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6 Cardinal Birdhouse Plans You Can Build Today (with Pictures)

Cardinal birdhouse

Cardinal birdhouse

Building birdhouses is perhaps one of the easiest and more practical things you can do with minimal woodworking skills. Even children can build birdhouses if you keep the design simple enough. Plus, there are high chances that it will actually get used!

Of course, there are tons of different birdhouse plans available on the internet. From straightforward designs made for kids to multi-level bird condominiums, you can learn how to build a cardinal birdhouse in just about every style and size.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the best birdhouse designs on the market. Some of these are relatively simple, while others are a bit more complicated. There is something for about every skill level on this list.

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Cardinals and Birdhouses: It’s a Complicated Relationship

Unlike most birds, cardinals don’t actually use birdhouses that often. They prefer dense cover, which birdhouses often don’t provide. They favor nests in densely-packed trees on branches instead of in tree holes. For this reason, getting them to use a birdhouse can actually be rather complicated and difficult.

Furthermore, they are larger birds, so the hole in any birdhouse you build for them will need to be rather large. Your average birdhouse plan simply isn’t going to work, as the hole will be too small for cardinals.

Despite all this, there are some birdhouses that cardinals will use. Those with extra-large holes may attract cardinals, as they aren’t as “closed in” as other options. However, birdhouses with small holes will likely attract other, smaller birds instead, like wrens.

Cardinals do not use the same nesting spot twice. So, once a birdhouse has been used, it likely won’t be used again. An easy way to get around this is to move the birdhouse to a different location, which will often be different enough for the cardinal.

You can also do other actions to attract cardinals to your yard. Typically, they aren’t at a significant need for nesting sites, so a birdhouse isn’t enough to attract them. You’ll need to provide the correct food in your birdfeeder and a slightly deeper birdbath.

Even with all these steps, a cardinal might decide to build its nest on top of the birdhouse – not actually in it. This is a surprisingly common development, so don’t be surprised if they see your birdhouse more as a solid platform than an actual shelter.

 

1. Two-Story Birdhouse

With two stories, this birdhouse has enough room for three different bird families. Of course, three different birds will likely not use this birdhouse simultaneously, as they can be a bit territorial. However, it does give birds a few different options as to where they would like to set up shop.

We particularly like that this plan has an open area on the side, which allows it to be large enough for bigger birds that usually don’t set up their nest in birdhouses. This little area can also double as a bird feeder, though that may discourage birds from actually using it as a birdhouse.


2. No-Saw Birdhouse

This birdhouse is designed to be built entirely without a saw. It is an excellent option for children and teens who don’t have the skill to use a saw just yet but are old enough to build a birdhouse with little help. With the proper hole size, this birdhouse can be used by cardinals as well.

Building this birdhouse is exceptionally inexpensive. Of course, you can paint and decorate it however you would like. If you’re looking for a birdhouse to build with your children or on a strict budget, we particularly recommend this option.


3. Simple Birdhouse

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It doesn’t get simpler than these birdhouses. They’re designed to be set up on galvanized poles at various heights, which keeps them safe from predators. You can paint them any color you want or let your child decorate them as they see fit. If you’re looking for something quick and straightforward, this is the sort of birdhouse you should build.

Because these birdhouses are so simple, it is easy to build more than one of them. If you decide to go this route, we recommend placing them decently far away from each other. Birds can be a bit territorial when it comes to their nesting area, so you should place them as far apart as possible. Otherwise, only one of the houses will likely end up getting used.


4. Cottage-Style Birdhouse

This little birdhouse is still relatively simple, but it has a bit more style than most we’ve seen thus far. It is best for those that have a bit of woodworking skills, though it still may be an appropriate option for children as long as they have the help of an adult.

If you want a birdhouse that is often seen, this simple yet stylish design is an excellent option for most. It does take a bit more time than many other options we’ve already discussed, but it is worth it if you want a bit more style.


5. Trio of Birdhouses

Technically, these are three different birdhouses. However, they are all made in the same style. The main difference between them is that they come in three different sizes. The holes are also different styles so that they will attract different birds. Some of them are suitable for cardinals.

We love these birdhouses because they are all the same style, but just different enough to add some character. If you want to place more than one birdhouse in your yard, use these three plans to create a bit of variety.

They’re straightforward to build and can even be made out of scrap wood. The plans do not call for any particular decoration or painting, but you can do what you want with the houses you build. These houses may be simple enough for the average child to help build, but they will need substantial help with some of the steps.


6. Barn-Style Birdhouse

Out of all the birdhouse plans on this list, this is one of the most stylish options. It can be used by cardinals, as well as an assortment of many other birds. If you’re looking for something to put in clear view of visitors and guests, this birdhouse should be towards the top of your list.

It is important to note that while this birdhouse has tons of different holes in it, they will likely not all be filled with birds – especially cardinals. If a territorial bird moves in, then it will likely chase off any other bird that tries to use it.

If you’re okay using a stylish birdhouse for one bird family, then this is a great option for you. However, if you are more concerned with the practical aspect of this birdhouse, you should probably look elsewhere.

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Conclusion

There’s no question that cardinals are beautiful birds. If you want to attract them to your yard, you can consider learning how to build a cardinal birdhouse that offers them lodging in the form of one of these beautiful DIY bird houses. As a note, cardinals will also appreciate the inclusion of grass clippings, small twigs, and pine needles, especially if they are considering nesting in your yard. Come springtime, you may hear the chirps of baby cardinal birds outside your window.

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Featured Image: GeorgiaLens, Pixabay

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