Behavior Questions

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  • #3843
    dogsandbirds
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    About how far from the ground are the branches? I don’t have a problem with a box under trees as long as they are tall. Snakes aren’t in the habit of dropping 20 feet or more.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #3844
    Love my blues!
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    I’ve had a pair of CARW for ~ 3 years now & just love them. They seem to mind their own business & are always together. Little cuties!

    #3845
    Brad
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    The trees would be about 10 feet above the box. But that location is only 30 feet from my feeder for other birds. Who knew it would be so hard to find an acceptable location in my little yard.

    There is a decent spot in my front yard, but I thought that even though I live in the back of a quiet neighborhood, the slight car and human traffic would deter the birds. Maybe not. Either way, it’s a less desirable option as the predator baffle isn’t the most attractive thing to have in a front yard.

    I hadn’t really wanted to, but I could put it in the middle of my grass in the backyard I guess. It still wouldn’t be easy to get it far enough from that line of evergreens that the wrens or whatever came out of to access my box where it is now. I didn’t think a single row of evergreens would be too much, but perhaps I was wrong there.

    4 inches of rain and will keep coming down so it will not be today that I can get photos of my options.

    #3853
    David in Stafford,VADavid in Stafford,VA
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    I can only echo what has been said above. The best place for a nestbox is in the open yard/field with no close shrubs or trees. Ideally, you should have 15-20 feet of space from overhanging branches or tall fencing, posts, shrubs, etc. to prevent dropping squirrels,snakes, and other critters from getting to your nestbox. Squirrels can and do jump quite a distance. Those overhanging branches and shrubs are also habitat for wrens, sparrows, and other threats to the Blues.

    Here is a shot of my box. I have about an acre + and the width is about 165′ The box is located about 75′ from a big maple on the left and about 35′ from the trees behind. There is another big maple and a Persimmon tree 85′ to the right. I keep the branches pruned to keep them being used as launch areas. If you have the space, try to keep the box in an open spot.

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #3885
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
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    Brad, I have a box complete with a baffle in my front yard. People and cars go by all the time. Nobody is using it right now though. But then they aren’t using any of my others either. :ShakeHeadSadly:

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #3893
    Lisa
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    I wonder what’s going on Gin? I never have more than one pair but always have one. I just hate that mine leave and I never see them from May-June to Feb and my Birmingham friend gets to see hers year round. Guess it’s just too hot down here in lower Alabama.

    #3897
    Love my blues!
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    Hey Brad- I’ve got a small yard too & have my bluebird box in front yard with a big obnoxious baffle. Lots of cars & people walk by on nearby sidewalks. Had 3 EABL broods last year (15 total fledged) & 5 baby TUTI (tufted titmice) in there now. Put up a box in back this year & that’s where EABL are now. I can’t believe I haven’t heard from the HOA!

    Nicole

    #3906
    Lisa
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    Our bored idiotic HOA sent a memo saying all bird houses had to be pre-approved by the architectural committee. I let them have it! Citing the Migratory Bird treaty and all that. I had people come out in droves offering to support me, even financially, even I needed to fight for the Blues. Apparently lots of us golf course folks love our blues!
    Haven’t heard another peep from those idiots.

    #3908
    Brad
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    Hey Brad- I’ve got a small yard too & have my bluebird box in front yard with a big obnoxious baffle. Lots of cars & people walk by on nearby sidewalks. Had 3 EABL broods last year (15 total fledged) & 5 baby TUTI (tufted titmice) in there now. Put up a box in back this year & that’s where EABL are now. I can’t believe I haven’t heard from the HOA!

    Does your small yard have much open area? Now that the trees have filled in with leaves my 1/4 acre just doesn’t have much open area like people say the bluebirds prefer. But I know they’re here, I hear them all day from my office window and see them sometimes. I saw a male hunting today and swoop in and pick up a bug off the street. That was pretty cool.

    I think my issue is finding somewhere to put the box that predators won’t have easy access and the house wrens won’t like.

    I know it’s house wrens now. I heard them today and he starting building his dummy nest twice more. I cleaned it out and left the box open. I’m a bid discouraged about where to put it at the moment. I’ll try to take pictures tomorrow but any input is welcome.

    #3915
    Brad
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    Ok, here’s the possible spots in my yard. The photos make distances look greater than they are. It feels more closed in in person. Ignore the weeds and lack of mulch. I’ve been completely redoing my landscaping and killed and restarted my yard last fall. :)

    Current location (house wren filling box with sticks) – would moving it out 8 feet or so from the evergreens and fence be enough? This is my preferred spot.

    This is the other location in the backyard, but it’s close to a fence, bird bath, and lots of tree limbs nearby:

    I could put it square in the middle of the backyard, but my seed feeder is only about 25 feet from there and active with lots of birds so I thought that might not be the best choice.

    Front yard location, without a ton of grassy area but more open than the back. Here I would put it somewhere between the yellow shrub and basketball goal I guess. Maybe on the other side of the shrub in the natural area:

    thoughts?

    #3938
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
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    Brad, I think I would put it slap in the middle of the backyard and move the seed feeder. Eight feet from the fence is not far enough.

    No to the location between the goal and yellow shrub but maybe you could put it just inside your property line in the front yard, about 6 feet or so from the road.

    In any case, try to face the box away from prevailing winds. Facing northeast is always a good choice.

    I don’t know what’s going on here, Lisa, but I’m ok with it. I don’t have to have baby birds. Seen and helped a gazillion.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #3943
    Brad
    Participant
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    Brad, I think I would put it slap in the middle of the backyard and move the seed feeder. Eight feet from the fence is not far enough.

    No to the location between the goal and yellow shrub but maybe you could put it just inside your property line in the front yard, about 6 feet or so from the road.

    In any case, try to face the box away from prevailing winds. Facing northeast is always a good choice.

    I don’t know what’s going on here, Lisa, but I’m ok with it. I don’t have to have baby birds. Seen and helped a gazillion.

    Ok. How far away does the seed feeder need to be? I moved the box out about 15 feet from the fence today and the wren starting filling it with sticks within 15 minutes.

    #3948
    Lisa
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    Beautiful home and property Brad!

    Gin, I totally get it. I swear I am taking up a new hobby next year. This one leaves me too stressed out. Seriously. It’s great when things go well but the past two years have been one heartache after another. Even doing every thing I can. We just have so many darn predators.

    #3966
    Brad
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    I moved the box to the front of the house yesterday. I came home today and found some stuff in the box. I wasn’t thrilled thinking the blasted wrens found it already. Then I walked out of the garage and there was a male bluebird sitting on top of the house.

    I didn’t want to spook him, as he was staring right at me. So we just sat there for a minute or two. He moved to a nearby tree and starting singing. It’s the same male I see sitting on the house across the street (or several of them use the same spot).

    What is he likely doing? Just claiming a space in case? Or is there a chance he’s actually wanting to use the box soon? I’m happy to have progress at a minimum. Much better than the young HOWR and HOSP that seems to be enjoying my backyard now.

    #3967
    David in Stafford,VADavid in Stafford,VA
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    It sounds like he is trying to claim the box and is calling for the mate. Keep a watch for the wrens and sparrows but if you see the grass circle you have a BB nest on the way. Good luck, Brad.

    David
    Stafford, VA

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