MDC invites public to learn how to build bluebird boxes

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – For people who live in rural areas, putting up a bluebird nesting box is a great way to entice Missouri’s state bird to take up residence close to home.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will have two free workshops in southwest Missouri in the upcoming weeks for people who are interested in building and putting up bluebird boxes.

At MDC’s Andy Dalton Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center (Greene County): A “Woodworking for Wildlife” workshop will be 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 19. The Dalton Range is located at 4897 N. Greene County Farm Road 61 near Ash Grove. At this event, MDC staff will explain how all the cuts to make a house can be made out of a single board and participants will take home a finished bluebird box. The program is for ages 18-up and tools will be provided. People can register at:

People can get more information about upcoming events at the Dalton Range by calling 417-742-4361.

At MDC’s Walter Woods Conservation Area (Newton County): A “Bluebird Basics Workshop” will be 1 p.m.-2 p.m. on Feb. 2. To get to Walter Woods Conservation Area, take Newton County Highway NN sough from Redings Mill for 1.25 miles, then turn west on Dutch Elm Drive, which leads to the area. This program is best suited for families with children at least 5 years old. At this program, participants will be assembling pre-made kits into bluebird boxes. Families can bring an electric screw driver or drill with a Phillips head bit if they have one. (A limited number of staff-provided tools will be available.) Participants will leave this event with a finished bluebird box they can take home and use. People can register for this program at

People can learn about other events organized by MDC’s Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center by calling 417-629-3434.

In the wild, bluebirds compete with starlings, house sparrows and other creatures for cavity nesting space. It’s thought this shortage of natural nesting space is one reason bluebirds readily accept appropriately placed man-made nest boxes.

Bluebird boxes work best in rural locations. Most urban settings are too crowded to attract bluebirds. Nest boxes should be placed in open grassy areas that have perching sites. Meadows, pastures or big yards that are not too heavily shaded are ideal. Perching locations can be in the form of fence lines, power lines or nearby trees.

Information about bluebirds and bluebird nest boxes can also be found at