When Should I Clean Out My Birdhouses?

Our bird experts recommend that you should clean out birdhouses in winter and the best winter insulation for roosting birds.

When should I clean out a birdhouse?

Question: I put pinewood shavings in my birdhouse for winter. Is this a proper material, and when should I clean out the house? —Donn Ross of Shelby Township, Michigan

Kenn and Kimberly: It’s always a treat to discover that birds are using your nest boxes to roost at night. To provide insulation in winter, pine shavings are fine to use. Another option is to line the bottom with a few handfuls of clean dried grass. Early spring would be an ideal time to clean out your box in preparation for the nesting season. (Read more: How to Build a One-Board Birdhouse)

Each month, Birds & Blooms readers send in their burning questions to birding experts, Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman, who are the duo behind the Kaufman Field Guide series. They speak and lead bird trips all over the world.

Got a bird question for Kenn and Kimberly? Submit your questions here! They may appear here or in a future issue of the magazine.

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Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman
Kenn and Kimberly are the official Birds & Blooms bird experts. They are the duo behind the Kaufman Field Guide series. They speak and lead bird trips all over the world. When they're not traveling, they enjoy watching birds and other wildlife in their Northwest Ohio backyard.