Any way to help birds stay cool when they've nested in a metal container?

A pair of Bewick’s wrens in my yard have unfortunately chosen a metal watering can as a nesting box, and there are definitely chicks inside — see observation here to get a look at the container in question. I was hopeful that the weather would stay relatively cool, but alas, we’re supposed to get temps above 90°F this coming weekend, and I’m worried that the birds will overheat.

Google hasn’t given me much advice other than “don’t let birds nest in metal containers” (and I’ll definitely remove the watering can once these birds move on), but I was wondering if there’s anything I could do at this stage to help them survive the heat wave. There are water sources in my yard, and I’ve moved some plants to block as much sun as possible. Any other tips? Thanks in advance!


I think blocking sunlight is your best bet. Absorbing and conducting/radiating heat effectively is what makes metal hotter to the touch than it’s surroundings. If the heat source is sunlight, and that’s blocked/removed, the temp of the metal should be very similar to the surrounding environment. You could consider shade cloth/tarp barrier to block as much sunlight as possible. It might also be possible to move the container a little bit without disturbing the parents too much and causing abandonment, but I’d suggest using other options first. If it’s a choice between the chicks dying and trying to move though, I’d try to move.


A cooler or icepack next to the watering can could maybe radiate coolness? Shade and blocking sunlight along with cold source. The fact that it’s hanging makes it tricky. There’s a shelf right next to the watering can, maybe stick a long plank on that shelf for shade, so it’s right above the watering can?

Other than that, I’d give them a birdbath or dish with icewater. Clean and replace when needed. That way, the parents can at least stay hydrated and care for the chicks.

Good luck!

Would recommend some shades, tiny leather jackets, and little cigarettes to help them stay cool.


Thanks for the replies! I was able to put up a small lattice panel to block more sun. And luckily the forecast was revised down to mid-80s this weekend, so I think the babies should be safe.


This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.