Feb 7, 2018 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, February 2018

Nest Boxes and Roost Boxes

Consider providing a winter songbird roosting box. Building one would be a fun winter's day project for you and your kids or grandkids.
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While cavity nesters often use nest boxes as shelter during the winter, they’re not ideal for keeping warm during frigid weather. Good nest boxes have ventilation and drainage holes at the bottom that let in cold air; they seldom provide perches; and the entrance hole is often at the top, allowing warm air to escape. Consider providing a winter songbird roosting box. Building one would be a fun winter's day project for you and your kids or grandkids. Download instructions here »

Hang Nest Boxes Now

Many cavity-nesting birds select their nesting sites well before breeding season. Place new nesting boxes as early in the year as possible to improve odds of springtime occupancy. Bluebirds, chickadees, titmice, wrens, and woodpeckers will roost in suitable human-made boxes. Place a few twigs at the bottom, making it easier for the birds to perch.



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  • Fascinating, how insightful both the humans and cheep cheeps are... Thanks for sharing.
    by Kimber timbers, Fri, 27 Apr 2018
  • #18 in the Gallery is misidentified as a Tree Sparrow, instead of Tree Swallow.
    by Ron, Mon, 23 Apr 2018
  • yep i do the microwave too....they don't break down in our compost so the birds get them!
    by ecumam2, Wed, 18 Apr 2018
  • As you probably know, sunflower seed hulls have a bio-chemical in them, (allelopathic), which keeps any other seeds from sprouting, in the same area. I have used this fact, to a purpose. With a large build up, each year (& yes, it is a bare spot!), I rake up the "bounty" & spread them on areas of bulbs & perennials to keep the annual weeds down. It's also helpful near blue squill bulbs, which drop seeds through the fence that divides a perennial garden, from the lawn , where they are welcome to naturalize. The garden can be over run with them, so sunflower hulls can keep the sprouting down.
    by Plntlady, Tue, 17 Apr 2018
  • I do this in a small garden, near our road, where winter road sand can build up & bury the small, low-growing plants that live there. In spring I just pick up the burlap & shake it back onto the road, before the road crew comes by with the street sweeper, in spring.
    by Plntlady, Tue, 17 Apr 2018