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Photo by Tom Grey

Cavity Nesters Recovery Program (CNRP) Nest Box Information & Plans

Nest Box Plans

  • • Building Nest Boxes and Nest Box Kits as a Group Activity (PDF) (by Charles Wade) includes plans and complete information. Use these plans to build your own nest box for songbirds such as Chickadees, Swallows and Bluebirds, plus Wood Ducks.
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  • • Build a Bluebird Nest Box (PDF) (by Lee Pauser) provides information needed to build a hanging bluebird nest box specifically designed for the Western Bluebird. These instructions include plans to cut one sheet of plywood into parts for nine boxes (view the plans to cut three sheets of plywood into parts for 30 boxes (PDF)). This design can be scaled for other species and modified to produce a mounted nest box. Features a compilation of designs that cultivate successful nesting.
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  • • Hanging Nest Box Retriever (by Lee Pauser) instructions to build your own extendable tool for fetching nest boxes in trees.
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  • Build a Barn Owl nest box (by Charles G. Wade, Lee Pauser, and David Altknecht). This plan provides information on the why, where, and how regarding building a Barn Owl nest box. This design is modeled after the design developed by Steve Simmons of Merced, California, who has personally fledged thousands of Barn Owls.
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  • Pulley System to Raise and Lower Large Nest Boxes (by Lee Pauser). Accessing large nest boxes is a problem of varying magnitude. To address this issue, Lee Pauser developed a pulley system to easily access a nest box mounted on a 2” ID galvanized metal pipe. Specifically, the system enables the raising and lowering of a large pole-mounted nest box from the ground thereby negating the need to port a ladder to the box. A lock secures the box in its raised position. The pulley system is most beneficial when used with boxes that are remote and accessible only by foot.

Nest Box Care

Nest Box Monitoring

  • • Review the cavity nesting bird list and their abbreviations.
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  • • Monitoring Guide (PDF) (by Hatch Graham) including information on cavity nesting birds, nesting characteristics, monitoring procedures, and predators.
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  • • Use Google Earth for Mapping (PDF) (by Dick Blaine) Nest Box Locations.
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  • • Monitor Large Nest Boxes Using a Video Camera (PDF) (by Lee Pauser).
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  • • Join one of many online discussion groups for cavity nesting birds. Search for and join one of the following groups at Yahoo Groups: Birding_and_Gardening_in_California, Calbird, Cabluebird, California-Birdchat, SFbirds.

Related Websites

California Bluebird Recovery Program
North American Bluebird Society
Bird Watcher's Digest Bird Identification and Resources
Wild Birds Forever! Create Your Own Bluebird Trail
National Wildlife Federation Garden for Wildlife
Point Reyes Bird Observatory Helping Birds In Nest Boxes
Cornell Lab of Ornithology Nest Watch