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Nestboxes for Desert Birds

Arizona is home to over thirty cavity-nesting birds! Only a fraction, the woodpeckers, are considered primary cavity nesters, or those that can excavate their own holes. The rest rely on them or other natural events to create cavities suitable for nesting.

High competition coupled with habitat loss makes cavities a high commodity in Arizona but we can help by installing a nestbox in your yard!

Tucson Audubon conducted multiple studies on species nestbox preferences and best practices for installation of nestboxes in the arid west.

For more information about this program please contact us at

Install a Nestbox!

Unsure which nestbox would be best for the habitat you’re in? Check out our guide here.

The following information sheets offer an insight into the needs of specific species that are most likely to use boxes in the Tucson and Green Valley metro areas. If you live in any of the Sky Island Mountains of southeast Arizona there are likely to be many other birds that will nest in boxes, including woodpeckers, swallows, nuthatches, titmice, chickadees, bluebirds and wrens. A typical Flycatcher Nestbox design satisfies the needs for many of these species. 

Tucson Audubon’s University Boulevard Nature Shop has nestboxes constructed by program staff and volunteers. Please visit the shop at 300 E. University Blvd. to purchase your nestbox or order online.

  • Barn Owl Box: $120
  • Kestrel/Screech-owl Box (traditional): $65

    •  Reserve yours for pick-up here.
    • Species profiles and nestbox building plan here.
  • Kestrel/Screech-owl Box decorated with saguaro ribs: $250

    •  Reserve yours for pick-up here. This item is created by a local artist, Fred Dardis, to fundraise for Tucson Audubon’s Nestbox Program.
  • Flycatcher-style Box (also suits bluebirds, Elf Owls, nuthatches, chickadees, titmice, and wrens): $40

    •  Reserve yours for pick-up or delivery here.
    • Species profiles for Bewick’s Wren, Ash-throated and Brown-crested Flycatcher and the nestbox building plan here.
  • Lucy’s Warbler Triangle Box: $10

    • Reserve for pick up or delivery here.
    • Species profile and building plan here.

No sales tax is ever charged at our shop and members get 10% off. 100% of the proceeds go back into the Nestbox Program to help local birds find homes.

Monitor your Nestbox

We encourage you to let us know if birds use your box. Click here for nestbox monitoring instructions.  If a nest is started, please register it at and follow the instructions in the monitoring document, which will share your data with Tucson Audubon. 

Volunteer for Tucson Audubon’s Nestbox Program!

We need your help! Teams of nestbox builders and monitors are crucial for success. Contact us at to find out how you can help the Desert Nestbox Program at this time.

Top image: Lucy’s Warbler at nestbox by Paula Redinger