6 DIY Cardinal Birdhouse Plans You Can Build Today (with Pictures)
Building birdhouses is perhaps one of the easiest and most practical projects you can complete with minimal woodworking skills. Even children can build birdhouses if you keep the design simple enough. Plus, there is are high chance that it will get used!
Of course, several birdhouse plans are available on the internet. From straightforward designs for kids to multi-level bird condominiums, you can learn how to build a cardinal birdhouse in almost every style and size.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the best birdhouse designs on the market. Some are relatively simple, while others are a bit more complicated. There is something for every skill level on this list.
Cardinals and Birdhouses: It’s a Complicated Relationship
Unlike most birds, cardinals don’t use birdhouses very 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 be complicated.
Furthermore, they are larger birds, so the hole in any birdhouse you build for them must be rather large. Your average birdhouse plan simply isn’t going to work, as the hole will be too small for cardinals.
However, there are some birdhouses that cardinals will use. Those with extra-large holes can attract cardinals since they aren’t as “closed in” as other designs. 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 is often different enough for the cardinal.
You can also do other actions to attract cardinals to your yard. Typically, they have several options for nesting sites, so a birdhouse isn’t enough to attract them. You must provide the correct food in your birdfeeder and a slightly deeper birdbath.
Even with all these steps, a cardinal might 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.
The 6 DIY Cardinal Birdhouse Plans
1. Two-Story DIY Birdhouse
With two stories, this birdhouse has enough room for three bird families. Of course, three birds will likely not use this birdhouse simultaneously, as they can be a bit territorial. However, it gives birds a few options for 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, which may discourage birds from using it as a birdhouse.
2. No-Saw DIY 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 skills to use a saw but are old enough to build a birdhouse with a little help. With the proper hole size, the birdhouse can also be used by cardinals.
Constructing the birdhouse is 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, we recommend this design.
3. Simple DIY Birdhouse
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.
Because the birdhouses are so simple to construct, building more than one of them is easy. If you decide to go that route, we recommend placing them far away from each other. Birds can be a bit territorial regarding 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 DIY Birdhouse
This little birdhouse is still relatively simple but has a bit more style than most we’ve seen thus far. It is best for those who have woodworking skills, but 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. It takes a bit more time than many other birdhouse we’ve already discussed, but it is worth it if you want more style.
- Related Read: 12 Wren Bird House Plans You Can Build Today
5. DIY Trio of Birdhouses
This plan is for three birdhouses, but 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 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 be made from scrap wood. The plans do not require decorations or painting, but you can make them as colorful as you’d like. 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 DIY 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 different holes, they will likely not all be filled with birds, especially cardinals. If a territorial bird moves in, it will likely chase off any other bird that tries to use it.
This is an excellent option if you’re okay using a stylish birdhouse for one bird family. However, if you are more concerned with the practical aspect of this birdhouse, you should probably look elsewhere.
There’s no question that cardinals are beautiful birds. If you want to attract them to your yard, you can build a cardinal birdhouse that provides lodging and enhances your property. Cardinals will also appreciate the inclusion of grass clippings, small twigs, and pine needles, especially if they are considering nesting in your yard. In spring, you may hear the chirps of baby cardinal birds outside your window.
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Featured Image Credit: GeorgiaLens, Pixabay