Where Do Birds Sleep at Night in the Winter?

November 13, 2023

Birds have many ways of keeping warm, but where do they sleep at night in the winter? This article answers that question by exploring a variety of different places that birds find shelter from the cold for the night.

During the day, birds like kinglets, chickadees and nuthatches gather in large flocks to roost together in trees, bushes and other natural spots that provide protection from predators. By roosting in large groups, they can share body heat to stay warmer. In addition, they can also rest on branches that are close to each other so they can keep an eye out for potential dangers.

Wild birds are quite adept at surviving frigid winter nights, as evidenced by their numerous tactics for finding safe and secure roosting spots for the night. Their feathers are great insulators, and their incredibly efficient metabolic processes allow them to maintain an internal temperature well above freezing.

Some of the more common roosting locations for birds in winter include crevices or holes in rocks, tree trunks and sand dunes. In addition, some species will roost in artificial birdhouses and boxes, as well as cracks in walls and eaves of buildings.

The most popular natural roosting location for birds in the winter is tree cavities, particularly those of larger trees such as evergreens or conifers. These can be especially comfortable for larger birds such as woodpeckers, parrots and nuthatches. Other species of birds prefer to roost in crannies and other spaces beneath the eaves of buildings or in walls, bushes, or reeds. Still other species like tulips, wrens and tufted titmice are known to love those little “bird bungalow” roosting pockets that are available at most hardware stores.


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