Instructions for Dove Bird Houses

Updated February 21, 2017

The nesting box used by doves is more open than the common birdhouse. The front and one side remain open while the structure provides a floor, back and roof. The structure is often referred to as a bird shelf and is the preferred nesting "house" for robins and phoebes, as well as doves. It is a simpler build than the more common bird house and doesn't require a large drill bit.

Cut the wood pieces for the dove bird nest shelf. Cut a piece of 1- by 8-inch cedar board to form a back piece that is 16 inches long and a 10-inch long roof. Cut from a 1- by 6-inch piece of cedar a floor that is 7 inches long. Cut a side from the 1- by 6-inch cedar board. The top of the board is cut at an angle with the back edge of the side piece 10 inches long and the front edge of the side 7 inches long.

Fasten the floor to the back about 3 inches from the bottom. Use three 1 1/2 inch deck screws through the back piece to hold the floor in place. Attach the side to the back and floor with three 1 1/2 inch deck screws through the back and two through the floor into the side.

Fasten the roof to the back, using three 1 1/2 inch deck screws, and to the side with two 1 1/2 inch deck screws.


Mount the dove nest shelf on buildings just below the eaves. Use cedar or other decay-resistant wood for the dove nest shelf. Do not paint or apply any finish to the shelf.

Things You'll Need

  • 26 inch long 1- by 8-inch cedar
  • 17 inch long 1- by 6-inch cedar
  • 1 1/2 inch deck screws
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About the Author

Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.