How to install a birdhouse

Updated February 21, 2017

A birdhouse, or bird nesting box, is a miniature house you install in your yard for nesting birds. A birdhouse must provide protection from the elements and from predators in order to protect the inhabitants. Once you install a birdhouse, you may need to install further predator-deterring items, especially if you hang the house in a tree or near a fence post. The installation process will depend on the type of birdhouse you have.

Select a location for your birdhouse. If your summers are not mild, select a north or east-facing location so the birds will not overheat. Pick a spot that is not near other birdhouses, birdbaths, or bird feeders, as these may draw in competitive or predatory birds that may attack your birdhouse inhabitants.

Select your mount. You can mount the birdhouse from a tree, fence post, or from the side of your home. You can also install a mount by driving a metal or wooden post into the ground in your selected area. To do so, use a posthole digger to make a hole 18 inches deep. Add 2 inches of gravel to the bottom of the hole, then insert your post. Firm the soil around the base of the post to secure it.

Remove the roof of the birdhouse. Most birdhouses have removable roofs to make for easy cleaning after breeding season is over.

Have a helper hold the birdhouse up against the tree trunk, electric post, or wooden post you installed. Use an electric drill to screw in screws to secure the birdhouse to the wooden material. If you are setting the house on top of a wooden post, drill the screws through the bottom of the birdhouse and into the post. If you are setting the birdhouse against the post or wooden material, drill the screws through the back of the birdhouse and into the material. Use one screw every 1 inch to make sure the house is secure.

Purchase a u-clamp or l-clamp if you are installing the birdhouse onto a metal pole. Hold the top of the clamp where the screw goes against the bottom or back of the birdhouse, depending on how you want to mount it. Use a pencil to mark where the screw holes will be on the birdhouse.

Drill holes with the electric drill in the places you marked. Attach the clamp to the birdhouse by inserting screws through the holes, or by inserting wing-nuts if that is what the clamp came with. Tighten the clamp portion over the metal mounting material.

Install a ring of aluminium pie pans below and above the house, if it is on a wooden post or fence. Use the drill to insert one screw through the centre of each pan. Make sure the pans are touching. If the house sits on top of a wooden post, you do not need a baffle above it. The rings of aluminium pie pans will prevent predators from having access to the bird house from above or below.

Things You'll Need

  • Post hole digger
  • Gravel
  • Electric drill
  • Screws
  • U-clamp
  • Pencil
  • Aluminium pie pans
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Based in Richmond, Va., Dawn Gibbs writes about topics such as history, fashion, literature, crafts, alternative medicine and healthy living. Her work has appeared on and several style websites. Gibbs holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Virginia Commonwealth University.