Mar 27, 2019 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, April 2019

Which Birds Use Nest Boxes?

Bluebirds number among the species that readily take to human-provided nest boxes.
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Don't expect a jay or hummingbird to use a birdhouse you provide. Only "cavity nesters"—bird species that naturally nest in hollow trees or similar secluded shelters—will select a human-provided nest box. And not all cavity nesters readily adopt boxes. Here's a list of some of the birds that commonly use "bird houses":

  • Some ducks, including wood duck
  • Some owls, including barred and screech-owls
  • Some woodpeckers, including downy and northern flicker
  • American kestrel
  • Some flycatchers, including great crested and ash-throated
  • Some swallows, including tree, violet-green, barn, and purple martin
  • Titmice
  • Chickadees
  • Nuthatches
  • Some wren species
  • Bluebirds
  • Phoebes, including eastern and Say's
  • Prothonotary and Lucy's warblers


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