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A completed bird nesting box mounted onto a tree


Bird nesting boxes play an important role in wildlife conservation, especially in city centres and inner suburbs. This guide shows you the tools you need and explains how to build one for our feathered friends. This nesting box is ideal for native rosellas because it's designed to keep myna birds out.


1Cut the timber

To get started on your D.I.Y. project make sure you get 15mm plywood, it's considered the minimum thickness to use for a nesting box. Once your timber is cut, label each piece so that you know where it will be used. Refer to the cut list for measurements.

Here's out cut list:

  • Base: 200mm x 224mm
  • Sides: 200mm x 500mm x 2
  • Front and back: 200mm x 500mm x 2
  • Top guard: 200mm x 280mm
  • Front guard: 200mm x 270mm
  • Triangular side guards: 282mm x 200mm x 345.72mm x 2

And below, you'll find the tools and materials you need to complete this project.

All the tools and materials required for the job, including paint cans, power drills, jigsaw, nail gun, respirator mask, pieces of timber and more

2Measure for the entrance to the box

On the timber that'll be used for the front of the nesting box, measure and mark where you want to cut the entrance. According to our plans, we cut an 80mm hole centred on the front panel, 440mm up from the bottom.

A plank of wood being marked with a ruler and tape measure

3Cut the hole for the entrance

Once you've marked where you want the entrance to be, clamp the wood to the edge of the workbench. Use a drill with a hole saw to cut out the entrance.

A hole being drilled into a wooden panel for a bird entryway

4Mark up the access ladder on the front panel

To make it easier for the bird to enter the nesting box, it needs a ladder. Just below the entrance to the box, mark five straight lines at 50mm in from the left and right, and 15mm down from the bottom of the hole. Clamp the wood to the workbench and drill a 7mm hole at the end of each line.
A plank of wood being marked with a ruler and tape measure

5Cut out the ladder

To make the ladder straight, draw lines across the front of the box from the top and the bottom of the drilled holes. Clamp the wood to the workbench and use the jigsaw to cut out the ladder. Sand back any rough edges.

Holes being drilled into a plank of wood for future jigsawing

6Build the back panel

To make sure rain runs off the nesting box, the back panel needs to slope forward. Do this by placing several timber offcuts on top of each other. Clamp the panel to the workbench and use the nail gun to secure the stack of offcuts about 50mm down from the top edge of the back panel.

Several short lengths of wood secured together

7Attach the base to a side panel

Stand the base up and to help support it, clamp a piece of timber to it. Line up one of the side panels against the base. Use tape to keep the edges flush. Use the nail gun to attach the base to the sides.

8Attach the other panels

Repeat the above process to attach the side, back and front panels to the base. Also use the nail gun to attach each panel to the one next to it.

A bird nesting box being nailed together with a nail gun

9Make the lid

Lay one of the pieces of timber for the lid on its side and clamp it to a piece of wood for support. Line the other piece of the lid so it's flush with the edge. Use tape to secure them. Then use the nail gun to join the two pieces together.

10Cut the guards for the lid

Draw a diagonal line from one corner of the timber for the lid to the other. Clamp it to the workbench. Use the jigsaw to cut it.

A jigsaw being used to cut a panel of wood for a bird nesting box roof

11Attach the guards to the lid

Put the nesting box lid on its side, line-up the guard with the top edges of the lid. Use the nail gun to attach the guard to the lid. Repeat this process to attach the second guard to the other side of the lid.

A bevelled roof for a bird nesting box

12Attach the lid to the birdhouse

Place the lid on top of the nesting box, flush with its back. Place a hinge in the middle of the lid. Use the drill and screws to attach the lid to the box.

A loop being drilled into a completed bird box with wire to secure it to a tree

13Make a fixing to secure the box to a tree

Cut a piece of wire so that it's long enough to wrap around the tree you want to attach the nesting box to. Slide the wire through a length of hose long enough to wrap around your tree. Make a loop at each end of the wire and clamp it down. Attach a spring to one end of the fixing. This will allow the fixing to stretch as the tree grows.

Holes being drilled into a bird box to secure a bevelled roof to it

14Paint the nesting box

Use spray paint to paint the nesting box. Camouflage colours will help it to blend into the environment. You can also make leaf patterns by putting a leaf on the nesting box and spray painting over it.

A completed box being spray painted black

15Attach saddle clips

Use the drill to attach a saddle clip to one side of the nesting box, near the back. Attach the fixing before to secure the saddle clip. Repeat this on the other side of the box.

A loop being drilled into a completed bird box with wire to secure it to a tree

16Hang the birdhouse nesting box

Before you hang the nesting box, you might want to consider adding some wood shavings because some birds won't nest in a box without them. Use a ladder to help you reach the height you require. Wrap the fixing around the tree to secure it to the nesting box.
A completed bird nesting box mounted onto a tree
Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.