Secure Shopping




Winter Bird Roosts
Large Winter Bird Roost
Small Winter Bird Roost


Attracting Birds with Roost BoxesAttracting 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 boxes—bluebirds, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches and small woodpeckers—may seek refuge in it.

What makes roost boxes different from nest boxes?
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.

Visit Shaw Creek Bird Supply to see our selection of Winter Roosts.

Copyright 2004 Shaw Creek Bird Supply