Bluebirds at feeder

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  tamsea 3 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #3012
    Dana
    Participant
    • Topics started 33
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    Now that the weather has turned bitter cold here the bluebirds have started coming to my feeder again! Had a flock of about 8 of them today. There were 6 females and 2 males. I have dried mealworms I put out for them. They practically inhale them. I so enjoy seeing them! They hung out at the feeder most of the afternoon. I’m thinking of putting up a 2nd feeder for them. I can’t ever get enough of these birds!

    Dana
    Lancaster, PA

    Dana
    Lancaster, PA

    #3015
    tamsea
    Moderator
    • Topics started 26
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    I love seeing my bluebirds in the winter. Unfortunately I’ve been out of town for awhile so by the time I get back home they probably won’t be used to coming around any more. The past two years they’ve only been here occasionally during the winter. Before that they were regulars.im thinking someone else is feeding them in the winter months now too.

    Tammy

    #3019
    Scot
    Participant
    • Topics started 11
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    I have a flock that came back too. Two males and two females. In the beginning they would each go in and out of the nest box I have up in which they had a baby in the Spring. I thought they were preparing to use it to roost in through the winter to keep warm at night. Then house sparrows took it over and use it daily for warmth I presume. Does anyone recommend doing anything about that, or should I leave things be until Spring?

    #3021
    Dana
    Participant
    • Topics started 33
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    Hi Tammy,
    Mine disappear for awhile too at times during the winter months, usually when there is mild spells with the weather. Once it gets colder here and stays cold I noticed they return each day as long as I keep mealworms out for them. Along with the mealworms I also try to feed them peanut butter suet and fruit, nut, and berry birdseed mix which I get from the local food or hardware store. It gives them a little variety in their diet.

    Dana
    Lancaster PA

    Dana
    Lancaster, PA

    #3022
    Dana
    Participant
    • Topics started 33
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    • Total Posts 165

    Hi Scott,
    Regarding the sparrows if they are persistent maybe try leaving the nestbox open for a few days to discourage them to look elsewhere to roost. Or try putting up a roosting box and let the bluebirds use that. Anyone else want to chime in here?

    Dana

    Dana
    Lancaster, PA

    #3023
    dpurdue
    Participant
    • Topics started 8
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    • Total Posts 62

    I would try trapping and eliminating them asap!
    They will drive all the other birds away eventually
    Darrell

    #3024
    River
    Participant
    • Topics started 4
    • Replies 28
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    I agree with Dana. Leave the box door open. Otherwise, the HOSP are going to imprint on the box and they’ll be there in the spring, ready to make more little HOSPs.

    Fred
    Waleska, GA
    NestboxBuilder

    #3025
    Scot
    Participant
    • Topics started 11
    • Replies 68
    • Total Posts 79

    Thanks all.

    Interestingly, I went in to both my boxes today to open them up, and each had a HOSP nest, which I guess they made to roost in for warmth. I removed the nests and left the boxes open.

    #3026
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
    Participant
    • Topics started 80
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    I have had success with trapping HOSP when they “take over” a box to roost in for the wintertime. Excellent time to use the Van-Ert inbox trap – not an easy job in the wintertime because have to monitor closely, but worth it when you can rid them, even if it is one at a time. Although, many here then use them as decoys in a ground trap. I believe it would be too cold at this time of year for a decoy to survive very long, though.

    #3027
    dpurdue
    Participant
    • Topics started 8
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    Please consider trapping them next time
    I have learned from experience that if left unchecked they will eventually take over and drive the other birds away.
    Good luck 🍀
    Darrell
    P S:lots of good info at sialis.com

    #3029
    tamsea
    Moderator
    • Topics started 26
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    I would have trapped them too. You might have problems with those house sparrows in the spring. Buy a Van Ert trap and anytime a HOSP starts a nest in a box….trap it. That’s my opinion.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  tamsea.

    Tammy

    #3056
    Lubricator
    Participant
    • Topics started 5
    • Replies 27
    • Total Posts 32

    Had a pair visit the nest box yesterday. This was their second visit this winter. I have homemade suet out for them but they haven’t tried it yet. I have some dried meal worms I’ll put out. I thought they only eat the live ones. Love to follow this thread.

    Lubricator

    #3221
    Lubricator
    Participant
    • Topics started 5
    • Replies 27
    • Total Posts 32

    Bluebirds haven’t tried the homemade suet I put out so I threw it out and made some changes.
    Ingredients
    • 1 cup Crisco vegetable shortening
    • 1 cup peanut butter
    • 1/2 cup nuts, chopped
    • 1 cup Quaker oats
    • 1 cup birdseed
    • 1/2 cup raisins, chopped
    • 1 cup dried mealworms
    Directions
    1. Melt 1 Crisco vegetable shortening bar and 1 cup peanut butter (on microwave less than 1 minute).
    2. In the food processor, chop and mix 1/2 cup chopped nuts, 1 cup Quakers oatmeal, birdseed, and some chopped raisins or cherries. Don’t add the mealworms yet.
    3. Allow the peanut butter and Crisco to cool before mixing with dry ingredients. Stir well.
    4. Sprinkle in mealworms (as much as you think is enough). Mold into squares or balls and freeze for 24 hours.
    5. Place in bluebird feeder and hope they eat this suet.

    Lubricator

    #3227
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
    Participant
    • Topics started 80
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    I Use Cher’s (our original Bluebird Nut administrator) peanut butter suet recipe and they (& others) have always loved it, ONCE they know there are no more worms. Her recipe:
    1 cup real lard, 1 cup crunchy peanut butter – melt together in microwave.
    Then add 1/3 cup sugar (stir to dissolve), 2 cups oatmeal, 2 cups yellow corn meal & 1 cup wheat flour. Mix all together – it will be fairly stiff. Let cool enough to crumble into about pea size. I keep in fridge & take out about 1/2 cup each morning & feed. Other birds love this, too, so I use my cage feeder to exclude larger birds. But before I had one I just put out enough after my blues were there & ready to eat.

    #3265
    tamsea
    Moderator
    • Topics started 26
    • Replies 697
    • Total Posts 723

    I use peanut butter, lard (in the bucket from Walmart), cornmeal, oatmeal, flour, sugar (melted with lard and pb), and sometimes eggshell, sunflower seed chpd, etc.
    Lubricator….sugar mixed in with yor lard and pb mixture might help. It seems most of the recipes call for it. I use Bet’s recipe. She’s the one that wrote Sialis website.

    Tammy

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