About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Where birds sleep

Where do all the birds go at night? 

Sleeping habits can change with the seasons. For instance, birds often sleep on their nests, during the breeding season but now in the winter might sleep communally in large roosts in trees or dense shrubs out of a predator’s reach.

I have a lot of backyard birds that like to sleep in the pine trees near the feeding stations. As dusk approaches there is a feeding frenzy. The goldfinches at my house sometimes stay too long. I watch them feeding furiously and then see them look up and notice sun went down. Some find shelter quickly in nearby bushes while others have been known to spend the night on a feeder or if it's windy, huddled in a corner close to the house or even burrow into the snow.
Wing tracks around snow hole of Ruffed Grouse
Photo via Wikimeda Commons

Starlings and pigeons can roost under bridges. Ducks often sleep while floating. Cavity nesting birds like House Sparrows, chickadees, and woodpeckers can go into a bird house, roosting pocket or a natural tree cavity to spend the night.

When the temperature drops below zero, sleeping birds need bellies full of high calorie foods to keep their little bodies warm right before bed and the first thing in the morning. So keep those feeders full!
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