Roosts are essential to help birds survive cold weather
Help the birds stay warm by leaving your nesting boxes and bird houses up through the seasons!
First, make sure the box is thoroughly cleaned. Autumn is a great time for this chore. Remove any old nesting material & scrub the birdhouse with a water and bleach solution (9 to 1 respectively), or stop by the shop for a non-toxic Birdhouse cleaner that works great! Let the house dry completely after cleaning. This kills any parasites that may remain after the nesting season.
To prevent drafts and keep the birds warm, you can stuff dry hay, pine shavings or dried grasses in the bottom of the box. Blocking any open ventilation holes will limit cold and wind; stuff hay, cloth, or weatherstripping along the ventilation openings.
Winter roosts, roosting pockets, and convertible nest boxes do help
Most bluebird style nest boxes have removable front panel or door. You can flip this upside down so that the entry hole for the house is at the bottom (helps keep heat in). Backyard Birder features Convertible Winter Roosts made exactly this way so that you can use the box in all seasons. Roosts & Pockets are great additions to your backyard. Or just the nest box, a woodpile or brush pile - remember that any shelter, no matter how constructed, will greatly help the birds.
Use an area that provides the most sunlight and warmth. Facing west is a good rule of thumb to allow the setting sun to warm the house just before dusk; however, evaluate your yard. Take a look at your outdoor space and pick a spot that has lots of sun and limits wind and rain.
Now is the time!
Start your outdoor projects now during the fall season, so you're ready when winter comes.
Water & food sources are crucial
Lastly, remember birds need water. Please provide a fresh, unfrozen water source for bird survival as well as food sources. Now is a great time to add suet, peanuts & fruit to your feeding stations. The birds will reward you with lots of activity.