Usually a matter of preference, we often get asked the question; “should we be taking down our birdhouses once the nesting season is over?”
The answer is really totally up to you. Some folks like to get them down during the winter months, simply to preserve the condition of their houses and nesting boxes, and have the opportunity to give them a good cleaning. Others subscribe to the fact that other species of not only birds but other animals might find some much-needed shelter during the harsh winter months.
We’ll go through a few reasons for doing both, and let you decide!
Year-Round Bird Houses
As we said above, even though your birdhouse may no longer be home to nests and raising broods of young, there will always be a number of non-migratory species that may very well take to your nesting boxes during the winter months. Chickadees, wrens, nuthatches, tits, and woodpeckers are just some of the species that may very well end up utilizing your birdhouse in the winter as a great place to keep them warm and safe.
In doing so, just like most items that remain outdoors for the winter; your maintenance schedule may become a little more intense. You will want to ensure your houses are properly cleaned, and perhaps moving its location to a place in your yard that is privileged to a bit more sunlight during the day to keep our feathered friends warm.
Seasonal Bird Houses
Taking down your birdhouse, can sometimes become a tricky ordeal usually depending on your geographical location and local climate. One thing you do not want to do is remove your house too early, and deprive your birds with their expected shelter and nesting sites.
Keep a watchful eye on your nesting box, and record any sightings of birds you see in and around it when you are getting close to taking it down. Ensure there is little to no activity for about a week’s time before committing to removing it. Err to the side of caution, in Canada and most of the US, you should have no problems removing a house toward the end of September or October. Most like to wait it out, while putting in some good monitoring hours, then removing the houses in November, just to be sure.
There is no right or wrong answer here, just simply a matter of preference. Whatever you decide to do, keep up your regular maintenance and keep your birdhouses clean, safe and sturdy for your birds.