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Nest Boxes & Trails

President Bill Read of the Ontario Bluebird Society shows how to set up a bluebird box.

Nestbox Construction

The Ontario Eastern Bluebird Society recommends the Dorrie nest box with the sloped roof. 12 of these boxes can be made from 1 sheet of 5/8 or 3/4 inch exterior grade plywood (probably spruce). We recommend painting or staining the outside of the box so it will weather longer. Shingles can be used on the roof. Lightly sand the nest hole to remove any rough edges. No ventilation holes are necessary, only the opening which should face south. We have included two pictures (click on pictures to view a larger image) of the Dorrie box using stove pipe baffle guards for predator protection. You can also grease your poles or use a cone guard. 
The Peterson or Standard nest box can also be used. 
Remember  location and proper predator protection are the two keys to bluebird success. 

All you need to know about proper nest box construction and maintaining a Bluebird Trail. Many thanks to Tom Kott for this information. Nest Box Construction Notes

Nest Box Drawings & Plans (the Dorrie Nest Box plans are recommended): 
The Dorrie Nest Box Building Instructions (pdf file)
The Dorrie Nest Box Plans REV F (pdf file)
The Dorrie Nest Box Cutting Pattern (pdf file)

Don Wills Latch for Dorrie Nest Box
Don Wills Latch for Dorrie Nest Box
Three examples of bluebird boxes. Middle box is a natural cavity box.
– Photo by John Millman
Well greased metal poles will deter climbing predators like raccons. Twinning of boxes may help to ensure that one box is available for Eastern Bluebirds.
– Photo by John Millman

Look at our Hall of Fame and Hall of Shame for examples of the right and wrong way to set up Bluebird nest boxes.

Nest Boxes Available for Purchase

Please call Bill Read at 519-572-3633 for information about purchasing nest boxes.

Nest Box Protocol

Advice on Developing a Nest Box Protocol

Bluebird Trails

Click on the following link for a list of Bluebird nest box coordinators by county with contact information so individuals can get information from bluebirders in their area.
Bluebird Nest Box Coordinators (pdf)
Here is all the information you need for setting up a trail, monitoring and avoiding predators. Many thanks to Don Wills for these articles.
Monitoring Nest Boxes (pdf)
Troubleshooting Chart (pdf)
Eastern Bluebird Conservation in Ontario (pdf)

Bluebird nest with 4 eggs.
Photo by John Millman
Record keeping is an important aspect of Bluebirding.
Photo by John Millman

2020 OEBS Nest Box Survey

One of the major objectives of the OEBS is to monitor long term reproductive success in Ontario’s Eastern Bluebird population. We cannot do this unless you send in your nest box data on the form below with as much information as possible. If you are aware of others in your area that have nest boxes and who do not report, please either report for them or print the survey sheet to give to them.

Send to: Bill Read, 24 Brant Pl, Cambridge ON N1S 2V8

Ontario 2022 Eastern Bluebird Nest Box Survey (pdf)

Ontario 2022 Eastern Bluebird Nest Box Survey (msWord)

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