Pileated Woodpecker Nest Box

Bird Houses & Nesting Box Woodworking Plan: Pileated Woodpeckers

This nestbox is suitable for:

  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Kestrels
  • Screech Owls
  • squirrels
Pileated Woodpecker Nest Box on a Tree
Pileated Woodpecker Nest Box on a Tree

Suitable Nestbox Size: ~ 24 ” inches tall. No perches at the entrance holes as they would aid predators. Stuffing the nestbox about half full with wood chips will discourage other birds seeking out nesting opportunities, plus the process of escavating cavities encourages nesting behaviors in woodpeckers.

Floor Dimensions: about 10″ x 10″

Material to be used: Red Cedar (more durable than other wood material), rough cut boards or exterior-grade plywood at least 1/2″ thick. Unpainted. Ventilation openings in the floor and under the roof. Although some experts disagree with the notion that ventilation openings are needed at all. Please refer to this article for further information. This may also depend on location of nest box, exposure to direct sun as well as material used to build the nest box.

Entrance Hole: About 4 in diameter to keep the larger birds out, about 21 inches above the floor.

Roof: Hinged, secured with shutter hooks. Sloped down, overlapping on the sides and the front reduces exposure to rain and makes it more difficult for predators to get to the chicks or eggs.

Hardware: Best to use corrosion resistant, stainless steel and dichromate plated screws

Predator Guard: An inverted metal cone attached below the nextbox will provide some protection against predators.

Woodpecker Wooden Birdhouse
Woodpecker Wooden Birdhouse


Affix nest box to posts with partial sun and shade, about 5 – 10 feet above the ground. The entrance hole in particular should be protected from the elements as much as possible.

Suitable areas would be along forest edges, with easy access to water.

Position nest far enough from roads, paths or trails to minimize disturbance.

Take nest box down after each breeding season, and repair and sanitize before reusing.

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