October 31, 2019 at 3:10 pm #7784ReneeinWinslowParticipant
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I never thought I would see the day that WBU would sell decorative bird houses as a safe nest box for birds. Here’s just a few of the photos they posted.
After a few back and forth posts on FB I give up.
WBU: “Give your birds someplace warm to spend the holidays! 🥂 We’ve just recieved our newest selection of beautifully distressed bird houses 🏘, handmade in Illinois with upcycled materials. 🙌
We know what you’re thinking 🤔 – a smart bird will have finished nesting months ago. And this is true! However, chilly birds will crowd into an empty bird house on winter nights to keep warm. 🔥👍 They are then more likely to return to that house in spring!”
Me: “Decorative bird houses are Not safe havens for birds.”
WBU: “Hello Renée Curry-Harper these bird houses are functional as well as decorative! Not only do they look beautiful, but they are made with non-toxic, animal safe paints on the outside only, the entrance holes are perfectly sized for birds such as chickadees and wrens, and they have a convenient opening at the back for cleaning! While many decorative bird houses are just that – decorative, these houses were made with the birds in mind! 🙂”
Me: “Wild Birds Unlimited just because these were built with “the birds in mind” doesn’t mean they are appropriate for that use. Opened topped boxes were also built with birds in mind, they are not safe. Nor are boxes that are nailed to trees. These look too small floor size wise and not enough distance from the hole to the floor. And the floors are not recessed which would stop water seepage to the inside. Also, it doesn’t look like there is enough ventilation offered and how can one of these be monitored? I would not buy one of these for actual use. I would block the hole.”
WBU: “Renée Curry-Harper Everyone’s preferences are different, and birds are no different! 🙂 Cavity nesters especially will nest in the strangest of places – from old boots 🥾 to wreaths or vases. 🏺 These houses are actually similar in size to a standard wren or bluebird house, and while it is not easily visible from the outside, they do provide ventilation! The one thing which cavity nesters can’t easily find in the wild is housing 🏡, so if someone prefers to have something more aesthetically pleasing in their yard the birds 🐦 may choose to use it – or they may not. 🤷♀️ Ultimately, if you would prefer to use them just for decoration that is perfectly fine, there’s nothing wrong with having a beautiful house on display! 🙂 What is most important is to offer housing whenever possible, regardless of how it may look.”
Me: “Wild Birds Unlimited I have been hosting cavity nesting birds for 13 years: Eastern Bluebirds, Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse and even Prothonotary Warblers. It is not looks that counts. It is safety for the birds. Your box on the left has the walls meeting the floor which will allow water to seep inside the box that can cause wet nests and chilled eggs or nestlings. But no matter just as long as it looks good.”
- This topic was modified 3 months, 4 weeks ago by ReneeinWinslow.
When The New Wears Off The Old Shines Through.October 31, 2019 at 7:00 pm #7787SassyParticipant
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Well that was certainly some exchange but I would not consider my boxes as roosting boxes. I have seen them checking the boxes out but have not seen any birds staying in them this year. Last year I did have a woodpecker roosting in one. This year I am seeing very few birds but maybe when we all start filling our bird feeders things will change.
I for one would not purchase any of their boxes as a roosting box. Would avoid them too as birthing boxes too.
ConnieNovember 3, 2019 at 6:59 pm #7791tamseaModerator
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Yep, some of those are way to shallow, even for a chickadees. What I’ve realized about WBU is that they will sell whatever sells! I always cringe when someone shows off their bluebirds living in one of those things.
TammyNovember 12, 2019 at 6:00 pm #7792David in Stafford,VAParticipant
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I am disappointed at that whole display. I would get a nestbox from Lowe’s before I would use one of those things.
Connie, I put my nestbox back up a few weeks ago after I saw 3 blues sitting on and near my empty pole. It has been cool here but now is beginning to get cold at night. I do see the bluebirds on and off the box but have yet to see them enter at night or leave in the morning. I do see droppings in the box though and have cleaned them out on the weekends. Someone is using it.
Have a good winter everyone.
Stafford, VANovember 12, 2019 at 8:56 pm #7793SassyParticipant
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David, my blues are still here, all 6 of them, I see them almost every day. It is going to be bitterly cold tonight but I have a feeling they are either staying in a huge hemlock tree here in the yard or down the road in an old barn.
I still have live mealworms so I am giving them those along with the freeze dried ones.
So far I have not seen them staying in the nest boxes, but I have not opened them to check that out. It will be interesting to see if they remain for the remainder of the winter.
Wishing you a good winter too.
ConnieJanuary 19, 2020 at 1:49 pm #7800dogsandbirdsModerator
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Good for you Renee but it’s kind of like hitting your head against a wall. What bothers me the most about those stores is that somebody who knows nothing will go into one, buy one of those awful boxes, take it home and most likely put it on a tree or fence. The person who sold it, be it store owner or employee, often doesn’t have a clue. Sad really.
Atlanta, GAJanuary 19, 2020 at 5:43 pm #7802Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
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Yes, Gin, it is like hitting your head against a brick wall – but we cannot just let things that are wrong slide, especially when our precious birds are concerned. Just like human concerns, if no one speaks out when something is wrong, it cannot be fixed. Right? (P.S. Regarding my last statement, I do believe when we address these matters, they need to be done respectfully, not hatefully)
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