Managed nest-box programs can significantly increase local populations of Eastern Bluebirds and other cavity-nesting species. Poorly designed boxes, however, may become population sinks rather than source centers. Internal box temperature is an important determinant of box success. Bluebird eggs and nestlings, for example, cannot survive temperatures exceeding 107′ F (41′ C).
Several researchers have investigated construction materials and nest box temperatures. Lawrence Zeleny in 1968 and Robert M. Patterson in 1980 studied wood, metal, and plastic bluebird boxes. Wood Duck boxes also have been studied. J. A. L. Mertens in 1977 developed a model predicting box temperature for any material and ambient temperature, but its complexity discourages amateur use.
The goal of this project was to examine the effects of construction material on nest box temperature and to develop a graphed model of the relationship.