Give Shelter to Wintering Birds
Many species of birds wait out stormy weather inside the hollows of tree-trunks and snags. On a winter’s night, when temperatures plunge, it can be hard for birds to find decent roosting spots. Even the thickest evergreen tree may not give a bird enough shelter to keep from freezing to death. As for the flocks of birds that gather at your feeder, there may be too few spots for them all to roost in the area.
Why not do wintering birds a special favour and build them a “dormitory”? Here are some tips on how to make a roosting box:
- The compartment is usually about 35–46 cm wide, 40–50 cm tall, and about 30 cm deep (the overall size is not important.)
- Make several perches out of dowel .7 cm (1/4”) or 1 cm (3/8”) in diameter and mount them at varying heights inside the box.
- Locate the entrance hole near the bottom to stop heat from escaping as it rises. A box for each species is not necessary. One for smaller birds and another for somewhat larger ones will do. As in nest boxes, different sized entrance holes will attract different species.
- Make the box as airtight as possible — no drainage or ventilation holes.
- Put hinges on the front rather than the top, so the box can be cleaned easily and thoroughly when winter is over.
- A latch can be installed to keep the door shut.
- Place the roosting box in a well-sheltered spot on the south side of a building or large tree.
- When summer arrives, close the box up or put it away if you want to prevent sparrows and mice from taking up residence.