Where is the Best Place for a Bluebird House?

Updated: Jan. 07, 2021

What is the best bluebird house location? The bird experts answer the question to help birders attract nesting bluebirds.

“What is the best bluebird house placement to attract bluebirds to nest in my backyard?” asks Liza Peniston of Augusta, Kansas.

Place nest boxes in the sunniest, most open area possible, away from your house or deep shade. Bluebirds prefer large expanses of short grass with a clear flight path, ideally facing a field. Try not to place the house too close to feeders. Make sure it is mounted 5 to 10 feet off the ground. Bluebirds do not tolerate swaying birdhouses, so anchor the nest box firmly to a smooth round pipe.

Here’s how to build a DIY bluebird house.

“Our bluebird house had eggs and babies for many years. One year there were four eggs to start, then three were gone and the fourth had been opened. What happened,” asks Pauline Kelly of Homewood, Alabama.

House Wrens in Bluebird House

This sounds like the work of a house wren. While small and cute, house wrens can be hostile during nesting season. If they set up house in your yard and encounter other cavity nesters they deem too close for comfort, they’ll pierce the eggs of other species and carry them off. So we have to learn to love them in spite of their behavior. The best way to protect your bluebirds is to make sure the nest box is a fair distance away from the dense cover preferred by house wrens, and to install another box a good distance away from your existing box.

Learn more ways to attract bluebirds and how to monitor bluebirds.

Each month, Birds & Blooms readers send in their burning questions to birding experts, Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman, who are the duo behind the Kaufman Field Guide series. They speak and lead bird trips all over the world.

Got a bird question for Kenn and Kimberly? Submit your questions here! They may appear here or in a future issue of the magazine.