Converted a Woodpecked nestbox into Bluebird roost box

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  • #4840
    nhhawk6nhhawk6
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    Spent some time, today, on a fun little project that I hope will help my flock of blues this coming winter. I had a 5-month old woodpecker nest box for the red-bellied woodpeckers who live in the big oak tree out back. They never moved in, preferring their own cavity about 45 feet up in the old tree. I took the box down, and converted it into a nice roost box for the blues. If you are familiar with these Coveside nest boxes from Maine, they are large, and well-made. The entrance for red-bellied woodpeckers is 2.5″

    I disassembled the box, to make it easier to reconfigure.

    1. I added a second entrance/exit hole.
    2. Reduced the hole sizes to 1.5″
    3. Added predator guard blocks
    4. Added copper chew guards to both predator guards
    5. Used 1/2 inch wooden dowels to make 4 staggered perches inside the box
    6. Insulated the floor and ceiling with cut-to-fit “coco grass” (the simple hanging basket liners from Lowes)
    7. Plugged the ventilation slots with 1/2″ x 1/2″ square wooden dowels
    8. Sealed every seam with a bead of clear silicon caulk
    9. Put a coat of low-odor, water-based, clear acrylic on the outside of the box

    Here are a few pictures of the finished roost box…




    It was fun, trying to put this really nice nest box to good use. I hope they take advantage of it during the cold NH winter! I had 22 blues spend last winter with me; this box could probably accommodate them all. We’ll see…

    Randy
    Bedford, New Hampshire

    #4842
    tamsea
    Moderator
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    I’m still stuck in the fact that you disassembled it and then reconfigured it. I’m mechanically challenged. Good job!

    Tammy

    #4849
    Lisa
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    Gorgeous! I still can’t figure out why my blues don’t overwinter with me in South Alabama!

    #4850
    Lisa
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    They are usually long gone by now but have decided on one more nesting. It’s unseasonably cool here.

    #4852
    nhhawk6nhhawk6
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    Thanks, Tammy and Lisa! This thing has potential, but as we all know, the blues cooperate if and when they want. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the roost box remains vacant all winter, or filled with “less-desirables”. It would disappoint me, but it wouldn’t surprise me. My wife walked into my workshop three times yesterday, and just rolled her eyes. When I tinker with it, today, she can’t do that, because it’s Father’s Day (I’m operating under the assumption that she has to tolerate my BB obsession, today). It is unseasonably cool down there, Lisa?? That’s great! Glad your pair are blessing you with another round of joy/stress/interest/anxiety! :)

    Randy
    Bedford, New Hampshire

    #4857
    Lisa
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    Exactly sums it up!!!!

    #4874
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Randy, you have quite an imagination – I can do things after I see a picture but cannot just do something from scratch. Looks great! My blues stick around all winter (they always have for 9 seasons now) but they do not roost in their box that I know of. I have caught HOSP in it but not the blues. They have some pine trees just next door in which I believe they spend a lot of their time, especially in the wintertime. Hope your new box works this winter.

    #4894
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
    • Topics started 5
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    That is so cool. All they lack now is cable and internet service. Or are you planning to add that?

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #4901
    nhhawk6nhhawk6
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    No Xfinity “Triple-Play” planned, but what about this: A heated bird bath, with a swim-up suet bar…?…

    Randy
    Bedford, New Hampshire

    #4903
    verachuckdave
    Participant
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    Sounds like some spoiled bluebirds to me. Ha Ha.

    Susan
    Pennsylvania

    #4905
    nhhawk6nhhawk6
    Participant
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    You are probably right, Susan, for the most part they are spoiled, but I try to strike a balance. I am sympathetic to the secondary cavity nesting thing, the need to get in out of the cold New England winters, and the need for nutritious food throughout the winter months. However, nobody gets any food during the nesting season. That’s just my rule. I have a refrigerator full of mealworms, but they are reserved for the fall and winter “crumble” mixture. At present, I have 13 active nests of various species on the property, but I make them figure the insect/seed/fruit thing out for themselves. It helps me keep the traffic and the predators to an absolute minimum.

    Randy
    Bedford, New Hampshire

    #4909
    verachuckdave
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    That makes sense. I definitely limit feeding during nesting season also due to predator concerns. I had to offer meal worms last summer because my mommy blue needed help when the papa died suddenly. Other than helping out a widow/widower bluebird, I let them find their own food for the babies. So far, so good. :-) Last winter, my bluebirds stuck around and ate dried meal worms and fruit.

    Susan
    Pennsylvania

    #4922
    tamsea
    Moderator
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    You haven’t brainwashed your wife to join you in your bluebird obsession yet? My husband has joined me. Sometimes he’s worse that I am!

    Tammy

    #4925
    nhhawk6nhhawk6
    Participant
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    I’ve tried, Tammy. She takes interest in bluebirding because I am interested in it… but she is not passionate about it. I actually accept that as a win, because I am fanatical about fishing, all things Boston sports, and fine bourbon by the fire out back… she HATES all of that stuff! :)

    Randy
    Bedford, New Hampshire

    #5031
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
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    She even hates the fine bourbon?

    Ah but does she cook your food and wash your socks? I bet she does.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

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