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Blue Bird House Measurements

By Sue Ferrara

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Eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) like to nest in natural cavities made by woodpeckers in oak or pine trees, typically no higher than 50 feet from the ground. Lacking natural cavities, bluebirds will nest in houses. Traditionally, bluebird houses had round openings 1 1/2 inches in diameter and a 6-inch square nesting area. Lately, designs have changed in order to keep sparrows and starlings from using bluebird houses.

Three Options

There are three basic types of bluebird houses: traditional, Gilwood and Peterson. Traditional houses can be constructed from a 1-by-6-inch, 5-foot-long board. The floor size is 5 by 5 inches, the height anywhere from 8 to 12 inches, with a 1 1/2-inch hole opening 6 to 10 inches from the bottom.

Like the traditional box, the Gilwood is rectangular but smaller inside. The floor is 4 by 3 inches and the box is 5 inches deep. The Gilwood has a half-circle opening with a wire across the top to keep out avian intruders. The Peterson nest box is triangular with the base at the top, the point cut off at the bottom and an oval opening. The steeply angled top of the box measures 10 1/4 inches and the back is a foot tall.

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