chickadee eating sunflower seeds

A Birdhouse for Chickadees

After making a more traditional birdhouse for chickadees around my home near Lake Erie, I ran across this other model and found it quite an interesting birdhouse design.

The birdhouse was offered as suitable for chickadees, nuthatches and also downy woodpeckers as my first one was. They are easy to build so I spent a few happy hours in the shop putting a couple together.

birdhouse pieces

My plans come from They have several birdhouse plans in PDF format.

The opening is 1 3/8 inch wide. This is a quarter inch larger than the previous model of birdhouse. It's a bit of a mystery to me. Since I have a spade drill bit in one of those cheap collection you can sometimes buy and never really use, I won't have any trouble making the opening. It's the first time (and probably the last time) I will use this size from this set.

The triangular pieces are the sides of the chicadee birdhouse. One has the opening and the other side has the tips cut out to make openings for drainage and ventilation.

The opening can be on either on the left side or the right side of the birdhouse. I'll make one of both.

My boards were not quite wide enough to make the triangular pieces so I had to glue on a little triangle at the end of the side. You can faintly see them in the photos.

assembly of chickadee birdhouse

I used screws and made pilot holes and countersunk them. Because my wood is very warped I used more screws than I would have needed.

I attached both sides to the lower front piece of the birdhouse. Notice that this front has an angled cut. The angle for this is 45 degrees, the same angle as the side pieces. The 2 smaller angles are 45 degrees and the third angle is 90, so relatively simple to cut. This wood is so soft it could have been cut with a hand saw quite quickly. I used my chop saw and the table saw. I cut the little extra triangles with a handsaw. I also had to widen the roof board so it would overhang the sides since my boards were not quite wide enough.

assembling the chickadee birdhouse

Next step was to attach the back. All this is quite simple except that my wood is badly cupped and I used some clamps to force them into position while I screwed them down.

The bottom piece of the birdhouse is facing left. The angle is quite easy to see as is the drainage ventilation gaps in the side.

I was having a stupid day and assembled the bottom piece on the top and had to re-do the holes and screws but no damage done. I did not take a picture of this...

finishing the chickadee birdhouse

The top piece is in place. It is longer than the bottom piece and also wider to allow for rain to drain off the roof. I had to glue on a piece to make the top wide enough. I used Lepage waterproof glue. I've not used it before so it will be a test of its waterproof ability.

The top piece also has a 45 degree angle where it contacts the backing of the birdhouse. it overhangs the side by about 3/4 inches.

My magic leftover hinge box failed me and I will have to buy a couple packs of hinges for these triangular chickadee / nuthatch /downy woodpecker houses. Once the hinges are on I'll add some wire to tie the lid shut so that squirrels and raccoons can't open it and get at the chicks and eggs.

One of the websites suggest putting wood chips in the nest boxes so I will go scroundging in the wood pile. I should find some there.

completed birdhouses for chickadees

Here are my 2 styles of birdhouses for chickadees side by side. I'll get hinges tomorrow. They are promising good weather so I will try and hang these houses up. All the birds have started singing this week. Love is in the air.

I don't know how they can tell, it's been -15 or colder for the whole month so it's not the temperature. Maybe it's the length of day.

Here is a link to my first lot of chickadee birdhouses

Traditional Chickadee birdhouses. The birds took to the houses and at least 2 are occupied. It's hard to see if anyone is going in because they are very careful and sneak in when no one is watching.

I also made a couple of nesting platforms hopefully for robins.

Email Christine