Tips for Building the Gilwood Bluebird Nest Box
The Gilwood Bluebird Nest Box represents one of the most radical changes in bluebird nest box design since manmade nesting structures were first erected for Eastern Bluebirds in the 1930s. While the North American Bluebird Society has certified the nest box design, the Gilwood Bluebird Nest Box has been used primarily in the Midwest and Northeast. If Eastern Bluebirds are successfully using the Gilwood Bluebird Nest Box in your area, please contact the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Nongame Conservation Section, 116 Rum Creek Drive, Forsyth, Georgia 31029, (478) 994-1438.
When painting boxes use light-colored paint. The interiors of light-colored boxes stay cooler than dark-colored boxes.
Drill two 1/4" ventilation holes in the side panels of the box.
The front of the box should not be attached with glue or nails; it is held in place by the wire running through the entrance hole and a single wood screw partially inserted from the side of the box into the front panel. This screw can be removed when checking and/or cleaning the box.
The size of the entrance hole can be adjusted from 1 1/4" - 1 3/8" by bending the wire running through the box opening.
Cut grooves or otherwise roughen the inside of the front of the box. This will enable young bluebirds to climb out of the box when they are ready to fledge.
Erect boxes on sun-resistant PVC pipe or metal electrical conduit. Do not place boxes on the sides of trees.
Equip boxes with predator guards where raccoons and/or rat snakes are a problem.
Boxes should be mounted 5 to 15 feet above the ground and should be placed 100 yards apart. Once bluebirds begin using the boxes, you often can space boxes closer together.
Be careful not to mount boxes so that they lean backwards. Young bluebirds have difficulty climbing out of backward leaning boxes.