Can a sparrow spooker be used before the 1st egg?

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  • #6380
    blue diamonds
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    Need suggestions…….I have paired two boxes 15’ apart. Hoping to get bluebirds and tree swallows. Today I have bluebirds, tree swallows, house sparrows and wrens all trying to claim the boxes. I’m thinking if I put up spookers now at least the house sparrows will be detoured. If the bluebirds and tree swallows want the boxes maybe they won’t mind the spookers. Hoping the wren will go away. Any ideas?
    Thanks, Judy-Michigan

    #6381
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Judy, well I can see your problem. But the rule of thumb is to not put up the spooker or guard before the 1st egg or the blues may not accept the box and thus, no BB eggs. But every situation is different. A lot would depend I believe on whether these blues are “your pair” and have previously accepted predator controls. I truly believe the ideal situation is to have more than one box up, at least 2 or possibly 3, so that you can let the HOSP & wrens bond to one box and keep them busy taking out their nesting material and they will keep trying. I realize not everyone has the room or desire to have more than one box, but this is the ideal situation. Right now I have been removing HOSP (& trapping) & wren material from 3 boxes and the bluebirds have 5 eggs in their box. Other people here may have a different solution.

    #6386
    blue diamonds
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    Thank you Carol. This is my second year for trying, so I’m still new at this. Last year I had a BB nest with two eggs that something destroyed. They didn’t return. This could be a new pair or last years. I never knew it was so hard to have successful bluebird nests. I do have two sets of bluebird boxes, two in front of my house and two in the back yard. Yesterday they were trying for a front box. This morning they are trying for a back box. Let’s hope they get an egg soon so I can get a spooker and wren guard up. Can I put them up at the same time?
    Thanks Judy-Michigan

    #6387
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Again, rule of thumb is one guard at a time, to be sure mama accepts the 1st one, and then put up the other one – you will need to sort of monitor her after that 1st guard is put up to be sure she goes in & lays another egg. Good luck.

    #6435
    tamsea
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    You may not need a spooker while you have the wren guard up. The problem is both house sparrow and wren have probably already scoped out that box so they know it’s there. Wren guards work best when the wren doesn’t realize there’s a hole there. The wren guard deterred my friends wrens and her HOSP. As soon as she had to remove the wren guard the HOSP were interested so up went the spooker. I think that’s what I would do.

    Tammy

    #6480
    blue diamonds
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    Yay!!! I got the 1st bluebird egg in my box. So, up went the wren guard, with sides. I gave them 4” clearance between the guard and entrance slot. So far so good……today was the 2nd egg. I’m still afraid of the HOSP. I do have a spooker to put up, but if the wren guard doubles as a spooker……guess I’ll just keep watch. The guard should be removed seven days after hatching? That’s when I should put up the sparrow spooker? Thank you all for your help, there is so much to learn about bluebirding that I never knew. It is a labor of love and rewarding.
    Judy-Michigan

    #6483
    dogsandbirds
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    You can start using the spooker now. Just watch for acceptance as usual.

    I leave guards on way longer…10-12 days. They aren’t going to fledge before that and are big enough that a HOWR can’t remove them.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #6484
    blue diamonds
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    Thanks Gin. Today there is a third egg. The last couple days it has been super hot here. Temps in the low 90’s, is that too hot for eggs? The box gets full sun most of the day. Do I need to think about how the shade it?
    Judy-Michigan

    #6485
    dogsandbirds
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    You might have to think about shading at this point to avoid overheating the eggs.

    There are lots of ways to do this: umbrellas, shade cloth, Styrofoam pieces with spacers to allow air flow, increasing ventilation of the box itself, etc. People have done lots of things to combat the heat and most methods work quite well.

    I’m sure others will pop up with ideas and pictures.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #6488
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Believe heat shields are necessary, especially if box has no shade, like all of mine. This shield is easy, inexpensive & can be used again and again. Will try to post picture but may not work. Just made of 3/4 or 1″ white styrofoam with about 1/2 to 3/4″ spacers between shield & wood, used on back of box, south side and top. North side not necessary and of course front needs to be open.

    P.S. Just found out need to right click on icon & say “open in new tab” and then full picture will come up in a new tab (may have to click on the tab with Google).

    carol heat shield

    #6524
    blue diamonds
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    Carol, I couldn’t view your photo, but I understand the idea. Things are going very well so far. They have 5 eggs that should hatch around the 12th. Super excited.
    Thank you all for your help.
    Judy-Michigan

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