Updated at: 06-06-2023 - By: Jane Brody

Ignore what you may have heard; birdhouses are required all year round, with winter being the most crucial season.

To protect birds from the harsh winter weather, keep their homes up all year round. Indeed, they could roost in a birdhouse at any time of year, but in the winter, doing so is critical. Only once or twice a year should birdhouses be taken down to be cleaned.

Do Birds Use Birdhouses In The Winter.

However, birds need a safe place to rest in order to survive the harsh winter months, therefore bird homes are useful all year round, not only during the nesting season.

A birdhouse can provide a safe place for birds to roost in the yard, so it’s important to leave the box out year-round.

At the close of the nesting season, you can put that extra time to good use by clearing out the old nesting material, washing it with soap and disinfecting it.

It is possible to dismantle the birdhouse in order to do this necessary upkeep, but we can think of no other justification for doing so.

After this once- or twice-yearly cleaning, the birds are ready to roost and the birdhouse should never be taken down.

During the fall, you probably won’t see any birds coming in, but later in the fall and into winter is when you might see some flying in to your birdhouse.

Winterizing your birdhouse just entails lining the bottom with some wood chippings and doing so before the onset of extreme cold, before wild birds arrive to roost.

That’s it; your birdhouse is only useful for roosting birds in the winter, so keep it up all year round.

Never pull down birdhouse

There are a number of reasons why you shouldn’t take down your birdhouse for the winter, and one of them is that birds will still use it as a roost.

The mount section at the back of a birdhouse might become damaged if it is frequently disassembled and reassembled. The metal fasteners or drill holes will eventually degrade if it’s tampered with too often.

After repeated manipulation, a mounting hole drilled in the object becomes less secure.

Birdhouses should only be taken down at the conclusion of the nesting season when they need to be cleaned.

When mounting a birdhouse to a tree trunk, this is especially true because doing so can be a nuisance, but when mounting a birdhouse to a 4×4 post, it can be adjusted with more ease and the screw joints will remain tight.

The joints between the birdhouse and the post or tree it is attached to will weaken in the winter, but they can be tightened again with some heat.

It’s something to think about if you take down your birdhouse for the winter and then want to put it back up in the spring.

Birdhouses left up all year

Do Birds Use Birdhouses In The Winter-3

As it is, birdhouses are used 365 days a year, so removing it for even a short period of time can be counterproductive.

To explain, birds only require a birdhouse to nest in during the spring and early summer, when some of them will be departing the nest and others will be arriving.

If you want birds to use your box as a roost when the weather turns cooler in the fall, you’ll need to leave it up all season long.

To prepare for the arrival of these birds, it is recommended that the birdhouse be taken down in September or October and the nesting supplies removed.

Birds that don’t normally roost may need your birdhouse throughout the winter months of December through February.

If you want to attract nesting birds or roosters, you’ll need to keep your birdhouse visible and accessible 24/7, 365 days a year.

Birds roost in winter

In order to make place for nesting birds in the spring, you can remove your birdhouses from October through March.

Having a successful nesting box in your backyard can become a vital home over the wintertime, as birds prefer to escape the severely cold weather that is thrown at them outside of the nesting season.

Birds would make do with any available cracks or holes in structures if they didn’t have access to a birdhouse.

Most birds rely on birdhouses to make up for the lack of accessible space, especially during the cold and snowy months.

Cared-for birdhouses in the winter provide a safe haven where birds can spend the next few cold days or weeks.

You can make a comfortable landing spot for a flock of birds in the meantime by filling the bottom of the birdhouse with wood chips to a depth of about an inch.

Preparing your birdhouse for the next winter is known as “winterizing” it.

Take down to maintain

Do Birds Use Birdhouses In The Winter-2

Never disassemble your birdhouse unless you know for sure that the connection to or from which it was mounted will hold firm for the duration of the structure’s useful life.

Simply move the birdhouse to a different area if necessary.

It’s best to wait until the end of nesting season, around September or October, to take down your birdhouse for good.

Cleaning the birdhouse would entail removing any old nesting materials and giving it a good soapy wash to get rid of any grime, with the option of using a bleach disinfection solution.

Because of the height at which you must carry out this task, birdhouses must be removed from their mountings for the duration of the shift, usually an hour or more.

You probably won’t have to worry about missing any prospective birdhouse arrivals if you avoid doing this work in the fall and, especially, in the winter when temperatures might drop below freezing.

In the spring, when you’ve cleaned out the birdhouse, you can hang it up and leave it till the birds use it as a nesting spot.


In order to clear out old nesting material, wash it out, and disinfect it, you will need to take the birdhouse down from its fixed mounting position.

The birdhouse would then be re-erected, ready for the birds to utilize as a roost in the upcoming cold season.

Since birds can utilize a birdhouse as a safe and secure place to sleep throughout the year, there is no good reason to pull it down.

Backyard birds may use the birdhouse as a nesting spot in the spring, but the birds will convert it into a much more useful roosting spot in the late fall and into the winter.

You’re missing out on a fantastic opportunity to give your backyard birds a helping hand if you take down the birdhouse now. In addition, if your birdhouse isn’t there when the birds need it most, they may suffer.

Take down your birdhouses just when you need to clean them out and replace them quickly.

Birdhouses should never be put down in the winter since birds would perish in the extreme cold if they do not have a safe place to roost.

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