How to Build a Birdhouse for House Finches and Sparrows

birdhouse bird houseHouse finches are common birds in the United States that often visit balconies. If you put out birdseed, they are likely to be the first wild bird visitor to your birdfeeder. To offer these birds a place to nest and lay eggs, you can purchase a nestbox or build them one from scratch.


Before purchasing or building any birdhouse, know which wild bird you want to house and learn about its nesting habits and which houses it will be attracted to.

Housefinch Nestbox Shopping List
- Large sheet of wood composite (4.5 square feet – 55 inches by 55 inches – by 0.5 inches thick)
- Saw
- Sandpaper
- Outdoor wood glue
- Drill
- Two nails
- Small wooden dowel (for a perch)

Specifications for a Housefinch Nestbox
(Click on the blueprint photo below to make it larger.)
- 6-inch by 6-inch floor
- 6-inch-high ceiling
- 2-inch diameter entrance hole that is 4.5 inches above the floor
- Add a perch below the entrance hole
- Ventilation openings
- Hinged side wall that allows for easy cleaning

You can buy some cheap wood composite from your local Home Depot and cut it into nine different pieces, as shown in the birdhouse blueprint (click on the photo to enlarge and print the design). You will need a large slab of the wood, and perhaps buy a little more in case of any mistakes you may make along the way.

Sand the cut pieces down and use outdoor wood glue to secure the pieces together. Do not glue one side wall on. When gluing the pieces together, make sure that there is at least one ventilation hole along an edge to allow for air to circulate so the wild birds will be able to breathe.

After the glue has dried, drill two holes in the side of the box and in the side wall that you have not glued on. Insert nails into these holes to allow the wall to swing open when you want to clean the box. A hinge makes the wild bird nestbox easy to clean.

When you have completed your housefinch birdhouse, paint it or leave it as-is, and set it in the most quiet and least-traveled place in your balcony garden. You can attach it to the wall, hang it from an awning or set it on the balcony ledge (and secure it with a screw.) It may take several seasons for the housefinches to discover their nestbox.

Sparrows will also be attracted to this nestbox.



Housefinch birdhouse blueprint.

Additional information