One of the things to get done around here before winter is to clean out the bird houses. We have numerous birdhouses here on Twenty Seventh Street. Most of them are populated by a healthy colony of house sparrows. There is also one smaller bird house as well, which has attracted chickadees for the past 2 years.
The 4-plex in the photo is a new one this year. It supported a sparrow family in each of the apartments in its first year. On this unit, there is a back panel attached with 4 screws. Removing the panel exposes the clean-outs for all 4 apartments. With the help of a screwdriver, I pull out all the nesting material from each box. The sparrows will make new nests in spring.