Bird roost

A bird roost is a protective space for a bird to sleep.

It could be as simple as a high branch in summer but in winter birds look for shelter from the cold.

Small birds in particular can burn so much energy keeping warm that they cannot consume enough food to replace the loss. It is therefore vital that birds not only have a good food source but a habitat with good shelter from extreme weather conditions. This is not always available so as well as supplementing their natural food supply we also need to supplement their shelter.

The recycled materials needed

1 piece of wire mesh roughly 20cm square (any off cut of light weight chicken wire or other fencing will do.)

Approximately 60 square cm. of rag - preferably water resistant, e.g. an old umbrella salvaged from a skip. Or the polyester lining to a worn out jacket.

Follow these simple instructions to make a winter roost.

Step 1

Step 1

Fold in the top corners to one another and the bottom corners to one another, twisting the wire so it hooks around itself.

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Step 2

Step 2

Fold and form the ends of the mesh so round the ends of the mesh tube and hook together half the length.

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Step 3

Step 3

You should now have a cocoon like object. Form it by hand to improve its roundness and snip off any sharp ends.

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Step 4

Step 4

Cut thin strips of cloth or just snip the ends of one side and tear off the strips. (they need to be roughly 15cm long.)

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Step 5

Step 5

When tearing cloth it will rip easily and cleanly if you tear along the warp or weft, - (see diagram).

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Step 6

Step 6

Thread ribbons of cloth through wire.

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Step 7

Step 7

Thread ribbons of cloth through wire.

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Step 8

Step 8

Cover the entire mesh in knotted ribbons, - the more the better. Remember the denser the covering the greater is its waterproofing and insulating quality.

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Step 9

Step 9

Check the roost for any gaps and sharp wires. If any sharp wires are pointing into the roost just bend them outwards so the bird does not get harmed by them. Also check that the entrance to the roost is clear of loose ribbon and all wire is covered with wrapped ribbon.

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Step 10

Step 10

Siting the roost correctly is vital. Choose somewhere safe from predators, wind and rain. Also make sure it is well anchored by wedging it well into branches and tie it in if necessary. The best site is where a bird would naturally roost i.e. deep inside dense hedge and evergreen.

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