Anyone from Texas?

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  • #3920
    Dene
    Participant
    • Topics started 19
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    We have had our box up for 2 yrs and this is the 1st time we have them and always before we moved here had Martin’s. so I don’t know much about the Bluebirds nesting’s as to when do they lay eggs and how long before they hatch and how long before they leave the nest? Here in Montgomery County TX. just North of Houston.
    We have some shrubs we need to take down and need to use a Power Saw and I didn’t know we had any in the box because haven’t seen any around for the last 3 days, so went to the box to look inside and the mom flew out at me then went right back in when I quickly went back into the house without opening the box. My guess is she has eggs? How do I find out we always looked into the Martin’s climbing up with a ladder, but this box is head high and I could always tell when the Matins were at the Nests, but not here, this is so different? Plus should we wait until the babies hatch and are gone before using the chain saw? How long does it all usually take for Bluebirds to be done with it all here in Texas?
    Thanks for any help appreciate,
    Dene

    #3924
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
    Participant
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    Dene, first of all – Welcome. I live in mid-Missouri, so time frame would be a little different as far as 1st nesting, 2nd, etc. After the mama is doing laying eggs (usually one a day for 4-6 days) she will then begin incubating them (sitting on them most all of the time). They usually hatch around 14 days after incubation begins, and then approximately 17-19 days they will fledge, or leave the nest. They are pretty tolerant of noise, but if possible I would wait on the chain saw until they hatch, unless it is a pretty good distance away from where you need to cut the shrubs. It is really important to monitor a bluebird’s nest, to prevent possible problems, like predators, wasps nests, ants or broken eggs or dead babies. The blues do not mind this monitoring, as long as it is not overdone. She will leave the nest so you can look in for a minute or 2 and she will return quickly to keep the eggs warm.
    The suggested pole height is 5′ from ground to box hole so you can monitor. A little more height is good and if needed, use a very short stepstool to see in. But 5′ is really good. I am just 5′ tall so I do have to use a short step stool to see in. Our bible for bluebirding here is http://www.sialis.com – it has about any and all answers you could come up with. My bluebirds stay here all winter, along with the juveniles from the last nesting. I do feed them mealworms (ONLY as a treat) and they come to my whistle every morning and late afternoon. Good luck.

    #3925
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    sorry, double post.

    #3931
    Dene
    Participant
    • Topics started 19
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    Thank You Carol :mademyday:

    #3935
    Bluebirdie
    Participant
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    Hi Dene, I’m from Louisiana, just outside of Shreveport, so we should have similar schedules on nesting in general. My bluebirds usually start nest building early to mid-March. The first clutch of this year fledged a couple of days ago.
    It may be that your pair are just getting a late start or maybe had to leave their previous box for some reason. Anyway, I know you’ll enjoy having them!
    :bluebird6:

    -Martha

    #3982
    tamsea
    Moderator
    • Topics started 26
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    Welcome, Dene. Carol seemed to answer all your questions so I just wanted to say hi. Using the chain saw for a short time isn’t going to bother her. You can monitor them just like you can Martins. (I have martins). After this nesting do what Carol suggested and make that pole that the house is on so you can monitor the nests. It is on a pole, right? If not, please put it on a slick metal pole. Glad to have you here.

    Tammy

    #3990
    David in Stafford,VA
    Participant
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    Tammy is right about the chain saw. I was just out in the back yard a ways behind the nestbox using my wood chipper/shredder for about 6 hours today. Both mama and papa bird fed the young as if I wasn’t there. I would stop putting tree branches into the chipper to watch – but did not shut down the chipper until I left for lunch and then at the end of the day. As long as you are not interfering with their nest they will probably ignore you.

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #4073
    Dene
    Participant
    • Topics started 19
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    Thank You all for your info, we have the box on a metal pole and I cut a plastic Bleach bottle in half and wrapped around the bottom of the pole and sprinkled ant killer around the pole 1st because we have so many darn ants here and they move around a lot. Our pole is not round but a pole like one that holds new trees up from the wind. knock on wood no Sparrows interest here so far. And I let my dog out a lot during the day and she barks at everything, but seems to like the BB’s.
    We have 4 eggs noticed on April 28 and a couple real windy days, with rain and colder but Mom hung around in the box and the parent birds are still coming around often now but not staying all the time as the weather is now warm enough to not have to sit on eggs, but tomorrow we are expecting here another bad morning then evening so keeping our fingers crossed. And we cancelled the chain saw until after the babies are gone the bushes are really to close to the box.

    #4078
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Anyone else here have concerns about the ant killer around the pole?

    #4089
    Dene
    Participant
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    I would be except there is no way the birds can get to the ant killer, the dog either. The only concern is the re-barb around the pole that is there to keep the pole up straight in the 25 – 45 hr winds we have had off an on lately. The plastic around the pole is also helping to cover that. The re=bard will be removed after the babies hatch so they cannot fall on it when trying to fledge. <http://www.raydene.com/special_5/s5.htm&gt;

    #4090
    Dene
    Participant
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    SORRY use link lik

    I would be except there is no way the birds can get to the ant killer, the dog either. The only concern is the re-barb around the pole that is there to keep the pole up straight in the 25 – 45 hr winds we have had off an on lately. The plastic around the pole is also helping to cover that. The re=bard will be removed after the babies hatch so they cannot fall on it when trying to fledge. <http://www.raydene.com/special_5/s5.htm;

    #4091
    Dene
    Participant
    • Topics started 19
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    I would except there is no way the birds can get to the ant killer, the dog either. The only concern is the re-barb around the pole that is there to keep the pole up straight in the 25 – 45 hr winds we have had off an on lately. The plastic around the pole is also helping to cover that. The re=bard will be removed after the babies hatch so they cannot fall on it when trying to fledge. <http://www.raydene.com/special_5/s5.htm;

    [/quote]

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Dene.
    #4092
    Dene
    Participant
    • Topics started 19
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    • Total Posts 67

    I would except there is no way the birds can get to the ant killer, the dog either. The only concern is the re-barb around the pole that is there to keep the pole up straight in the 25 – 45 hr winds we have had off an on lately. The plastic around the pole is also helping to cover that. The re=bard will be removed after the babies hatch so they cannot fall on it when trying to fledge. <http://www.raydene.com/special_5/s5.htm;

    #4093
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Denene, I was concerned that some “ant killers” work over a period of time (Terro) and does not kill the ants immediately like a spray would, and of course no one would use a spray at a box. I was thinking about possibility of a bird eating ants which had ingested poison might be harmful to them. There is a nonchemical product called DE (Diatomaceous Earth) that is supposed to be able to used safely around animals/birds. Even recommended to put underneath bird nests if you have a problem with mites/ants & food grade is even used in some food. They ingest it and it somehow dehydrates the insect & they die within 24 hours – cannot hurt anything by just coming in contact with it – must eat it. DE apparently needs to be kept dry, which in this crazy weather we are getting, would not be possible. Anyone here used DE?
    Denene, I’m sure you have researched what you are doing – this thought just popped into my mind about the birds eating ants that had taken poison. I did buy some DE when I had my ant infestation this year in case I could not do a nest exchange, but I was able to do that and did not use the DE. Good luck.

    #4098
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
    • Topics started 5
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    I think the simplest way to guard against ants is to grease the pole by reaching up under a raccoon baffle and applying the grease there. I use lithium grease and it lasts a very long time.

    You really do need a raccoon baffle on the pole. The birds would be so much safer from snakes, raccoons (everybody has them), and any other 4 legged critters.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

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