Hollow Log Bird Houses

Hollow log bird houses provide a perfect place for birds to nest, especially since in our over-conventional garden’s hollow trees or one with so much as a partially decayed branch that many birds love to nest in, are cut down.

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Modern tree surgery and constant removal of old trees have resulted in a great diminunition in the number of tree cavities, the natural homes of most of our hole-nesting birds. Fortunately, most of these birds will utilize artificial nest cavities or bird houses.

A bird house needs only partial shade, and houses on poles usually are taken. Martins prefer a house standing apart from trees. These are our only birds occupying colony houses; home for other birds should have one room only. Entrances to boxes should be sheltered by projecting roofs, and should face away from the prevailing wind and rainstorms.

It is easy to make this style of nesting box, all you need is a short log sawed in two, the halves hollowed out in the center and either screwed, nailed or glued back together again with an entrance to the cavity drilled on one side of the log. The top should be covered with a board or piece of tin to keep out rain.

The following are some wonderful examples of rustic hollow log bird houses.

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Grimm's Fairy Tale or Hobbit like Birdhouses by Authentic Birdhouses (4 photos above and 2 below), are made from the Pacific Northwest Lodgepole Pine. All of their birdhouses and are made from fallen logs recovered from the forests of Idaho and Oregon. No live trees were cut to make these eco-friendly homes for our feathered friends.

The unique, gnarly look of the lodgepole pine makes these houses seem like they came out of a Grimm’s Fairy Tale or a cottage of medieval times. Burls, a characteristic of these aviaries, are outgrowths on the lodgepole pine logs which are caused by such things as lightning strikes or harsh climates. This gives a genuinely unique birdhouse where no two are the same.

The houses have removable tops made from the finest aromatic cedar for easy cleaning of the nesting material left by the previous dweller. Logs have been cored out to make this cavity with rugged sides to allow baby birds to climb out). Hangers are made of heavy gauge wire to hang anywhere in your yard or house.

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Primitive all natural hollow log bird houses from bluetarpbirdhouses.com. In a natural-look garden, a hollowed-out log provides a perfect place for birds to nest.

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Natural log bird houses mimic a bird’s natural habitat and blend well into the garden, especially if you have a rustic, wild or nature garden. In this bird house they made use of the log’s opened knot as an entrance hole, which is a great idea accept that the size of the hole will determine the type of birds that will nest in it. Even if it doesn’t attract nesting birds it will still provide shelter for them during inclement weather.

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This handmade bird house was reclaimed wood from a downed Pear Tree. Notice how they placed the roof of this hollow log bird house at a slight angle and extended it over the sides and front of the box. By doing this, the roof will shed rain or snow and protect the entrance hole and sides from dripping water. Source: BackYardChickens.

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Log birdhouse hollowed out from a fallen Hackberry tree and made in reminiscence of an old fence post with it's metal cap and wrapped wire. I really like how they attached twigs, small branches and piece of bark to give them a truly unique, one of a kind nature look to them. These hollow log bird houses have been hollowed for nesting, has a galvanized roof and bottom made from flashing, and the bottom can be removed for seasonal cleaning. A clear finish has been applied to the exterior only. By HabitShmabit

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Birch log nesting box with rusted tin roof and dragon fly decoration above the entrance hole. Source: greenhouseworker.

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Rustic Log Bird House, made from fallen limbs due to storm damage. By G.H. Woodworking & Sawmill.

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These Eco Friendly bird houses by Paul & Deborah Bahm are made from trees that have fallen or have had to be removed for various reasons. They recycle forests into art. The wood is rough turned green and then left to season for one to two years before the piece is finish turned. They use either pure Tung oil or food grade mineral oil with beeswax to finish their pieces, thus making them non-toxic and safe for any use. Paul and Deborah have a strong commitment to being caretakers of nature. They give new, beautiful life to trees after they have ceased to be growing plants.

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How To Build A Natural-Looking Birdhouse. Tips, tricks,and tutorials for Nature Photographers. by nature photographer Steve Byland.

Birds are cavity dwellers who build their nests in something shaped like a hollow tree, Birdhouses shaped like a shoe box or a human house are not the right shape. Birds need a house that’s tall and cylindrical so the nest can be built below the opening to protect the eggs from predators. The door has to be the right size and the right height above the floor (this distance varies with different species of birds).

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Natural Log TItmouse Box by Moss & Bridgewater. This log nesting box ~ sometimes know as the “Berlepsch” log box ~ is, without doubt, the greenest of titmouse boxes. Designed in the last quarter of the nineteenth century by the eccentric German landowner Baron Von Berlepsch, the whole idea of the box is to create (as near as possible) an exact replica of a natural nesting cavity. It was first marketed in England by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. For more information and how-to projects see this great book How to Build Birdhouses and Feeders.

A Bird-Friendly Box

Many of our common garden birds nest in holes in trees, where eggs and chicks are safer from most common predators. With a shortage of suitable natural nest sites, this “titmouse box” is an essential feature of every bird-friendly garden.

The most likely occupants are titmice, although depending on the location, House and Tree Sparrows, or even nuthatches and chickadees may take advantage of a ready-made home.

Site your nestbox during autumn or winter, to allow the birds to get used to its presence. The best place is on a fence or wall facing from north-east to south-east, to avoid strong sunlight, and between 5 and 16 feet above the ground. It is also useful to tilt the front of the nestbox downwards a little, to create an overhang that keeps out the rain. For more information, the Office of Migratory Bird Management run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has an internet site with pamphlets on backyard birding and next boxes. Visit http://migratorybirds.fws.gov.

Once the birds have chosen to nest, there will be a period of frenetic activity, as they go to and fro with nesting material. Once egg-laying begins, things go quiet, though during incubation the male will bring food for the female. After hatching, the activity begins again, until a couple of weeks later the chicks finally leave the nest and face the outside world.

~~ Stephen Moss with Alan & Gill Bridgewater “How to Build Birdhouses and Feeders” pg. 30

Rustic Hollow Log Bird Houses for Chickadees, Titmice and Nuthatches

Chickadees, titmice and nuthatches are woodland birds, and houses intended for them should be located in wooded areas. These birds also prefer a more natural house; hence hollow log bird houses. An inch or two of coarse sawdust in the bottom of the house will simulate wood chips in a natural cavity and make the house more attractive. Chickadees nest at low levels, so locate the house 3' to 10' above the ground for them. They also seem to prefer a house constructed from a birch log. Titmice will use houses located 6' to 10' above the ground. Nuthatches prefer houses 10' to 20' above the ground. Attach houses to tree trunks in spots where they will be shaded by the foliage. The entrance hole should open to the east, south or west, away from the prevailing winter winds, because the same birds will use the houses for shelter during the winter.

The following plans are excerpted from the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game.


1. Cut block to overall length. Be sure to select a log large enough for the inside cavity dimensions required by the bird that will use the house. Cut the bottom of the log section off squarely and cut the top at a slight angle to allow a pitched roof.


2. Saw the log in half vertically so that the pitched top is divided into an upper and lower section.


3. Hollow out the inside of the two halves to the required dimensions using a chisel or chainsaw. Leave the bottom of the log halves solid, but hollow out the top completely. Drill three, 1/8-inch drainage holes through the floor of the back half. Drill 1/8-inch ventilation holes through each side of the back half, 1-inch below the top.


4. Drill an entrance hole through the front log section. Be sure to make the hole the correct size and at the proper height above the cavity floor. Drill one, 1/8-inch drainage hole through the floor of the front half.


5. Rejoin the two halves using glue, wire, or latches. Try to seal the crack to reduce drafts through the cavity. Cut a roof for the house from a log section of board 2 inches larger in diameter than the joined sections. Hinge the roof to the top of the hollowed log with a brass or galvanized steel hinge, so that the roof extends over the edges at least 1 inch on all sides. Place latches on each side of the roof so that predators will not be able to pry off the roof.


6. Attach your split log birdhouse to a post or tree using a lag bolt and spike nail. Spacing blocks will allow you to open the lid easily.

Also be sure to check out their 11 important things to remember when building and placing birdhouses. A Guide to Building and Placing Birdhouses.

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