Project Overview

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.

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How to hammer a nail straight
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How to hammer a nail straight

If your nails keep bending when you are hammering, check the head of your hammer. It could be that the face has picked up some dirt. This causes the hammerhead to slip slightly when it hits the nail. To solve this, give the head a clean by rubbing it on some sandpaper or a bit of rough concrete.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Cut the timber
2 Measure for the entrance to the box
3 Cut the hole for the entrance
4 Mark-up the access ladder on the front panel
5 Cut out the ladder
6 Build the back panel
7 Attach the base to a side panel
8 Attach the other panels
9 Make the lid
10 Cut the guards for the lid
11 Attach the guards to the lid
12 Attach the lid to the birdhouse
13 Make a fixing to secure the box to a tree
14 Paint the nesting box
15 Attach saddle clips
16 Hang the birdhouse nesting box
  • Step 1. Cut the timber

    To make this DIY job even easier, you can have the timber for your nesting box pre-cut for you at selected Bunnings stores. 15mm plywood is 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.

  • Step 2. Measure for the entrance to the box

    On the timber that will 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.

  • Step 3. Cut 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.

  • Step 4. Mark-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
  • Step 5. Cut 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.

  • Step 6. Build 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.

  • Step 7. Attach 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.

  • Step 8. Attach 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.

  • Step 9. Make 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.

  • Step 10. Cut 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.

  • Step 11. Attach 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.

  • Step 12. Attach 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.

  • Step 13. Make 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.

  • Step 14. Paint 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.

  • Step 15. Attach 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.

  • Step 16. Hang 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.

Tools and Materials


  • Circular saw
  • Clamps
  • Drill
  • Earmuffs
  • 7mm drill bit
  • 3mm drill bit
  • 80mm hole saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Nail gun
  • Painters tape
  • Ruler
  • Saddle clips x 2
  • Spring
  • Safety glasses
  • Stainless steel hinge
  • Ventilated mask
  • Wire clamps x 2
  • Workbench


  • 12mm stainless steel screws
  • 1200mm x 900mm x 12mm plywood
  • Disposable gloves
  • Hose
  • Metal protector
  • Nails
  • Paint
  • Screws
  • Wire

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