Backyard Birds

Bird Houses & Nesting Box: Chickadees, Pygmy & Brown-headed Nuthatches

Chickadees and Nuthatches Nesting Box

Choosing and Setting up Nest Boxes … Feeding HummingbirdsFeeding Wild Birds

Chestnut-backed and Siberian Chickadees, Pygmy and Brown-headed Nuthatches may use birds:

  • Chickadees, Titmice
  • Nuthatches
  • Woodpeckers – For woodpeckers fill the nestbox to the top with wood shavings/chips or animal bedding. Avoid fine sawdust as it remains damp and can become moldy. This serves two purposes: It will deter other birds from taking this box and the process of excavating the nestbox will encourage natural nesting behavior in woodpeckers.

Suitable Nestbox Size: ~ 9 inches tall.

Floor Dimensions: at least 4″ x 4″.

Material to be used: Red Cedar (more durable than other wood material), rough cut boards, or exterior-grade plywood at least 1/2″ thick. Unpainted. Ventilation openings on the floor and under the roof. However, some experts disagree with the notion that ventilation openings are needed at all. Please refer to this article for further information. This may also depend on the location of the nest box, exposure to direct sun as well as material used to build the nest box.

Entrance Hole: About 1.5 in diameter to keep the larger birds out, about 8 inches above the floor.

Roof: Hinged, secured with shutter hooks. Sloped down, overlapping on the sides and the front reduces exposure to rain and makes it more difficult for predators to get to the chicks or eggs.

Hardware: Best to use corrosion-resistant, stainless steel and dichromate plated screws

Predator Guard: An inverted metal cone attached below the next box will provide some protection against predators.


Mount on a tree, post, fence, or wall, ideally about four and twelve feet high with partial sun and shade.

Position the nest far enough from roads, paths, or trails to minimize disturbance.

Take the nest box down after each breeding season, and repair and sanitize it before reusing it. this nest box.

The following nest box may be used by any one of the below cavity-nesting


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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