questions please after first fledglings left

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  • #3431
    Gusano
    Participant
    • Topics started 3
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    Good afternoon/morning.. my wife and I tried the bluebirding thing about 7 years ago, living in a cookie cutter small yard neighborhood and after cats killed the bluebirds twice, the forum here recommended giving up .. so we did.. well fast forward 7 years and now my wife and I live on an acre in the country so we just finished raising our first set of 4 blues who fledged yesterday.. since this is our first fledgling.. a few questions.. 1. What is the best and cheapest way to keep ants off the pole? 2. I want to build a bigger box so we can put our spycam (from way back when) in .. but I have read that you CANNOT use treated wood.. well as far as I know, home depot and lowes only sell treated wood? Does it really make a difference ie dangerous to the blues if you use treated wood for their house? 3. We were hoping the 4 fledglings would come to our mealworm station but the parents have them hidden it appears about 3 acres away… do they/will they ever come to the mealworm station with their parents or basically after mom and dad stop feeding them they will go somewhere else?

    THanks from Galveston texas!

    #3433
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
    Participant
    • Topics started 110
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    Congrats on your 1st fledging there in Texas! The parents take the fledglings away for at least 10 days to two weeks to teach them how to hunt for food & survive predators. If you were feeding mealworms all the time during the nesting period they will very likely bring the babies back to their “hone” territory & teach them to eat the worms. Mine always do this, during the past 9 seasons, at least. The easiest & cheapest way to keep ants away from the box is to grease your pole at least 6 inches under the box with a heavy axle grease, which does not wash off. Treated wood has very harsh chemicals in it and is definitely not recommended for a bird house, as it may be toxic, especially for babies. If Home Depot or Lowes sell treated boxes, they should not, and would not be recommended for bluebirds. I know Westlake’s hardware sells bluebird boxes and they are cedar. Even WalMart sells boxes (cheap made) and they are pine I believe. A great website for all this info can be found at http://www.sialis.org. Good luck the rest of the season. P.S. My blues have built a nest but it has turned off cold again here in Mid-Missouri so I am glad no eggs yet.

    #3434
    nhhawk6
    Participant
    • Topics started 15
    • Replies 203
    • Total Posts 218

    Good morning, and congratulations on your recent success!
    All-purpose grease, applied around the pole in a 1″ ring, works well. Must be reapplied weekly to remain sticky and effective. Lowes has a fantastic traditional bluebird box made by Garden Treasures. It is cedar, and it has all of the features you will need. I typically replace the predator guard with an aftermarket piece that is also cedar, but is a little nicer and has a copper ring around the entrance to protect against squirrels. The box is $15 during the season, $9 in the late fall. Incredible value, and the bluebirds love it! Here is the link:
    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Garden-Treasures-5-5-in-W-x-12-in-H-x-8-5-in-D-Cedar-Bird-House/50333117

    Randy
    Bedford, New Hampshire

    #3442
    tamsea
    Moderator
    • Topics started 26
    • Replies 699
    • Total Posts 725

    I think you’re hoping to make your own and you aren’t finding the right wood. Ask, Frank. He would know. You can personal message him or just wait…he’ll check in here.

    Tammy

    #3445
    dpurdue
    Participant
    • Topics started 8
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    • Total Posts 62

    I would use cedar
    Darrell in KC

    #3446
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
    Participant
    • Topics started 110
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    Absolutely cedar – I have boxes that have lasted 9 years, and the new ones (Gilwood style) we have made the past year or two are cedar. Little more expensive but savings in the long run.

    #3449
    Gusano
    Participant
    • Topics started 3
    • Replies 8
    • Total Posts 11

    Hey Y’all thanks for the info! Yes we were thinking about making our own box but that lowes one that Randy sent me the link with might work.. We just need it to be a bit taller than our box we have from Walmart as the wide angle on our spy cam doesn’t show the whole nest .. why they didn’t make the angle larger who knows..

    I may just try and add an inch or two extension to the lowes one as it seemed to be quite well made with ventilation etc for the hatchlings.. and we sure need that here in the Texas heat!


    @Tamsea
    – I was going to pm frank but .. what is his screen name? Frank? :-)

    and lastly …when we were on here years ago there was a gentleman named 7th cousin George or something like that who always put up really cool close up shots of his bluebirds… Does he still come on the site?

    Thanks!

    Oh lastly .. where is a good place to buy untreated Cedar wood?

    #3450
    nhhawk6
    Participant
    • Topics started 15
    • Replies 203
    • Total Posts 218

    The Garden Treasures nest box from Lowes has the added benefit of a removable wire mesh (hardware cloth) floor, which is suspended 1/2″ off the cedar floor of the box. If you remove it, you will have additional height for your camera in an already generous compartment. FYI, I drilled two additional ventilation holes in the upper back corners of the box. Lowes/HomeDepot also sell raw western red cedar boards, and they will cut it for you, as well.

    Randy
    Bedford, New Hampshire

    #3452
    Lubricator
    Participant
    • Topics started 5
    • Replies 27
    • Total Posts 32

    Was going to post on a new topic but this one seems appropriate. Had an early hatching due to mild weather here in Mobile. The chicks have fledged and I cleaned out the nest box yesterday. To my surprise the parents are building a new nest this morning. Perhaps the male is addicted to Viagra.

    Lubricator

    #3453
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
    Participant
    • Topics started 110
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    Amazing that you already have fledglings – even in Texas that would seem early. Even though your pair are building another nest, it will probably be a spell before eggs, as they have to take off the previous nesters & teach them to hunt & defend themselves. I have a nest which I am almost sure is a BB’s but no eggs yet. We have had another period of pretty cool weather so I’m really glad there are no eggs. BUT I did see papa feeding mama yesterday, so it won’t be long. The answer to your last question is, probably! :flippingblue:

    #3463
    dogsandbirds
    Moderator
    • Topics started 5
    • Replies 656
    • Total Posts 661

    Fred! His name is Fred! And if you want to know anything at all about building boxes he’s the man. http://nestboxbuilder.com/ I don’t know anybody who knows more than he does. He would even build one for you.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #3510
    tamsea
    Moderator
    • Topics started 26
    • Replies 699
    • Total Posts 725

    Ha ha ha….did I say Frank? Gin always has to watch me. Thanks for the correction! I didn’t even know I did that.

    Tammy

    #3514
    Gusano
    Participant
    • Topics started 3
    • Replies 8
    • Total Posts 11

    Hey everyone.. Well, mom is still feeding at least one of the fledglings.. and now she has already started building nest # 2.. I threw away the nasty poop ridden old nest and gave the box a good dusting .. do I need to like disinfect it with Clorox or is that overkill?

    Also, can you PM people on this site? I was trying to PM Randy but don’t see where/how to pm people on this site. Thanks as always for all the helpful info!

    PS that emoji of the two HOSP jumping has GOT to go lol!

    #3515
    nhhawk6
    Participant
    • Topics started 15
    • Replies 203
    • Total Posts 218

    Gusano, I have no idea if one can, or how one might, PM on this site. If anyone knows, just PM me. :)

    Randy
    Bedford, New Hampshire

    #3518
    Gusano
    Participant
    • Topics started 3
    • Replies 8
    • Total Posts 11

    Well, Randy can you shoot me a text to 713 259 3080 please. I wanted to ask you some specific questions about the lowes box that you recommended (which we bought) and it would be a lot easier for me to attach the photos via cell phone pics/text then try and resize them or whatever you have to do to add them on this forum!

    Thanks

    Daniel and Mercedes

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