Building a nest box is a great way for your family to get a glimpse of the wonder of how birds make their nests. Nest boxes differ depending which birds you are intending to attract. In our Build a Nest Box family class, we make a simple platform nest box.

Who will nest in this box?

The open platform can be used under porches, eaves and other shelters. Robins, phoebes, mourning doves and blue jays may nest on this platform. Barn swallows, mourning doves, cardinals and blue jays may also use nesting platforms.

Basic Platform Nest Box instructions:


  • Wood should ideally be 15mm thick for warmth although 9mm ply is fine and easier to cut. Use wood from a sustainable source – look for the FSC logo.
    Don’t paint the box. A coat of linseed oil will stop the wood drying out but is not essential. Some wood preservatives are poisonous so best avoided.
    Use galvanized nails as they last longer than ordinary nails.
    Small drainage holes in the base are essential to let liquid waste drain away or in open front boxes to let any rainwater drain away.
    Don’t add a perch – predators may intimidate the nestlings and force the adult birds to leave.
    Put the hole at the top of the box to keep the young out of reach of cats or squirrels.