May 6, 2021 at 8:46 am #9014
David and those of you who want to make your own sparrow spooker – I got my plan from www/sialis.org/sparrowspooker. There are several different plans there – I use the simple one which is Design #2 – picture shows a “green” pole with dowels in a “V” shape extending from the main stem.
The “ribbons” hanging from the dowels are a “Mylar” shiny ribbon type, which you can get online – some other big stores like Home Depot, Menards, etc. might have them – I live in a small community so have to get mine online. You can Google “bird deterrent” or something similar. You have to use your immigration on attaching the strips and dowels, but it is not hard. I WOULD NEVER BE WITHOUT MY SPARROW SPOOKER on a nestbox – never had a sparrow even try to go in one with those colorful ribbons flying around – now the wrens are a different story and of course we all know about using the wren guard, also. The only items you need to buy are wooden dowels (cheap) and the mylar ribbons which come in a roll. This website also has some extensive instructions for review. Lot of times we have to use our own common sense. Good luck – PLEASE, PLEASE, EVERYONE, try to get some kind of a spooker up – anything shiny which hangs above the roof and flies in the wind will work.
Another thing to mention – you need to watch to be sure your mama bird will go into the box to lay her other eggs (spooker IS NOT put up until 1st egg is laid) – sometimes they will be a little leery about going in – if this happens you will need to tie up all but maybe one of the ribbons until she gets used to it and then until the ribbons. That 1st egg really commits her to the box and she will usually never abandon it.
Sounds little complicated but is really easier than it sounds. Good luck.May 6, 2021 at 9:58 am #9018David in Stafford,VAParticipant
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Stafford, VAMay 6, 2021 at 3:32 pm #9019blue diamondsParticipant
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Carol…..this is my favorite tool‼️ Works like a charm. My two sets of bluebirds will set on top of the spooker and use it for a lookout.
Still chilly here, but all the babies have their feathers, so I don’t worry about the freezing nights. My 1st 2 hatchlings might fledge tomorrow. Hope to see them around the yard soon. The other 5 expected to fledge 5/11. Off to a great start this season.
Feeding live mealworms has made a huge difference in the bluebird activity in my yard. Fed live from spring until fall then switched to dried. This was the first time they have stayed all winter. Great to have them here year round.
Judy – MichiganMay 6, 2021 at 3:45 pm #9021
Thanks Carol. I need to put this up as I have eggs in my trail box.May 6, 2021 at 5:55 pm #9033
Judy, & Philly Blues – yes, the sparrow spooker is a necessity in my opinion, even one rogue HOSP in a yard can do their damage with no protection up. I am just thankful I have never had a HOSP attack, but that could change quite quickly without a spooker. P.S., yes, my blues like to stand watch on top of the spooker also.May 7, 2021 at 9:19 pm #9041SassyParticipant
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I never had a spooked up, but maybe I will get the supplies and do that when the next nest and first egg appear.
Thanks for the info.
Connie (PA)May 10, 2021 at 10:55 am #9056
I ordered some spooker tape formmy upcoming sparrow spooker. I will do whatever it takes to keep this box safe. Learned the hard way last year literally the day they fledged. Horrible. Only one made it out alive.May 10, 2021 at 8:35 pm #9066
Good luck with the spooker, Philyblues. The http://www.sialis.org website can sure help with any questions, and the creator of that website, Bet Zimmerman Smith, is always glad to help us.May 15, 2021 at 11:03 pm #9112
I got my spooker up. Looks crazy but hope it protects them.
May 16, 2021 at 1:44 pm #9114
- This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by phillyblues.
The crazier it looks, the better – just so a bright color flies in the wind! Has mama blue accepted it and going in box to incubate the eggs? If not you must either take it down or tie up some of the ribbons so not so many flying. She needs to be sitting on the eggs to keep them warm or they will not hatch. Good luck.May 16, 2021 at 8:39 pm #9120
Honestly not sure. I hope so. I didn’t know it was a high possibility they wouldn’t accept it. It isn’t in my yard so I guess they either did or didn’t. Hopefully I didn’t screw things up.May 16, 2021 at 9:21 pm #9121
Philly Blues – once a female lays eggs in a nest, it is a high commitment to that egg, just like being pregnant. In other words, the odds are really good that she did accept it – she wants to protect that egg. Not much to do now but wait. If this trail nest is not too far away are you able to check on it? It would not hurt to check on the eggs to see if they are warm – just need to lay your fingers gently on the eggs and you will tell if they are warm – no handling, just a slight touch. Just let nature take its course after that. Keeping my fingers crossed for your nest.May 17, 2021 at 10:03 am #9125
I’ll rry to get over there….I did dee the couple perched near the box on a tree a couple days after I installed it if that is any indication…but didn’t see if they went in.May 17, 2021 at 1:12 pm #9126
Great news! They accepted the spooker…..and we have BABIES!!May 17, 2021 at 1:19 pm #9127
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