Large Winter Bird
Small Winter Bird
Birds with Roost Boxes
Most people know that putting out a
nest box will attract nesting birds in summer.
But did you know that small birds often use these
same boxes for shelter at night, particularly in
winter? Sometimes more than a dozen birds will
pile into a single box to conserve heat. But nest
boxes are far from ideal for overnight roosting.
They are usually too small for a group. Plus most
birds need to perch or cling while roosting, but
nest boxes have no perching surfaces inside.
You can help your backyard birds keep warm
overnight with a specially designed roost box.
Any backyard favorites that typically nest in
boxesbluebirds, chickadees, titmice,
nuthatches and small woodpeckersmay seek
refuge in it.
What makes roost boxes different from
Roosting boxes differ from nest boxes in several
important ways. A good roost box is designed to
prevent the birds' body heat from escaping, so,
unlike a nest box, it lacks ventilation holes.
Also, its entrance hole is near the bottom of the
box so the rising warmth doesn't escape.
Inside a roost box there are several perches made
from small wooden dowels, staggered at different
levels. In addition, the inside front and rear
walls are roughened, scored, or covered with
hardware cloth so that woodpeckers can cling to
them. A hinged top allows easy access so you can
clean the box.
An entrance hole about 2 inches in diameter will
admit most small birds, but to exclude aggressive
starlings reduce the opening to about 1 1/2
inches. Larger woodland birds, such as flickers
and screech-owls, need a 3-inch entrance hole.
Setting up your roost box
Mount your roost box on a metal pole or a wooden
post, and attach a metal baffle below the box to
keep predators out. Place the box in a sheltered
spot, out of prevailing winds. South-facing boxes
receive the most warmth from the winter sun.
Creek Bird Supply to see our selection of Winter
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Creek Bird Supply