How to build a dove house

Written by b.t. alo
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How to build a dove house
Doves like to nest on ledges. (bright eyed dove image by Pix by Marti from

The most common dove in the United States is the mourning dove, a small, greyish bird which mates for life, and has a distinctive ‘whoo whoo’ call. For these birds a dove house is more of a protective ledge, as they prefer nesting in areas on a platform, and are not naturally cavity dwellers. Mourning doves will use a nesting ledge for as many as five broods per season, so if you plan to try and attract a pair of nesting doves to your dove house ledge, you can expect a lot of birdwatching action.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Lumber, ½ inch width
  • Saw
  • Wood glue
  • Clamps
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • 4 small corner brackets
  • Drill
  • Screws

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  1. 1

    Cut your lumber with the saw, so that you have one 8-by-8 inch square base, a 9-by-8 inch back, an 8 1/2-by-8 inch roof and two 8 1/2-by-4 inch side pieces.

  2. 2

    Place your base piece flat on your work surface, then glue the back piece at a 90 degree angle, onto the back of the base. Clamp and let dry.

  3. 3

    Glue the top piece at a 90 degree angle to the back—it should be parallel to the base. Clamp and let dry.

  4. 4

    Glue the side pieces onto the base, and the back. They will extend up 3 1/2 inches, leaving a 4 1/2 inch ‘window’ on the sides of the dove house. Clamp and let dry.

  5. 5

    Nail through all the glued joints, one nail every two inches, to secure the dove house together. Use ½ inch nails.

  6. 6

    Position the corner brackets in the corners of where the base and back, and roof and back meet. Screw in place with ¼ inch screws.

  7. 7

    Select your mounting position—for optimum attraction, a site overlooking the garden, on the wall of a shed, under the eaves or on the garage wall. The website Birdhouses 101 recommends a height of between 7 and 14 feet. Screw the dove house ledge in place, drilling four holes around an inch from each corner of the back of the ledge, then screwing down. Use 1 to 2 inch screws, depending on the mounting area.

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