What else can I do?

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This topic contains 61 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  verachuckdave 3 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #2767
    Love my blues!
    Participant
    • Topics started 9
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    The only other thing you can do about HOSP is trap & shoot. By law, you’re allowed to euthanize them, but that’s a personal preference. Lots of knowledge on this site about trapping HOSP…

    Nicole

    #2771
    verachuckdave
    Participant
    • Topics started 23
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    I will definitely continue feeding Mama Blue and her babies for a few months. Do you think I should take the birdhouse off of my fence after this group leaves? I am assuming that the bluebirds go south in the winter months??? I live in south central Pennsylvania.

    Do the house sparrows still pose a threat to the babies AFTER they have left the birdhouse?

    Thank you very much!

    Susan
    Pennsylvania

    #2777
    The Original Bluebird Nut
    Admi-nut-strator
    • Topics started 23
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    • Total Posts 148

    I’d definitely take the nestbox off the fence and mount it on a slick metal post with a predator baffle. Bluebirds sometimes stay around all winter, but they won’t use the nestbox, except for possibly a roosting box.

    The HOSP don’t bother the birds too much once they’re out of the box. The HOSP is no match for a Bluebird out in the open – it’s inside the nestbox where they have the upper hand … er… beak, so to speak.


    Central NY
    TMB Studios

    #2778
    David in Stafford,VADavid in Stafford,VA
    Participant
    • Topics started 35
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    After the birds fledge you should take the nestbox down and clean it. I put my nestbox up again for those BB’s that stay over the winter. Have you noticed the bluebirds in the winter where you are. We are about 200 mi south of you and I have birds here year around. A group of them use the nestbox in the winter to roost at night. Now would be the time to invest in a pole to mount the nestbox on away from the fence.

    As for the HOSP, I am not sure how much of a threat they are after the fledge. The young are usually with the parent birds in the trees where there is more protection from predators. Others may have more experience with this.

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #2782
    verachuckdave
    Participant
    • Topics started 23
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    The babies have fledged! I went out with my dogs this morning and saw Mama Blue. When I approached the birdhouse to untangle some of the streamers on the sparrow spooker, she didn’t even care! She has been dive-bombing me for the past four days if I get within 15 feet of that house. Anyway, that was my first clue. Then, I put out her mealworms and noticed that she was gathering them and taking them to a grove of pine trees that sit about 100 feet from the birdhouse. I took a stroll up there to see if I could spot the babies, and she started chirping loudly and hovering over my head. I guessed that the babies were up there somewhere, so I checked the birdhouse. The nest is clean as a whistle!

    Thanks to everyone who offered so much advice and moral support throughout this ordeal. I was so devastated to find the Papa Blue gone, it is such a relief to know that the babies are off and running.

    Thanks again!
    Susan

    Susan
    Pennsylvania

    #2784
    Rich KRich K
    Participant
    • Topics started 32
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    Fantastic news!!! Now, don’t be surprised if she totally disappears for about 2 weeks. Typically they go into hiding with the babies in cover. Hopefully you will see her again soon! Great job on helping her. I’m not sure she would have made it without your help. The babies are demanding!!

    #2785
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
    Participant
    • Topics started 79
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    Wow, Susan – that is fantastic – you & mama Blue did it!!! Rich is right about them sometimes disappearing a few days, however my parent blues take the babies close enough to here that they continue to bring them mealworms every day, just to a location different than usual. I’m sure they are all different – but mine want those mealworms every day to feed those that have fledged. This year they brought the babies to a neighbor’s yard because I could track them coming & going, but I didn’t see the babies until about 2 weeks later when parents brought them back to the nesting area where the “free food” is. I do not overfeed those worms, just think about giving a child a treat of candy, just a little bit. Congrats!!

    #2786
    verachuckdave
    Participant
    • Topics started 23
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    Thanks, Carol. I certainly appreciate all of your experience and advice! Do you think that 50 worms in the a.m. and 50 in the p.m. is too much? There is going to be a record breaking heat wave here for the next 4-5 days. Temperatures in the high nineties and heat indices well over 100. I thought that Mama Blue could use the worms since she is still working on her own in this terrible heat! I put her worms out this evening in the usual spot about 20 feet from the birdhouse and called her. She came and got the worms in no time!

    Susan
    Pennsylvania

    #2787
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
    Participant
    • Topics started 79
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    Susan, I don’t believe you never mentioned how many actually fledged. Rule of thumb is “15 per bird per day” as stated in http://www.sialis.org website in regard to mealworms. I like to feed 2x a day, too, so 50 x 2 for 5 babies plus mama would be about right. It is plenty, so I wouldn’t go any more – don’t count them every time, just guess & you will soon get the hang of how many to put out. They are supposed to just be a supplement to their main diet & to help parents out like you did. But they are loaded with protein & good for them if you don’t overfeed them. I am noticing that my parents are starting to wean (chase them away) their previous fledglings from the worm bowl, as they should have 4 new eggs hatch in about a week, therefore, they are protecting the food source.

    #2789
    Rich KRich K
    Participant
    • Topics started 32
    • Replies 66
    • Total Posts 98

    Keep in mind that the worms will die really quick in the heat. They will turn brown in about an hour and momma likes them fresh and alive so just enough for her to gobble up in a short time frame. It may appear she is eating them all but they take them in their mouth and “churn” them around a little to make them easier to feed to the babes.

    #2792
    verachuckdave
    Participant
    • Topics started 23
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    Well, you were right about that. I put out the usual amount of worms, but Mama Blue never showed. Nothing out there but a bunch of charred worms (98 degrees here today). I walked up to the pine trees where I think she is hiding out, but I couldn’t find her or the babies. I will put more worms out this evening when the sun drops a bit. It’s 7 p.m. here and still 92 degrees. Yeesh. I’ll just have to see if she returns tonight.

    Susan
    Pennsylvania

    #2794
    Rich KRich K
    Participant
    • Topics started 32
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    • Total Posts 98

    She is hiding them in deep bushes or trees for a while until they learn to forage for themselves. She will find plenty of food for them don’t worry. My guess is you won’t see her for a few days or even a week or so. I just saw my pair tonight on the wires in front of our house. My four fledged Monday. Daddy flew into the big maple tree across the way and I heard the babies screaming for their dinner!!

    #2795
    verachuckdave
    Participant
    • Topics started 23
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    • Total Posts 207

    I guess I will stop putting worms out for now. They are just dying out there, and I haven’t seen the Mama or babies since Friday. I will keep watching for her and put more out when she returns.

    Susan
    Pennsylvania

    #2796
    tamsea
    Moderator
    • Topics started 26
    • Replies 697
    • Total Posts 723

    If you haven’t yet, you may want to move your box to a pole soon. They probably won’t start another nest but it isn’t unheard of to have end of July nest.

    Tammy

    #2798
    David in Stafford,VADavid in Stafford,VA
    Participant
    • Topics started 35
    • Replies 448
    • Total Posts 483

    Tammy is right. My birds are sitting on 5 eggs right now (their 3rd nest). They should hatch Aug 3. I believe that this is the latest that my birds have a\had a brood.

    David
    Stafford, VA

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