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Where Do Birds Sleep in the Winter

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where do birds sleep in the winter

Most birds spend their day hunting for food and taking care of their small ones. These birds will be spending too much of their energy during the day that they need to rest and sound sleep during the night. However, it can be difficult for these birds during the winter to sleep due to the unforgiving weather conditions.

So, where do birds sleep in the winter? Even with the difficult conditions, there are still plenty of places where the birds can rest and sleep at night. These places include birdhouses, bird boxes, tree cavities, etc. This article will discuss how these places help birds during the winter.


Birdhouses and Bird Boxes

As an experienced birder, the notable place that I can think of are those artificial birdhouses and bird boxes we put in our backyard. The shelter we provide for the birds will be beneficial to them once the cold winter months come.

Birdhouses are very helpful to non-migratory birds, especially during the winter season. If you are a backyard birder, you are expected to leave your birdhouses even during the winter season to provide all resident birds frequently visiting your place a place to stay and cover from the colder season.

Apart from having a place to stay at night, these birds will also have the luxury of a free food and water source coming from the birders. This situation will make them stay throughout the winter season. The birds that will stay in birdhouses include cardinals, bluebirds, swallows, wrens, and magpies.

On the other hand, bird boxes are another excellent option for the birds to stay at night during the winter season. Again, bird boxes are provided by bird watchers who want to give shelter to these birds during the difficult winter season.

The best thing about bird boxes is they come in different sizes to accommodate many birds in a single box. When this happens, it will be very beneficial to the birds as they will be flocking together in numbers to generate heat at night while trying to beat the coldness in the surroundings.

Apart from the vast space that allows several birds to snuggle at night, bird boxes also provide better ventilation. It comes with fewer ventilation holes to help trap and generate heat during the colder months.

Tree Cavities

where do birds go at night in the winter

If you want to know where birds go at night in the winter, it is probably in the tree near your house. The most popular natural locations for birds to sleep during the winter season are in tree cavities. Tree cavities are very convenient for birds and provide ample protection to them at night.

The birds usually prefer healthy trees when looking for tree cavities because they are warmer and provide additional protection at night than dead trees. In addition, tree cavities come in different sizes. The bigger one allows several birds to snuggle with each other at night to generate additional heat while they sleep.

There are many birds which settle in tree cavities during the winter season. Those birds include parrots, woodpeckers, wrens, bluebirds, owls, and chickadees. These birds will hide in tree cavities at night for protection and warmth.

Thick Vegetation

Another place the birds sleep during the cold nights of winter is thick vegetation. This place provides two purposes to birds: providing protection while keeping them warm at night. The birds will be using the thick leaves and greenery to protect them from the snow. Resident birds such as the cardinals and blue jays usually use dense vegetation to sleep during the winter.

On the other hand, a waterfowl also uses thick vegetation to sleep during the winter season. During the night, these birds will be roosting in thick vegetation, which will act as thermal cover and heat insulators for them.

These birds will usually find vegetation surrounded by trees which will act as a windbreaker. This action is a strategy for the waterfowls to survive and will also improve selection during the colder winter months.


Another excellent place for the birds to sleep during the night in the winter season is grapevines. There will be birds who will choose to roost in this place at night because of food security.

During the winter season, it is expected that the food will be scarce but staying in grapevines gives them food security in the colder months. During the day, expect the birds to eat anything available, including fruits. Keeping their stomach full is essential to allow them to burn fats at night to produce body heat that will eliminate the cold.

Large Trees

Large trees will also be an option for non-migratory birds to sleep during the winter season. These large trees will give them two things: protection from predators and space that will allow the birds to sleep together.

In addition, large trees are also a natural heat source that will provide warmth to the birds. The space that it will provide will allow dozens of birds to flock together and snuggle each other during the night to generate heat while sleeping.


If you want to know where do birds sleep in the winter, there are plenty of places that birds use to keep them warm while sleeping. Some birds sleep in artificial birdhouses and boxes, while others use tree cavities and other natural sites.

Apart from looking for the best place to sleep, the birds will also use their physical abilities to stay warm. The feathers can serve as an insulator for them at night, while some parts of the body are used to generate heat while they are sleeping to keep them warm.

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