If you enjoy watching baby squirrels while they play in your trees and yard, consider building a squirrel nesting box. The nesting box may encourage adult squirrels to make their nest and raise their young in one of your trees. Of course, leaving out a few nuts or a well-placed squirrel feeder could help encourage the squirrels to stay as well.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Plywood, 4 feet by 8 feet and 1/2-inch thick
- 2 1-inch hinges
- Hook-and-eye latch
- 2 3-inch nails
- Screws 30 3/4-inch
Cut your plywood into several sections. Start with one front piece of 20 inches by 10 inches
Cut one back piece 25-inches-by-10-inches.
Cut two side pieces that are 15 inches wide by 20 inches tall on the front side and 22-inches high on the back edge, creating an angle for the roof.
Cut one piece for the roof that is 18 inches by 10 inches.
Cut one piece for the bottom of the nesting box that is 15 inches by 10 inches.
Cut a hole that is 2 inches in diameter about 4 inches down from the top on the left side, which is the side that is 22 inches. The hole should be about 1 inch in from the back side, making the entrance hole close to the tree.
Cutting the Lumber
Screw the sides and bottom pieces together, creating the box.
Attach the roof piece, using the hinges on the back and allowing for a 3-inch overhang on the front side. Screw the eye into the box and the hook into the roof piece. This will allow you to open the squirrel box to clean the nesting box each year.
Coat the nesting box with a nontoxic preservative to make it last longer if you desire.
Place several inches of shredded newspaper or straw into the squirrel nesting box.
Nail the box to a tree using the two 3-inch long nails spaced several inches apart. Use a ladder if possible to place the nesting box as high as you can in the tree to encourage its use by squirrels and discourage predators from killing the squirrel family.
Assembling the Squirrel Nesting Box
Tips and warnings
- Place a stick heavy enough for a squirrel to climb on in the box toward the escape hole to prevent young squirrels from becoming trapped in the box.
- The squirrel may chew on the box so do not use toxic paint or finish.
- Have another person steady the ladder to prevent injury when hanging the squirrel nesting box.
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