangerous for the chicks.

Perch or “Front Porch”

Bluebirds do not require a nestbox with either of these appendages. These allow non-cavity dwellers perching access into the box.

Predator Baffle

Cone or stove pipe baffles are most common. We always recommend using a baffle to deter predators.

Mounting Pole

There are a variety of poles. Some can be difficult to install, and a challenge to securely attach the Nestbox and baffle. We use highly recommended ERVA solid steel 2-piece poles for ease of transport, installation, and attachment of the box and baffle.

How does South Carolina Bluebird Society (SCBS) produce the best Nestbox for such a low cost?  

There are five main costs incurred in producing a product. These costs are materials, production, sales, distribution, and profit.  We are a non-profit 501 c (3) and our volunteers build, sell, and distribute our product. We incur no labor costs and sales revenue is used to fund our educational and scholarship programs.

Our objective is to produce a quality Nestbox to help ensure survival of the Bluebirds.