Greetings. In preparation for colder weather, would birds prefer I clean out...

Asked September 8, 2013, 2:30 PM EDT

Greetings. In preparation for colder weather, would birds prefer I clean out bird houses now, or wait until spring? I don't know if the existing nest material is a deterrent or a positive. Thank you.

Frederick County Maryland wildlife bird nests birdhouse cleaning

1 Response

Assuming the birds are no longer using the bird houses, it is a good idea to clean them out because they are often a haven for bird mites and other insects.

On the other hand, birds need shelter in winter, especially during storms and bitter cold. At those times, they may seek shelter in a birdhouse, which can be fairly snug because of all the nesting material left there. This is especially important if there are not a lot of evergreens trees or shrubs nearby, because these plants provide some shelter when deciduous trees have lost all of their leaves and are no protection at all.

You may get further information by calling the Wildlife Hotline at 877-463-6497.

ECN