May 23, 2021 at 9:46 am #9163
I had a successful blue bird nest and actually saw three of the babies fledge! I didn’t see a HOSP the entire time they were nesting. Two days after fledging a HOSP kept going in and out of the nest box. I looked for my Van Ert trap and couldn’t find it, so ended up ordering one from Ebay two days ago.
After a couple of days the female HOSP joined him, and they started building a nest. Maybe I shouldn’t have done this, but since I didn’t have a Van Ert trap I put up the Sparrow Spooker. It didn’t deter them. I’ve never heard of HOSP not being deterred by a sparrow spooker. After two days of nest building, I took the nest out of the box last night. They’ve started rebuilding today. The bluebirds are still coming for meal worms.
Should I keep taking the nest out of the box or let them build until the Van Ert trap arrives? I don’t want them to give up, because I really want to be able to trap them. I was going to order a second sparrow trap from here to see which one I received first, but it says it’s on pre-order as of 5/6. I have a feeling it may be difficult for me to put the screws in for the Van Ert trap. The box opens from the side and goes up instead of down. I will do it though.
East TennesseeMay 23, 2021 at 1:38 pm #9165
Carol, the reason the spooker did not deter the HOSP was because they were already committed to that box and partial nest – just like a bluebird would be. That is the reason a bluebird mama will usually not be afraid to go in the box after her egg is in there – just like being pregnant – she is committed. I would keep taking out most of the nesting material until your trap arrives, hopefully soon. At least this is keeping the HOSP busy and away from your blues.
Do you have more than one box up – this is really a good way to trap HOSP – keep them busy at one box while the blues have a chance for the other GOOD LUCK!May 23, 2021 at 1:45 pm #9166
Thank you Carol. It was only the male when I put the spooker up, and I don’t think there was nesting material in there at that time. That makes sense, though, that he was already committed to that box. I only have one box up. I hope the trap comes before it’s time for the bluebirds to start on their second nest. How old are the babies when they start on the second nest?
East TennesseeMay 24, 2021 at 8:27 am #9167
Parents will usually begin another nest after about 10 days or so – they are kept busy feeding the new fledglings and teaching them to hunt. My second nest was completely built in about 10 days and I’m expecting an egg today, as I saw them on the new box again. Trapped another HOSP this morning and another one will get it soon, as he is on a different box (I have 4 boxes).May 24, 2021 at 12:27 pm #9170
They fledged on the 19th, so I’ve still got enough time for the Van Ert trap to get here and catch the HOSPs. That’s good to know. Thank you.
East TennesseeMay 28, 2021 at 3:53 pm #9190
The Van Ert trap came today, and I installed it in the nest box after removing the HOSP nest. It took a while to install it because it’s a side entry box which makes it more difficult. I finally got it in though. I caught the female HOSP immediately but haven’t seen the male. I’m wondering if he saw me messing with the box and won’t come back to inspect it.
Another bird went in and didn’t trigger the trap. I think it was a house wren but am not sure. I can’t think of anything else it could be. It definitely wasn’t a Carolina wren. Do you think the male HOSP will come back and go in an empty box? They had been building the nest for a week, and there was an egg in it. I had to remove it to set the trap,
Unfortunately I haven’t seen the bluebirds all week. I haven’t seen the babies since they fledged on May 19th.
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by NickNackHummer.
East TennesseeMay 28, 2021 at 8:48 pm #9192ChrisParticipant
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With the Van Ert trap, if there is any HOSP nesting material in the box at all, i drag that out and throw it on the ground, and set the trap. They can’t resist grabbing that material and shoving it back in the box. You can experimenting with the trap, just barely engaging the mechanism, a “hair trigger,” so it will go off more easily.
Its kind of a pain watching the traps, you want to make sure you don’t catch any songbirds. I have a bunch of the traps, i even mounted a hook on some of the boxes, i store the trap with the box, and when i see a HOSP i go out and set it.
I have one box that is side opening and i found it too difficult to mount the trap. I use the trap itself as a template to attach the screws. When i catch a bird in the box, i throw a clear trash bag over the box and close it off, that way if they escape the box you can catch them in the bag.May 28, 2021 at 9:11 pm #9193
Chris, sounds like you are getting the hang of the VanErt – good for you on keeping an eye on it. Unless it is real hot I don’t worry about being gone for a short time (1 hr or less) and NEVER leave it set all night. I have set the trap during a prime time and after watching and nothing caught by nighttime, I stuff the hole with something for the evening and very early in the morning before it turns real light, I will go out and take out the stuffing. Just caught a male HOSP a few days doing this. P.S. I do remove most of the nesting material in before setting the trap, but do leave some so they will know it is their claim.
I have been feeding my 5 newly fledged blues, plus the parents for some time now and have three eggs in the new nest. I will go broke guying worms – however I do not give them all they want as I am a firm believer they need to hunt for their main diet. Will be gone this weekend so they will have to fend for themselves (another reason not to overfeed those worms).May 29, 2021 at 7:52 am #9194
Chris, I used a clear bag to cover the box and catch the female HOSP. It’s too hard to be positive it’s a HOSP I caught with a white bag. I learned to do that by watching a You Tube video. That’s a good idea to throw the nest on the ground beside the box. I’ve still got the nest. I think I’ll put some of it back in the box and some on the ground.
I hope the male HOSP comes back, but I have a feeling he might not until the bluebirds start coming around again. I have a feeling the bluebirds won’t be back since I haven’t seen them in a while.
East TennesseeMay 29, 2021 at 1:30 pm #9196blue diamondsParticipant
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Hmmm……I never thought about the boxes with side doors being a challenge for using the Van Ert trap. I can see where it would be difficult install. I use the clear large garbage size bags over the box also. You can see what you caught easily. Usually as soon a I catch the house sparrows the bluebirds are back within a few hours.
Judy – MichiganMay 29, 2021 at 1:53 pm #9197
Chris and Judy,
When I installed the Van Ert trap on my side door box, the instructions said to drill the holes from the outside of the box all the way through using the template. Then I just needed to screw the screws through the holes on the inside. It wasn’t as hard that way, but was still difficult to get my hands in the box to screw the screws.
I haven’t seen the male HOSP since setting the trap yesterday. I did just see a bluebird at my mealworm feeder. I haven’t seen a bluebird in a few days. I’m thinking about taking the trap out of the box for now until I see a HOSP. Maybe the bluebirds will come back to inspect the box. What would you all do?
East TennesseeMay 29, 2021 at 3:33 pm #9198
I just came back to say that I took the trap out of the box. If I see the male HOSP come back and go in the box I’ll set it up again. Maybe he’s gone, and the bluebirds can have a second nesting in the box. I am so upset with myself for not realizing that my old Van Ert trap was missing in the first place. Then I had to order one and wait a week for it to arrive.
East TennesseeMay 29, 2021 at 6:42 pm #9199blue diamondsParticipant
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You did exactly what I would have done. If you are seeing blues and no house sparrows….no need for the Van Ert trap at this time. I only use the trap while I’m watching the box. Earlier this season I trapped mr. blue…..he was released immediately. He didn’t hold that against me or the box.
Judy – MichiganMay 29, 2021 at 8:05 pm #9200
Thank you, Judy, for reinforcing that I did the right thing. I really hope the bluebirds will come back.
East TennesseeJune 7, 2021 at 7:23 pm #9251
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