How to Make a Birdhouse for Woodpeckers


Like shoes for people, when it comes to birdhouses, one size does not fit all. Each species of bird has preferences to their entry-hole size, floor-plan size and ceiling height (box size). They even have a preference dictating the the height at which the birdhouse hangs. Even among woodpeckers, what one finds comfortable, another may turn its beak up at the sight of it. Woodpeckers generally dig out their own nesting areas, but you can build a woodpecker box ready for the bird to move right in. Fill it with nesting materials, and one just may call it home.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick wood boards
  • Tape measure
  • Square
  • 1 1/2-inch hole saw
  • Wood screws
  • Screwdriver
  • 1 large or 2 small hinges
  • Drill

Woodpecker Birdhouse Pieces

  • Using scraps of wood or 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick boards, cut a section to measure 6 inches by 6 inches. This will be the woodpecker birdhouse floor.

  • Cut two sides for the birdhouse, measuring 6-inches wide and 16-inches high. Measure and mark 2 inches along one side of each birdhouse side. Place a square with one end intersecting the corner of the unmarked side and continuing through the 2-inch mark on the other side. Draw a line and use this to make a second cut, resulting in sides that angle upwards towards the back of the birdhouse.

  • Measure and cut a board 21-inches long and 7-inches wide. This will form the woodpecker birdhouse back wall.

  • Cut another board to measure 14-inches high and 7-inches wide. Mark a spot, in the center of the board, 10 to 12 inches above the bottom of the board. Use a 1 1/2-inch hole saw to cut an entrance hole for this birdhouse front wall.

  • Create a piece 7-inches wide by 8-inches deep. This will be the roof of your woodpecker birdhouse, and the extra inch creates an overhang of the entrance once installed.

Woodpecker Birdhouse Assembly

  • Attach a wall to the back of your woodpecker bird house, making sure the longer side of the wall is against the rear wall and the wall is at the top of the back piece (with the extra length sticking below the wall level). Use three or four wood screws per side.

  • Fit the bottom in place with the back and attached wall, again above the bottom of the rear piece. Secure the bottom to the back and sides with screws.

  • Add the opposite wall, again with the high end against the rear wall and flush. Make sure it fits snugly in place before screwing to attach.

  • Fasten the front wall to the birdhouse assembly. Make sure the top of the front wall is flush with the front of the side walls before securing with screws.

  • Attach two small hinges (or one center hinge) to the top rear of the roof section. Place the roof on top of your woodpecker birdhouse, lining up the rear with the back and side walls. Secure the screws to the rear wall to create a roof that overhangs the front entrance plus lifts for birdhouse access. Drill a couple of drainage holes through the bottom of the birdhouse and several more near the roofline for ventilation, to complete.

Tips & Warnings

  • Place several inches of wood chips or sawdust in your woodpecker birdhouse to provide the woodpecker nesting materials.
  • Hang the birdhouse from 10- to 20-feet above ground level, depending on woodpecker type.
  • Create grooves or add wire mesh to the inside front wall, before assembly, to aid your woodpeckers in getting out of the birdhouse.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images downy woodpecker, male image by Carpenter from
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