BB or HOSP nest?

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  • #3339
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Every year I have this problem – I should not be asking after 9 years of doing this, but here is – I was inspecting my boxes today and found this nest with a very nice cup in it. The grasses used are not fine or pine needles, more coarse, BUT there is no junk in it, like normal for HOSP. I had this problem last year and was taking out this coarse grass, and then later realized that it was a bluebird’s nest and left it alone and eggs were laid. I am going to try to post photo here and need opinions. I have been fighting (& trapping) off HOSP from other boxes, but this box is in the very back of my 1 1/2 acre yard, about 300′ away from my house & these other boxes.
    bb or HOSP nest
    This pic is taken from the top of the box so you cannot see the cup very well.

    #3342
    Lisa
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    It looks like a BB nest to me…I have tons of pine straw around but mine this year are very grassy like that one. Hope I am right! Best of luck!

    #3371
    tamsea
    Moderator
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    The only thing that bothers me is those loose light colored pieces of grass on top. Those look HOSPish. You’ll know in a day or too, it will start having that hooded look very quickly.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by tamsea.

    Tammy

    #3379
    dogsandbirds
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    The nest looks good to me but time will tell. It could go either way but I’m betting on EABL.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #3380
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Thank you all! Tammy, I could have disturbed the nest when I was trying to get a picture, although I did not touch the nest, but maybe shook the box somewhat and could have dislodged that piece. The male HOSP (I have caught 4 or 5 different with VanErt) is busy at a different box, so I am keeping fingers, toes, & eye crossed that the blues can get their eggs laid. I have seen the blues at these two back boxes, but it is a distance & obscured by a big tree in between my house & the box. Time will tell. P.S. I do think it works well to let the HOSP keep busy at one box, trapping when ready. and then letting another pair or the male keep on trying! In other words, I truly believe it is necessary to save one box for trapping HOSP!

    #3395
    tamsea
    Moderator
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    Let’s see it now, Carol. I bet it’s more clear.

    Tammy

    #4198
    Sparky
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    Please excuse my ignorance…I am new to this forum. I know BB = Bluebird. But, what is HOSP? Thank you in advance.

    #4200
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    No problem Sparky – I didn’t know either at first. HOSP is short for House Sparrow, a little brown bird that was introduced from England I believe in the 1800’s, and since has been a threat to all native birds here in North America. To sum it up, they are vicious in their wanting to take all other birds’ nest boxes and will go in and destroy eggs, but most horrible is they will go in and catch a BB inside the box and kill them, usually by pecking their heads and eyes. Outside the box most birds can defend themselves, but not when they are trapped inside with a killer bird. Please check on http://www.sialis.org for information on this and pictures to identify them. Since they are not protected under the Migratory Bird Act, it is legal to dispose of them, however you see fit. Most people on this forum use what’s called a Sparrow Spooker on top of their box which is a deterrent for the HOSP. In fact, I just 5 minutes ago put a spooker on my box, since I have two new BB eggs today – yesterday I put up the wren guard (since I definitely have a house wren around) and mama accepted it okay and laid the 2nd egg, so then up goes the spooker. You do NOT put these up until mama lays the 1st egg, as it might keep them from choosing a box & laying eggs.

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