Roosting boxes provide valuable shelter for birds at any time
during the year for night time habitation.
But especially during the autumn and into the winter seasons a place to roost against cold temperatures, ice and snow is essential.
The autumn can be a very busy time of year in your backyard.
Travelers from the north may stop by at your bird feeders and birdbaths to refuel and refresh themselves as they migrate southward for the winter.
Meanwhile some of our feathered friends are preparing to spend the winter with us.
To provide wild bird shelters for these hardy birds we can do a number of things including building boxes for roosting.
Specially made boxes will provide a spot where wild birds can huddle together or singularly for warmth during the depths of a winter storm or deep freezing temperatures.
Although some boxes for roosting may look similar to a bird house there are dramatic differences.
There are also features which are beneficial when building bird houses and roosting shelters for both to possess.
A bird house should be cleaned out in the fall when nesting season is over if it is going to be put away until the following spring. Or perhaps you could leave it out as it might also be used for resting in.
But a roosting shelter can be left up all year. It will need to be cleaned out two or three times per year depending on the amount of visitors it receives.
No doubt, from time to time it may be chosen as a location for nest building. This of course is not a problem.
You may wish to set up another wild bird shelter in another corner of your yard for the “over-nighters”.
Roosting pockets provide a small space for a couple of small birds to spend the night.
They may get used for raising young too!
After a season of roosting or nesting they will need to be cleaned out carefully as the opening is small and the only way to clean it out is through the entrance hole.
Don't forget the bedding for your roosting boxes. Some clean, dry grass will work well.
You can turn a bird house into a place for roosting only too. After nesting season is over, a bird house can be converted easily. Although some types convert better than others.
This renovation can be done by mounting the bird house upside down to position the entrance near the bottom of the box.
The air vents will need to be sealed to prevent heat loss.
Bluebird houses convert best for this purpose. If the front of a bluebird house has a little over-hang and there is danger of water being directed into the box, then cut the over-hang off. In the early spring a piece of wood long enough to allow over-hang can be attached on top by screwing it on. This way it will be easy to remove in the fall to make it into a roosting box again.
It will also be necessary to insert a few branches or twigs into the box to provide perches for the birds to sit on when using an upside-down bird house as a place to roost.
wild bird shelters rounds out the experience of observing wild bird
behaviour. You will see them exhibit behaviour that will be fascinating
Of course bird houses will often be used just as they are as places to roost by wild birds. They are just not as efficient at holding the heat inside. Cleaning them out, plugging the air vents and inserting a few twigs will help.
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