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How to Build a Cardinal Birdhouse

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how to build a cardinal birdhouse

There is no doubt that seeing a cardinal bird in your backyard is a sight to behold. With its red coloured feathers, they can add scenery and soundtrack to your garden. But how do you attract these songbirds to your house? One way is to build a place specially made for them. In this article, we will learn how to build a cardinal birdhouse. A birdhouse that fits what they need for them to keep coming back to your home.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 pc. 1 x 8 (6 feet) fence board
  • 1 ½ finishing nails
  • wood glue

Step 1: Cutting List

Cut the fence board according to the sizes shown below:

Parts Quantity Size Additional Details
Flooring 1 pc. 5 ¾” x 6 ¾”
Sides 2 pcs. 6” x 6” 45-degree bevel cut on the edge
Back 1 pc. 13 ½” x7 ¼”
Roof (1 side) 1 pc. 6” x 7”
Roof (1 side) 1 pc. 6” x 6 ¼”
Front 1 pc. 1 ¾” x 5 ¾”

Step 2: Assembling All the Parts

Once all the parts are cut, start assembling them to form a birdhouse for cardinals. You can use exterior wood glue and nails to stick all the pieces thoroughly to create the birdhouse.

The Right Way to Build a Cardinal Birdhouse

right way to build a cardinal birdhouse

The regular birdhouses can be perfect for other wild birds but not for cardinals. Box-type birdhouses that are enclosed will not entice cardinal birds from going inside. The reason behind it is that cardinal birds are naturally open-nesters. Meaning, they like to build their nest open for them to settle.

The birdhouse we showed above conforms to what cardinal birds need in a birdhouse. It is basically open up-front, which the cardinals are more comfortable with. These birds will not enter a box that is closed in just like other traditional birdhouses.

Those common birds that usually construct their homes between branches of trees and bushes, including the cardinals, will not use those enclosed birdhouses. You can add the doves and goldfinches, which also prefers a similar way of nesting the birdhouse.

If you want to build a house for cardinal birds, I advise you to become patient with it. It may take time for these birds to find the home you prepared for them. The reason behind it is that these birds are naturally secretive and shy, especially when they are nesting.

It may take time for the birds to discover the house you are building for them. In addition, many birders tried to make a birdhouse for these birds but failed to lure them. The most important thing is to put the birdhouse in the right location for the birds to find. Once they see it, it will probably take time for them to adapt and use all the benefits coming from the birdhouse.

Other Things to Consider in Building a Cardinal Birdhouse

Positioning of the Birdhouse

In putting the birdhouse, do your best to find a location where they can shelter and feel safe all the time. It can be in a thriving vine or a dense shrub but make sure that they are safe from outside threats when they settle in the birdhouse.

Naturally, female cardinals tend to build their nest between 1 to 15 feet above the ground. This measurement should be your basis in positioning the birdhouse. You can build it at eye level for you to easily see it from afar.

Protecting the Baby Birds

The birdhouse we created is designed for the female cardinal to have a nesting place. In installing this birdhouse, you need to attach it to a secured solid object. It is also better to put it in place with a thick coverage of leaves.

Cardinal baby birds are often defenseless from predators and other outside threats such as the sun. But, our birdhouse comes with a roof that will definitely protect the small birds once they settle in the birdhouse.

Securing and Maintaining the Birdhouse

Once you have already found the perfect place for your cardinal nesting birdhouse, the next thing to do is secure it. One way to secure it is to build a fence while tucking it under the vines and other greenery.

After securing it, you will need to leave it alone and ignore it. As I mentioned earlier, these songbirds are generally shy and secretive that seeing you constantly might prevent them from settling in the birdhouse. If you give them too much attention, they will probably go to other places which you do not want.


When learning how to build a cardinal birdhouse, there are so many things to consider. For one, these birds are secretive and shy, which means you will need to put the birdhouse with excellent coverage. The birdhouse should also fit their open-nesting character because they will not use the traditionally enclosed birdhouses.

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