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Trailside’s 2024 Birdhouse Contest

Birdhouse Building Contest

Spring into creativity with our birdhouse building contest, explore the trails and vote for your favorite design all summer long

Thank you for participating in our birdhouse contest, where we aim to emphasize the importance of nesting sites for birds while showcasing your creative building skills. Birdhouses constructed by registered participants will be displayed throughout the summer and judged by visitors. Prizes will be awarded to all participants!

How to Enter

Submit your birdhouse between March 15 and May 15, 2024. Space is limited, so be sure to submit your entries early.


The birdhouses will be exhibited on our grounds throughout the summer. During this period (May 24 to September 1), visitors can cast their votes for their favorite birdhouses. Ballots will include the builder’s name and the birdhouse’s name.


The winners will be announced in early September on Trailside’s Facebook page. Winners will be notified, and birdhouses can be picked up from September 6 to October 6.

Prize Categories

  1. Most Creative
  2. Best for Birds
  3. Best Kids (under 14 years old)
  4. People’s Choice


Everyone is encouraged to enter. Youth groups and participants under 18 must 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 constructions, accompanied by a completed registration form.
  • Birdhouses should be designed for native birds, such as house wrens, bluebirds, tree swallows, and others.
  • The maximum size for houses is 20″ x 20″. No perches or multiple holes are allowed to prevent attracting non-native birds and predation.
  • Check out NestWatch’s website for more information on birdhouse building.
  • Homes must have a sturdy hook for hanging, and materials must withstand the elements.
  • We reserve the right to disallow any submission deemed objectionable. We are not responsible for any damage or disappearance of the birdhouse.
  • Entering the contest constitutes permission to use your name and image for publicity purposes.