Roosting Boxes

Feb. 2, 2012 No Comments Posted under: Birds, Gardening Tips

Roosting boxes provide nighttime warmth in all seasons! What if you don’t have one? I’ve left my birdhouses up during the winter. I’ve noticed that even the wren house gets used by chickadees.  Some of the larger birdhouses will often be homes too.  I just have to remember to clean them out again in the spring. These regular bird houses are not ideal. The winter roosting boxes differ from nest boxes.  They have have perches inside for the birds to sit on, they lack ventilation and the entrance hole is near the bottom so the rising warmth doesn’t escape.

Birds use roosting boxes all year long—in summer to escape wind and rain and especially in winter to conserve heat during long, frigid nights.They are accustomed to taking refuge in a protective hole in an old tree made by woodpeckers or tree injury. These days suitable protective hollow trees are removed from populated areas because they are unsightly, unsafe, or a the bulldozer’s path.
In cold weather songbirds eat constantly during daylight hours to sustain their energy. At night they expend a lot of that energy fluffing their feathers and shivering to keep warm until dawn. Often thick evergreens and other vegetation fail to provide enough protection for birds trying to get through the night. Though they crowd together for warmth, many birds become seriously dehydrated and freeze to death. Mortality is typically highest among the little birds such as chickadees and titmice. In a very bad snow storm with below freezing temperatures for more than a day or two, as much as 50% of smaller songbirds can perish. This is a real problem and only yardeners can really help. Please consider saving the birds with a few nesting boxes.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 at 2:49 am and is filed under Birds, Gardening Tips. You can leave a comment and follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Leave a Reply