July 23, 2016 at 5:33 pm #2791The Original Bluebird NutAdmi-nut-strator
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Mrs. Robin laid another clutch of eggs in a nest built in a smoke bush next to our side door. The eggs disappeared without a trace.
Mrs. Bluebird laid five eggs in a beautiful nest in the back box on the north side of the property. They have been there for about a week. Today I looked – GONE.
In both cases, no sign of disturbance to the nest, no egg fragments on the ground. The bluebird box is baffled (stovepipe baffle), no overhanging branches, spooker in place, no signs of scratching on the box or on the baffle.
This is the fourth or fifth batch of eggs to just mysteriously go missing this year. I’m suspecting the squirrels, or the chipmunks, or maybe snakes (we have little garden snakes), but what more can I do other than baffle? Maybe I need to grease the pole up under the baffle for next year. I’ve never had to do that before.
TMB StudiosJuly 23, 2016 at 8:43 pm #2793Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
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Bummer Cher – it’s bad enough when you know what got the eggs (like mine by house wren last month), but to not know for sure is really frustrating. Sounds like you have it all covered, though. I have greased my pole right underneath the box when I had ant problems – took care of them for sure. Right now it is the heat I’m worried about, but mama is hanging there on these almost 100 degree days!July 24, 2016 at 3:20 pm #2797David in Stafford,VAParticipant
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Cher, you might try using several circle layers of hardware 1/4″ hardware cloth, offsetting each layer to prevent snakes or anything else from climbing the pole under your stovepipe. I cut the circles to fit inside the stovepipe and mount it above the pivot screws. I use scraps of the cut cloth about 2-4 squares wide and bend the edge wires down to make a sharp and prickly surface on the lower circle. I am not sure if it is sharp enough to pierce the skin of a snake but it could be irritating enough to make it want to look elsewhere. It is tedious work to make the circles but it gives me a feeling of security with my stovepipe.
I have also heard of using a scrambled mesh of chicken wire wrapped around the pole inside the baffle.
Stafford, VAJuly 26, 2016 at 1:03 am #2801Love my blues!Participant
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Hi Cher- I have a friend in south AL that kept losing eggs & babies to snakes this year after years of no problems. She finally built a Krueger guard & wrapped it around pole & had a successful clutch fledge a few weeks ago. It’s made out of garden netting & snakes get caught up in it when climbing the pole. I’ve heard to use Noel guards for snakes, but don’t know how well they work?
I wonder who the culprits are? Sure hate to hear that. So sorry!
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