Learn how to create homemade bird houses from a natural log. These free handmade wooden bird houses from a log are great for bluebirds, chickadees, flickers, house finchs, house sparrows, kestrels, nuthatches, owls, purple martins, tree swallows, warblers, woodpeckers and wrens. Find more bird houses plans or discover more ideas on nesting boxes and bird feeders.
A natural log bird house not only looks great, but the extra thick (real wood) walls will help insulate birds on cold and warm days. Make this rustic nesting box, and birds will want to stay in your backyard forever!
Materials Needed to Create Homemade Bird Houses from a Log:
- Natural log. The ideal log should be at least 6″ (15 cm) in diameter. Keep in mind, that while most birds would prefer a larger box, birds will use a smaller box if nothing else is available.
- Lumber for the roof and floor.
Step 1. Decide on the Roof Pitch (Slope) for Your Bird House.
Do you want a pitched roof with a 45 degree slope? Or maybe a flat roof?
If you want a roof with two slopes that form an “A” or triangle, you will need to create two angled cuts. I would recommend first creating a template with the desired slope. This will help you create a more accurate cut.
If you are looking for a flat roof, simply create a single straight cut on the log.
Step 2: Remove the center of the log for the bird house.
This article covers the following 4 ways to remove the inside of the log to make a DIY Nesting Box.
- A. Band saw.
- B. Hand saw.
- C. Axe, hatchet, or shingle froe tool.
- D. Carving Tools or Adze.
Method A: Remove the Center of the Birdhouse Using a Band Saw.
If you have access to a band saw, this is the quickest method.
Removing the center of the log with a band saw only leaves one small cut mark. This cut can be located in the back of the house, leaving no marks visible on the front.
Method B: Remove the Center Using a handsaw.
This approach is the slowest, requiring the log to be cut four separate times.
After cutting the log, the center section is disgarded.
Now, use screws to attach the pieces of the birdhouse back together again. Drill pilot holes to help prevent the wood from splitting. Ideally the pilot holes should be at least as large as the screw’s minor diameter.
Personally, I recommend using stainless steel trim screws as shown above. The smaller screw head is less obvious and helps prevent the wood from splitting. If you pre-drill the holes, these screws will countersink themselves nicely because the head is not much larger than the pilot hole.
Method C: Remove the Center Using a Hatchet, Axe, or Shingle Froe Tool.
If you have a log with straight grain, a few swings of an axe, hatchet, or shingle froe tool can quickly split the wood. To help split the wood evenly, I typically first partly cut the log with a hand saw.
Use a hatchet to further split the wood. After splitting the wood into four pieces, re-assemble the pieces using screws similar to Method B.
Method D: Remove the Center Using Carving Tools or an Adze.
First rip a log into two pieces using a hand saw. If you use a chainsaw, the seam between the pieces will be more noticeable when assembled together.
Next, use carving tools or an adze to remove the center of the log. When finished, re-assemble the two pieces using screws similar to Method B.
Step 4. Drill the Entrance Hole for the Bird House.
Drill a hole for the entrance using either a spade bit or forsnter drill bit. A 1.5″ (4 cm) entrance hole is the optimum diameter for bluebirds and tree swallows. However, chickadees, nuthatches, warblers, woodpeckers, and wrens will also gladly make this their home. See Bird House Hole Size if you want to attract a specific bird. While drilling the entrance hole, consider adding a perch to your birdhouse.
Next find some lumber, a ripped piece of log, a license plate, etc. to create the roof and the floor. In the example below, cedar wood was used for both the roof and the floor.
Hang or Mount Your Home Bird House.
Mount your birdhouse and see which bird will call your habitat home. See How to Hang a Birdhouse for the recommended mounting height for various birds. See cleaning bird houses for nesting box maintenance. Your new birdhouse should provide you excitement for many seasons to come.
Building a birdhouse can be fun family project. Furthermore, a birdhouse will help encourage neighborhood birds to move in and raise families in your backyard. Hence providing you and your garden natural pest control.
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Related Articles on Bird Houses, Bird Feeders & More
Use these free DIY bird house plans and bird feeder plans to attract bluebirds, chickadees, flickers, finches, house sparrows, kestrel, nuthatches, owls, purple martins, swallows, thrushes, warblers, woodpeckers, wrens, and other birds to your garden.