May 28, 2016 at 3:43 pm #2125
I set a Bluebird house in our yard this spring and had two Bluebirds using it for about two months now.They were very active. I saw our cat trying to get at it a week ago,the birds were flying at him to protect their nest,and now we haven’t seen the two adult bluebirds in a few days. I opened the box,wearing gloves,to check on it and there are several eggs in it.I put the nest on a post,about 8 feet high, but the cat figured a way to get onto it from the fence a few feet away.I haven’t found any bluebird remains or anything that would indicate that he got them at all. They’re just not around lately. So I learned my lesson and next spring we’ll move it much higher to catproof it.
My 9 yo is heartbroken that they may have abandoned the eggs and begged me to search out if there is any way to incubate them.Would a nature preserve come get them?
Thanks for any input at all!May 28, 2016 at 8:57 pm #2127David in Stafford,VAParticipant
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Sorry to hear about your experience. You need to do a little preparation for the next event. You do not have to move your box higher. 6 feet will do IF the nest box is protected from predators. Many of us use either metal or PVC pipe to mount the box on and protect the box with a baffle. I have included a photo of the one I use. It is a 2 foot section of stainless stove pipe with a cap. I cut a hole in the cap to put it on the pole/ I use 2 long screws in the PVC pipe to set the baffle on to allow it to rock in case something tries to climb it. I have place several discs cut from galvanized hardware cloth that also fit inside the baffle to keep critters and snakes from trying to climb up inside the baffle. I have stuffed smaller pieces of the hardware cloth in the small gaps in the cuts made on the metal cap for protection also.
If possible your box should be away from fences and trees where squirrels, cats, and other critters could leap to the box.
I hope that you are able to get another pair of BB to use your nestbox. Keep us posted on your activity.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by David in Stafford,VA.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by David in Stafford,VA. Reason: wording
Stafford, VAMay 28, 2016 at 9:05 pm #2129David in Stafford,VAParticipant
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How long have the birds been away? I have not heard of anyone being able to “incubate and raise” birds from the wild. This is just natures way. If the birds have been gone for more than a couple of weeks then you are going to have to start over. Clean out the nestbox of the nest and eggs and put the box back up. Then it is just “wait and see”
Stafford, VAMay 29, 2016 at 10:05 pm #2134Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
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There is no practical way to incubate the eggs – even if they were hatched, something (parents or other birds) needs to show them how to hunt for food & stay away from predators. There are song bird rehabbers which sometimes will try to save young ones, but they aren’t always able to be successful. I had 4 eggs hatch one time after mama died or was killed, after they had no incubation for 2 or 3 days! Papa was still around but would not feed the babies because he knew they needed mama for the first few days of life. I contacted a rehabber in Kansas City area but she did not give me much hope for them and they perished. They are now buried in our garden. Just clean out box & hope for a nest – good luck. And yes, put up a proper baffle & keep box a good distance from fences or trees where predator can climb or jump, as David says.May 30, 2016 at 10:00 am #2136
Thank you very much David & Carol. They’ve been gone about a week now. I neglected to mention they’d already had some chicks this spring so we were hopeful they’d return. I’m going to clean it out and post it on our patio awning post. That will put it about 8-12 feet up and safe from “Buddy” our tabby!
BobMay 30, 2016 at 7:29 pm #2137dogsandbirdsModerator
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They are not going to be safe on the awning post either. Just think of snakes and raccoons. If you don’t think you have those around, you do. On a slick, baffled pole well away from bushes, fences and low overhanging tree branches is really the safest place.
Atlanta, GAMay 30, 2016 at 8:24 pm #2139
Ok. Thanks! We get water mocassins from the creek behind our house but they’re never near the patio. And I’ve never seen raccoons in our yard,just oppossums,rabbits,squirrels and rarely (thanks to the cat) mice. But I’ll keep that in mind.June 1, 2016 at 1:27 pm #2156Rich KParticipant
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Get rid of the cat!!!
June 1, 2016 at 1:43 pm #2158Donna in WIParticipant
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First off, you need to keep your cat indoors. If you are worried about it having scared off the blues, think of what it could do to newly fledged birds that cannot fly well.
Second if you think you don’t have coons, think again. They are pretty much everywhere in the US, they hunt at night so often you do not see them. Please don’t put the house up on anything that a predator could climb up and set the birds up for failure. Mount it on a piece of 1″ conduit with a wobbling stovepipe predator baffle and place at least 15 feet away from anything a predator could jump from.
Donna in WIJune 1, 2016 at 10:56 pm #2178Love my blues!Participant
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Ditto to everyone else’s comments. Box must be on slick pole with wobbly baffle. Otherwise, climbing predators of any type could get to them & WILL at some point down the road. Hope it all works out!
NicoleJune 10, 2016 at 12:31 pm #2328tamseaModerator
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I thought I didn’t have raccoons either. Boy was I wrong! You just don’t see them because they are only there when it is dark and everyone is asleep. Pole and baffle….is my suggestion too. Otherwise your bluebirds will never make it.
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