How to Build an Oriole House


Orioles, common in eastern, central and southern North American regions, are favored by birdwatchers because of their cheerful song, taste for insect pests and attractive orange and black feathers. Building a birdhouse for orioles will attract them to your yard and protect them from predators and harsh weather conditions. You can build and mount a safe nest box for orioles with some simple materials and a few tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Saw
  • 6 feet of lumber, 1 inch by 6 inches
  • Keyhole saw
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Wood screws
  • Finishing nails
  • 1 eye screw
  • Screwdriver
  • Predator baffle
  • 8 feet of metal or PVC pipe, ¾ or 1 inch thick
  • 2 bolts, 2 inch or 2-1/2 inch
  • 2 lock washers
  • 2 ½-inch nuts
  • Saw your lumber into smaller pieces. Saw a 5 ½-inch by 13 ½-inch piece for the back; one 5 ½-inch by 9-inch piece for the front; one 5 ½-inch by 7 ½-inch piece for the roof; two 5 ½-inch by 9-inch pieces for the sides; and a 5 ½-inch by 4-inch piece for the bottom.

  • Cut a hole in the front piece using a keyhole saw; the hole should be 1 3/8 inches wide and 2 ¼ inches tall. Cut the hole 2 inches down from the top of the front piece and 1 ¾ inches in from the sides.

  • Drill two small holes in each side piece, near the top, for ventilation.

  • Drill four small holes in the bottom piece for drainage.

  • Hammer the finishing nails or use your wood screws to attach one of the side pieces to the bottom piece, then attach the front and back pieces to the same side piece.

  • Position your second side piece in place, then drive nails directly opposite each other near the top of your side piece. These nails will allow your side piece to flip open and close so you can remove the nest when necessary or check on your birds.

  • Screw the eye screw near the bottom of this side piece to secure it closed until you need to open it.

  • Slide a predator baffle around your pole, about a foot down from the top, to protect your birdhouse from raccoons, cats, snakes and other predators. Combined with a smooth metal or PVC pipe, this offers the best protection for your birds.

  • Drive your pipe 2 feet into the ground where you want your birdhouse to be. Make sure your birdhouse is in a clear area near food and water sources so that the orioles can fly around freely and obtain sustenance. If your birdhouse isn’t located near food and water sources, orioles won’t be attracted to the house.

  • Drill two holes, one a few inches above the other, near the top of your pipe.

  • Drill two holes in the back of your birdhouse. Make sure they line up with the holes on your pipe.

  • Secure the birdhouse to the pipe with bolts, lock washers and nuts.

  • Nail or screw the top of your birdhouse to the rest of your birdhouse.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don’t attach a perch to your birdhouse, as this can attract invasive, undesirable birds, like the house sparrow.

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