Entry Hole Size for Birdhouses

Written by mary schimenz hopkins
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Entry Hole Size for Birdhouses
Birds are very particular about their housing. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Mikul)

Birds prefer houses that mimic the cavity size of natural nesting places. Most live in a house with one entrance and compartment. It's important that the entrance to the house only be large enough to allow entry to the appropriate bird.

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The diameter of the entrance hole should be tailored to the type of bird attracted. The entrance should be set well above the middle of the compartment to protect eggs and babies from predators and inclement weather.

Entry Hole Size for Birdhouses
Birdhouses provide shelter and protection. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of John Haslam)


Chickadees need a 1 and 1/8-inch diameter entrance hole to their house. The chickadee birdhouse should be placed 6 to 15 feet off the ground.

Entry Hole Size for Birdhouses
Tiny Chickadees need a smaller entrance. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Tonio H.)

Wrens, Woodpeckers, Nuthatches and Titmice

A little larger in their physical size, Titmice, Nuthatches, Downy Woodpeckers, and Bewick's Wrens use birdhouses with 1 and 1/4-inch openings. Nuthatch and Bewick Wren birdhouses should be hung at 6 to 10 feet, the Titmouse house 6 to 15 feet high and the Downy Woodpecker between 6 and 20 feet high.

Downy Woodpeckers need a larger opening than smaller species.
Downy Woodpeckers need a larger opening than smaller species. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Sharon Mollerus)

Bluebirds, Swallows, and More Wrens and Woodpeckers

Bluebirds, Swallows, Hairy Woodpeckers, and Carolina Wrens require a birdhouse with a 1 and 1/2-inch entry. Bluebird and Carolina Wren houses should be hung 5 to 10 feet off the ground. Swallows prefer a height of 10 to 15 feet above ground and the Hairy Woodpecker needs a birdhouse placed 12 to 20 feet high.

Entry Hole Size for Birdhouses
Bluebirds and some Wrens prefer a house closer to the ground. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Roger H. Goun)

Flickers and Flycatchers

Red-headed Woodpeckers and Crested Flycatchers nest in birdhouses with 2-inch entrance holes. Their houses can be placed up to 20 feet above ground. The Flicker will make a home in a birdhouse with a 2 and 1/2-inch entrance, placed similarly to the Red-headed Woodpecker.

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