Bluebird Feeder Plans: How to Make a Bluebird Feeder

Updated on December 12, 2016
Anthony Altorenna profile image

I like spending time in the garden, around the house, in the workshop, and fishing. Many of the projects in my articles are originals.

Bluebird Feeder
Bluebird Feeder

Attracting Bluebirds with a Specialty Feeder

DIY Bluebird Feeder Plans: This specially designed bluebird feeder is easy to make, and the birds learn quickly to enter the feeder to feast on live or freeze dried mealworms inside. Bluebirds feed primarily on insects, fruits and berries rather than seeds, and they are especially fond of mealworms. If you want to attract bluebirds to your feeders, try offering them a feeder filled with mealworms or specialty bluebird nuggets.

Lots of birds like to eat mealworms, and this feeder is designed to keep larger birds like starlings, sparrows, and jays from devouring all of the tasty little worms intended for the bluebirds. The key is the size of the entrance holes: 1-½" diameter hole drilled through the sides of the feeder lets the bluebirds and other little birds in, but keeps the larger birds out.

Place the feeder in an open area where the birds can find the food, and safely approach the feeding station without the threat from predators hidden in the shrubs and bushes. If the bluebirds have a bit of trouble adapting to the enclosed feeder, try removing one of the clear plastic panels until they are comfortable coming and going. After a few days of entering the open-air feeder and consistently finding a tasty food source, replace the plastic panel. The birds will learn to enter through the holes, and they will feel safe inside.

This bluebird feeder is an easy build, and a great weekend project for the beginning woodworker or to share the building and birding experience with a child. Here's how to build this simple feeder for the birds.

How to Make a Bluebird Feeder

Bluebird Feeder Plans - Side View
Bluebird Feeder Plans - Side View

The Cutting List

Cut a ¾" thick board into the following parts:

Qty -- Description -- Size
1 -- Base (part A) -- 7-½" L x 5" W
2 -- Ends (part B) -- 7" H x 5" W
1 -- Upper Roof (part C) -- 10-½" L x 5" W
1 -- Lower Roof (part D) -- 10-½" L x 4-¼" W
2 -- Clear Plexiglas (part E) -- 8" L x 3-½" W

Making the Cuts

Refer to the diagram to layout the 45-degree cuts on the ends (part B) to form the peaks for the roof of the bluebird feeder.

Then, layout and drill the entrance holes using a 1-½" bit.

Mill a shallow groove for the clear plastic inserts. Use a table saw, setting the fence ½" in from the side of each edge. Raise the blade about 3/8" high to cut the grooves.

Repeat the process to cut two matching grooves on each end piece. With the grooves facing inward, attach the ends to the base with weather resistant screws or nails.

Some Assembly Required

Cut the Plexiglas inserts to fit between the ends, and slip the inserts into the grooves. The 3-½" wide inserts leave an air space along the top for ventilation.

Line up the edge of the lower roof section (part D) with the peak of the end sections, and then attach it with weather resistant screws or nails.

Rip the upper roof (part C) lengthwise into two sections, 1-½" wide and 3-½" wide each as shown in the diagram. Connect the two sections together with two small hinges, line up the 1-½" wide section with the end peak, and attach it with weather resistant screws or nails.

Mount the finished bluebird feeder on a pole in the garden. Bluebirds are often found near fields, pastures and along the edge of woodlands in rural areas. Add a few bluebird houses and a water source to attract these beautiful birds to your yard.

Bluebird Feeder Plans

DIY Bluebird Feeder Plans
DIY Bluebird Feeder Plans

Bluebirds eat insects and berries, and they will not typically visit feeders filled with wild bird seed. Try offering bluebirds some mealworms instead!

Attracting Bluebirds

Eastern Bluebird_public domain
Eastern Bluebird_public domain

Bluebird Fun Facts

  • There are three species of bluebirds in North America: the Eastern, the Western and the Mountain bluebirds.
  • Bluebirds eat bugs and berries but are not attracted to bird feeders filled with birdseed.
  • Bluebirds like mealworms, and will visit feeders filled with live or freeze-dried mealworms.
  • Eastern bluebirds can have up to three broods per season.
  • Bluebird eggs are pale blue in color.
  • In winter, several bluebirds will often roost together in a bluebird house for warmth.
  • Bluebird populations suffered and declined in the 1960's but rebounded with the help from concerned birdwatchers. The North American Bluebird Society was formed to encourage and instruct and encourage people to build and hang bluebird houses.

Have You Tried Feeding Bluebirds?

Have You Tried Feeding Bluebirds?

See results

Bird Man Mel - Attracting Bluebirds

This short video shows you how to attract and keep bluebirds feeding and nesting in your backyard.

Around the Web: Bluebirds

The North American Bluebird Society

Visit the North American Bluebird Society for more information on the different species of bluebirds.

© 2011 Anthony Altorenna

Share Your Tips For Attracting And Feeding Bluebirds

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    • profile image

      Rege 9 days ago

      I made this feeder and added dried mealworms, the bluebirds came and sat on the opening afraid to go in. I had this setting out for about a week and decided I needed to make it friendlier. I cut another hole about 3 inches below the first hole and cut out the wood remaining between the 2 holes. Within a few hours our bluebirds were going in and out of the feeder munching away on the mealworms. A few times I found both the male and female in there together, but most of the time when one is inside feeding, the other sits on a branch and waits it’s turn. This has been an enjoyable addition to my garden.

    • profile image

      Jen 12 months ago

      What do you need to build this??

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      My husband and I were just saying this morning how we haven't seen any bluebirds around lately. This was perfect timing that I should visit.

    • geosum profile image

      geosum 4 years ago

      Nice lens! Had several bluebird houses when I lived on a farm.

    • vineliner57 profile image

      Hal Gall 5 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      I wasn't aware that bluebirds won't eat seeds if you put them in a feeder. Good thing to know!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      It's a special thing to have bluebirds, so you may as well make them a nice home and invite them to stay and now everyone can follow your excellent plans!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      Since there isn't much for my early bluebird arrivals to feed on, I want to provide some nourishment for them. I plan to build this bluebird feeder. Thank you for the instructions!

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 6 years ago

      I love blue birds! I would love to make, or even just own one of these lovely little houses to attract some friends :) Nice lens!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Know what? The bluebirds that visit us in the cottage love peanuts. I hope it is alright that we put these out for them.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      You sure are teaching us about birds along the way. I didn't know that bluebirds don't eat seed and dine on insects and berries. The bluebird feeder for giving them their favorite meal of meal worms will have people building to entice these beautiful birds to their yards and meal worm sales with certainly go up! I love on the video how Bird Man Mel suggests giving a whistle when you put meal worms in the feeder and the birds will be lining up....I guess its like a special buffet for them with everyone's favorite food!