Grand Central Station!

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  • #4703
    verachuckdave
    Participant
    • Topics started 23
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    • Total Posts 207

    I just wanted to share that it’s like Grand Central Station at my bluebird/tree swallow pole! I never thought in a million years that I would have such success when pairing two houses on the same pole. It is a flurry of activity in my backyard. The bluebird parents are coming and going constantly to feed their five babies. The tree swallows are flying in and out of their house feeding their babies (not sure how many). I wish I knew exactly when the eggs hatched. I feel pretty certain that it was around Memorial Day Monday. They have to be getting ready to fledge soon, but I peeked at the bluebirds just a couple of days ago and they looked too young to go, so I’m not sure. I am just so amazed that the swallows will cruise in and out of their house while the bluebird sits on the sparrow spooker. I am concerned that we are looking at temperatures in the 90’s for the next 3 days. I don’t have any kind of heat protection on the houses. Should I try to put something on when the babies are so close to leaving?

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by verachuckdave.

    Susan
    Pennsylvania

    #4720
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
    • Topics started 5
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    • Total Posts 661

    If you can add heat shields without disturbing the occupants you can do that but I wouldn’t worry too much if the boxes get afternoon shade and already have good vents.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #4731
    verachuckdave
    Participant
    • Topics started 23
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    • Total Posts 207

    Unfortunately, the boxes do not get shade at all. They are dead center in an open area of my back yard beyond the deck and a swimming pool. The swallow house sits higher on the pole than the bluebird house, so it shades the bluebird house for a good bit of the day. I cut styrofoam into panels, glued spacers on the bottoms, and attached them to the top of the bluebird house and the sides facing the setting sun of both houses. I am not sure how well they will hold up if we get storms and wind, but for now they are providing a little bit of a buffer from the sun. Both sets of birds were not happy with me while I was working, but I kept it quick, and they are back to work feeding all of those babies!

    Susan
    Pennsylvania

    #4739
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
    • Topics started 5
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    • Total Posts 661

    It’s amazing what they will tolerate.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #4748
    Lisa
    Participant
    • Topics started 21
    • Replies 613
    • Total Posts 634

    If my calculations are right in South Alabama mine should hatch Thursday. So far we are in in the 80’s but calculating fledge will be close to July. I’m going to have to rig up heat shields on top of wren guard, sparrow spooker, and snake guard. My poor box is gonna be the tackiest one ever.
    I have the styrofoam ready to deploy.
    My neighbors may have me committed!

    #4752
    verachuckdave
    Participant
    • Topics started 23
    • Replies 184
    • Total Posts 207

    That’s funny. My husband has been raising a few eyebrows at my set-up as well! I’ve even seen the farmers who work the land behind my house looking at it. They just think I’m crazy. :-D

    Susan
    Pennsylvania

    #4754
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
    Participant
    • Topics started 110
    • Replies 1058
    • Total Posts 1168

    I put my Styrofoam heat shield on just before we left town last weekend. I’m glad I did because temps are going to be in the mid-90’s today with heat index close to 100. I see no reason not to put it on, if it is available, and I have a shield for all 4 boxes. Of course, I live in a rural subdivision with no homeowners association to deal with, either! I’m keeping my fingers & toes crossed for the next 2 or 3 days until fledging. Everything is going smoothly right now but am worried about them reaching the hole for fledging because of the thin, low nest. (see my post about 5 New Baby Blues).

    #4755
    verachuckdave
    Participant
    • Topics started 23
    • Replies 184
    • Total Posts 207

    I understand your concern. My bluebirds chose my larger tree swallow house which is a little deeper and has a wider base. I keep expecting to see peeking, but none so far. The tree swallow house came with a small square of wire mesh screwed to the inside wall just below the hole. It should provide good material for the little ones to climb up. . . I hope.

    Susan
    Pennsylvania

    #4764
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
    • Topics started 5
    • Replies 656
    • Total Posts 661

    Yours are going to get out too, Susan. I promise they can. Remember when they come out they are pretty much full size adults with really short tails.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #4770
    verachuckdave
    Participant
    • Topics started 23
    • Replies 184
    • Total Posts 207

    Thanks, Gin. I am a school teacher who is now off for the summer, so I have extra time to watch the house. I’m also nervous about my tree swallows. I understand that they must take flight as soon as they leave the house. If they drop to the ground, there is little hope for survival. I don’t know which babies to expect first. Both sets of parents have been feeding from dawn to dark.

    Susan
    Pennsylvania

    #4772
    dlibby
    Participant
    • Topics started 12
    • Replies 28
    • Total Posts 40

    i’m not sure that is quite true about the tres dropping to the ground, I have a box for tres and last year one was out on the ground and after quite sometime I felt bad and didn’t think the parents knew where it was so I put the little bird back in the box within a hour it came back out and flew up on the roof of my house. It was there for awhile when the parents showed up and off it went. I was quite pleased with the outcome. so there is some hope they can make it.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by dlibby.
    #4775
    verachuckdave
    Participant
    • Topics started 23
    • Replies 184
    • Total Posts 207

    Thanks for the info. That is very good to know! I’m not sure how many babies are in there. When I peeked in (before hatching) I could see eggs, but they were hard to count because of all the feathers covering them up. After that, I hesitated to disturb them. The parents are very protective of the house. :-)

    Susan
    Pennsylvania

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