How to Winterize Your Bird Houses


No doubt, winter could be a rough time for everyone including your birds. A birder should pay substantial attention to winterizing bird houses as soon as the temperature starts to drop. Many of the birders prefer to remove bird houses during ferocious winters, but that does not offer any help. Rather than putting them away, you could easily convert them into roosting boxes for appropriate shelter amid winters. 

Nothing gets better than providing your local birds with some safe and sound shelter during winters. Keeping your feathered friends happy through all the seasons is a euphoric gesture, and nobody should refrain from doing so, right? With just a little effort and minimal modifications, you can winterize your bird houses. 

Giving a winter roost box in the form of a shelter to your local birds will provide them an additional piece of protection from the breeze and icy temperatures and enable them to save calories and vitality. Your winter roost box may have a significant effect on a feathered creature, particularly on a chilly night or amid a wild frigid tempest.

This article presents some simple steps for winterizing a bird house.

Clean the Bird House and Repair Damages

Whether you want to convert a bird house into a winter roosting box or simply want to preserve it, the initial step is cleaning. Sanitize the house well and remove the old nesting material in order to get rid of pests or any bacteria that could be harmful to birds. This will also make room for the new visitors. Never forget, cleaning always helps!

After you are done with cleaning, you should check for damages. On the off chance that the bird house requires any repairs like strengthening seams, unclogging drained holes or removing splinters – you should do them right away. This way, you can ensure your birds to be safe and sound, and the bird house could also retain its life.

Afterward, put the bird house back after drying it completely.

Check for the Bird House Design

Since some bird houses are designed to be converted to roosting boxes, you should check for your particular design before beginning to convert them. In case, your bird houses have the same design, you should follow manufacturer’s instructions for converting it. On the off chance that you have a basic bird house, you can convert it yourself after cleaning and repairing.   

  • If feasible, use entrance hole to remove the front board of the house and then invert it. This way, the hole will get nearer to the base of the house and more warmth will stay inside the house because warm air rises.
  • If you intend to use your spring bird houses as winter roost boxes, you may want to get rid of the big ventilation holes that keep the blistering sun from damaging the interior. Weatherstripping foam is ideal for blocking such holes, and you can remove it easily when spring kicks in. Or you can use silicone gel to seal the tiniest cracks. It will also keep the moisture from getting into the house. Likewise, block the most (not all) of the ventilation holes to trap heat so that the birds can be kept warm. Additionally, place tiny pieces of foam beneath the eaves of the house. 
  • Put extra perches inside the birdhouse so that more birds can utilize the space. Extra perches are essential since several adult birds may use the same house for shelter and without the additional perches, birds on the bottom may suffocate. You could also put small twigs or branches across the corners to provide additional perching space.
  • Insulation is of utmost importance when it comes to winterizing a bird house. Place a layer of sawdust, dried grass or hay to the bottom of the house. Most importantly, your birds will have a nice cozy atmosphere during winters. The additional insulation will also allow you to clean the house for spring.
  • Utilize a dark cover on the roof of the house to darken it. The darker color will provide additional insulation because it will trap more solar energy. Allow the cover to hang from the sides so that it can provide great protection from rain and snow.
  • You should look for an ideal spot to position the bird house. The ideal location must be safe from the predators. Select the position wisely to safeguard roosting birds. Make sure that the entrance of the bird house is far from the chilly winds, and it will get substantial afternoon sunlight to provide warmth in the evening. It would be great if you can place the birdhouse under a home’s roof. All this will prevent your birds from the ferocious temperature. It’s is believed that setting up the roosting box high amid winters attracts more roosting birds and it also secures them from predators.

When Spring Starts

Regardless of your decision of either converting or storing the bird house, you must gear up to prepare your bird houses for nesting birds. With no exceptions, stored bird houses will require the least inspection before families start living in them again. Although, roost boxes will need thorough inspection the following spring for early nesting birds to live in them. 

Storing the bird houses will ensure their safeguard for the upcoming spring, whereas if you decide to transform them into winter roost boxes, local birds will cherish the shelter throughout the winter. Now you decide what’s better? 

Taking the right decision of either storing or converting will assist birders in retaining the lives of their bird houses so they will be able to see generations of several healthy bird families each year. 

If you wish, you can even take a further step in order to rescue birds amid harsh winters. You can buy roosting pockets that are made from woven natural materials. You can hang those in protected areas across the yard as a safe and warm shelter for birds during winters. By taking some measures before winter sets in, you can have your bird houses prepared to protect your feathered friends during harsh weather conditions.


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