It's easy to build a birdhouse when you take advantage of the different free birdhouse plans available from reputable online resources. Understanding which houses are best to build, however, is even more critical than the plans themselves when it comes to attracting nesting birds.
Choosing Birdhouse Plans
Whether you've been interested in woodworking and carpentry for years or are just a novice, there are birdhouses you can build successfully. Before choosing any plan, however, you have to consider if it is the best plan for the birds and your skills.
Rather than going for the simplest (or the prettiest) model, look for:
- Plans suited for birds that typically use birdhouses in your region
- Entrance hole size that will admit the birds you want to nest in the house
- Safe birdhouse features such as ventilation holes, proper drainage, and bird-friendly materials
- Size dimensions that suit the bird's nesting requirements for floor space and total height
- Birdhouse plans that allow for easy house cleaning to keep the house in good condition
When choosing a plan you can reliably build, look for:
- What skill level is expected and necessary for completing the plan
- Required materials and tools to match what you have available already or can easily find
- Instructional detail and diagrams that provide a good guide for building the house
- Variations or alterations that can make the house more suitable for nesting birds
- Extra tips that can help you complete the project and use the house successfully
Once you've found an appropriate plan, you may be just hours away from a new birdhouse to add to your backyard.
Resources for Free Bird House Plans
The following online resources offer birdhouse plans for free online or to print or download for your convenience. To find a plan that best suits you and the birds you want to attract, examine several options before choosing the house you will build.
- Andy's Free Bird House Plans: Different plans for houses to suit flickers, bluebirds, phoebes, wrens and purple martins
- Free Wood Puzzles: Creative plans including a church, log cabin, and flower pot design, most suitable for many different types of birds
- Free Woodworking Plans: Detailed plan for a basic wren birdhouse
- Bluebird House: Detailed bluebird house plan and instructions courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey Kids. Also suitable for titmice, chickadees, wrens, and tree swallows
- Birdhouse Buzz: Easy plans for houses to suit house finches, wrens, flycatchers, purple martins, flickers and more, including a nest shelf plan
- Basic House: Simple plan from Lowe's with detailed instructions and guiding photographs for a basic birdhouse.
- The Family Handyman: Detailed plans for a more elaborate house design with quaint details and fun finishing touches
- Timber Mart: Thorough plans for a basic birdhouse with plenty of tips for making the best possible home for backyard birds
- RunnerDuck Resources: Classic plan for a simple birdhouse with a license plate roof. Great for many birds and adding a vintage touch to the yard
- Beautiful Britain: An easy plan designed to fit under a home's eaves to accommodate house sparrows, which are declining in many parts of their native range
- Birdwatching Bliss: Large list of plans for different bird types, including nest boxes for American kestrels, wrens, phoebes, and even duck boxes
- Bird Studies Canada: Detailed plans and diagrams for a barn owl nest box, including a side door for easy nest monitoring and house cleaning
A Word About Free
The old saying goes "you get what you pay for" and the same can be said about free birdhouse plans. Before making the first cut or nailing the first nail, read the instructions carefully to ensure they make sense and are possible for you to complete. Consider modifying the plans to make the house more bird-friendly with ventilation or drainage holes, an opening to clean the birdhouse or other features that might be missing from the simplest plans.
By finding free plans to build a birdhouse, you can easily turn scrap wood into a beautiful new home for your birds without spending a penny.