Every Monday I highlight a reader's question to get to the very birding issues you want to know about. This week, Pam from Michigan asks...
"I have been having a wonderful time with a nesting box. This year, we hosted chickadees and watched them building the nest, laying the eggs and fledging. Now we have a downy woodpecker who roosts in that box from sundown until sunrise. That nesting box has ventilation at the bottom and top, of course. Do you have any info on whether I should cover those holes and slits for the winter?"
Many birds will use roost boxes in the winter for shelter from the cold, snow and wind, but if you don't have a specialized roost box it is easy to winterize your bird houses. Yes, some of the ventilation holes should be covered to preserve heat, and there are easy ways to add extra insulation and protection to the house so it is more suitable for winter use. Your winter residents will thank you!
Photo © Matt MacGillivray