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Trailside’s 2023 Birdhouse Contest

Birdhouse Building Contest

Welcome to Trailside Museum’s 2023 Birdhouse Building contest!

The purpose of this contest is to highlight the need for nesting sites for birds and showcase your creative building skills. Birdhouses will be built by registered participants, displayed throughout the summer and voted on by visitors. Prizes will be awarded.

How to Enter

Submit your completed birdhouse to Trailside Museum of Natural History from March 15 to May 25, 2023. Space is limited so please get your entries in early.


Birdhouses will be displayed on Trailside Museum’s grounds throughout the summer. During this same time, visitors will vote on their favorite birdhouses from May 27 to September 1, 2023. Ballots will have the builder’s name and the name of their birdhouse.


Winners will be announced on September 1, 2023. Winners will be notified and birdhouses can be picked up from September 6 to October 23, 2023.

Prize Categories

  • People’s Choice (overall winner with the most votes)
  • Best Kid’s Under Age 14 (most votes in category)
  • Wackiest/Most Creative
  • Best Design for Birds


Everyone is encouraged to enter. Youth groups and children under 18 need to be registered by an adult. Employees of the Forest Preserves of Cook County can enter the contest but are not eligible for prizes.


  • All entries must be original construction. Registration form must accompany entry.
  • Birdhouses should be designed for native birds such as house wren, bluebirds, tree swallows and others. Houses are limited in size to a maximum of 20″ x 20″ x 20″. No perches or multiple holes are allowed since they encourage nonnative birds and predation. Please visit the following websites for more information on birdhouse building:
  • Birdhouses must have a sturdy hook to facilitate hanging.
  • Materials must be able to withstand the elements.
  • We reserve the right to disallow any submission deemed objectionable.
  • We are not responsible for any damage to or disappearance of the birdhouse.
  • Entrance into the contest constitutes permission to use your name and image for publicity purposes.