Building a Squirrel Nest box

Baby peeking out of nest box

A nestbox provides safe haven for squirrels, especially younger ones or a mom with babies. As I'll show, I have evolved my nestbox design from lessons learned and tools and material available. As most will have different tools and material to work with, an exact duplicate of my nextbox may make the task difficult. If alterations or changes are needed, there are a few nestbox requirements that should be maintained.

Squirrels chew, and softwoods will disappear under their teeth. Hardwood (oak) makes for a durable nestbox, but is heavy, harder to work with, and more costly. At the minimum, make sure the entrance to the box has hardwood around it and the predator guard needs to be hardwood.

Use rust resistant fasteners, such as hot dip zinc coated nails. Stainless steel screws, often sold as deck fasteners, also work.

The entrance hole for a gray squirrel should be 2.5 inches in diameter


A predator guard should be placed inside the box under the hole. This is a ledge several inches deep. It is intended to prevent an animal from inserting its arm and grabbing any occupants. It may get its arm inside the hole, but should be unable to articulate it to grasp anything under the ledge.

My nestbox

Solid oak construction

Stainless steel screws used throughout

Both sides hinged for opening to allow for blow through spring cleaning

Predator guard 3/4 inch thick oak

Slant roof for rain drainage Porch under entrance hole plus roof overhang provide added security





Interior details

Opposing sides open up to allow for blow through cleaning

Ready for occupants

A porch that provides some security