Overlay graphic

Nest boxes can provide wildlife with secure places to raise their young, while bat houses can offer shelter from the weather. The building designs listed in the Fact Sheets section will guide you on how to build, install, and maintain these structures.

Standing dead trees, called snags, and live trees with a cavity in the trunk or limbs, called den trees, provide vital cover for many birds and mammals. Unfortunately, these trees are not often retained in developed areas, and new residential areas often have few trees or are planted with non-native species that will not provide suitable den sites. In such cases, the addition of nest boxes and bat houses can provide critical shelter for birds and bats.

Providing nest boxes can make spaces more habitable for cavity-nesting wildlife such as Eastern bluebirds, wood ducks, and purple martins. Bat houses will provide critical shelter for several species of bat. And don’t be surprised if mice, squirrels, snakes, or other animals take up residence in boxes not used by birds or bats. These species also require shelter.


Illinois Department of Natural Resources Link
The National Great Rivers Research & Education Center Link 2wav Link