Backyard Birds

Bird Houses & Nesting Box Woodworking Plan: Hairy Woodpeckers

Hairy Woodpeckers Bird Houses & Nesting Box

Suitable Nestbox Size: ~ 14 ” inches tall. No perches at the entrance holes as they would aid predators. Stuffing the nestbox about half full with wood chips will discourage other birds from seeking out nesting opportunities, plus the process of escavating cavities encourages nesting behaviors in woodpeckers.

Floor Dimensions: about 6″ x 6″

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 1.7 in diameter to keep the larger birds out, about 11 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.


Affix nest box to posts with partial sun and shade, 12 feet or higher above the ground. The entrance hole in particular should be protected from the elements as much as possible.

Suitable areas would be along forest edges, in parks or gardens with trees – with easy access to water.

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 before reusing.

Choosing and Setting up Nest Boxes … Feeding HummingbirdsFeeding Wild Birds

Hairy Woodpeckers use this nest box.


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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