Where did they go?

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  • #3766
    Linda
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    • Topics started 1
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    My first year with blue birds saw two broods produced and I was thrilled to see the babies flying around and chasing each other in a big tree in my yard. My second year saw only one brood and then the family left my yard. The last two years, and again this year, they came and began to build their nest but then abruptly left my yard. I was so excited each time they came and so devastated each time they left. Does anyone have any suggestions as to why they may be leaving after starting their nest? There are no other birds in this nest right now, however, I believe a cardinal family may have used the nest last year because I found quite a few cardinal feathers in the nest when I cleaned it out.
    HELP!

    #3769
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
    Participant
    • Topics started 110
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    Linda, welcome to this forum! We here share information on our experiences, trials, tribulations and joys. Your story in your Introduction was indeed touching. Well, can’t really imagine why they would be leaving, especially if you had success before. Do you have house sparrows or house wrens there? Your profile avatar picture looks like your box is fairly close to a building and also bushes, although can’t really tell distance from a picture. Blues prefer open spaces I believe. Cardinal feathers in your box?? A cardinal should not be able to enter a 1 1/2″ hole and they are not cavity nesters. There are other “red” birds but don’t know what would be in your area. Any ant or wasp problems in the box? Did you monitor your previous nests to check on predators? Really no other ideas but I wish you luck in getting them back. Oh, did you ever feed them mealworms or suet? I feed my blues (only like a treat) and they are with me all winter here in Missouri. Check out http://www.sialis.org for TONS of great information – pretty much our bible here.

    #3781
    Dana
    Participant
    • Topics started 39
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    • Total Posts 194

    Hi Linda,
    It’s hard to say what made them move on. I had a pair show up here a few weeks ago and then disappeared. Ultimately it’s the female bluebird that chooses the nesting location. Down the road from me is a county park that has a bluebird trail so I’m guessing they went there. I’m not giving up hope yet. Still plenty of time for a 1st brood. If not, maybe we’ll get lucky with a 2nd brood. Best of luck to you!

    #3784
    Linda
    Participant
    • Topics started 1
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    Thank you for your response. It was definitely cardinal feathers in the box but how they got there I can only guess. I never saw the birds near it just found the feathers in it. Bizarre. The box is clean, no bugs or bees, no other signs of birds near it so I am not sure whats happening. My box is on a tree relatively close to my house and very near a field. It is about 6 feet off the ground. I have put out meal worms and in the past have seen the blue birds swooping down to get those worms. I just wish I knew what was going wrong so that I could fix the problem.

    #3785
    Linda
    Participant
    • Topics started 1
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    Thanks Dana. I was so disappointed that they left!! I am thinking of ways to get them to stay next year and hopefully it will work. I wish I knew how to keep them here all year long like other people have done. I am so jealous!!

    #3786
    dlibby
    Participant
    • Topics started 12
    • Replies 28
    • Total Posts 40

    Hello Linda, I know when I first started getting blues they would check out my boxes and leave and found it quite frustrating. I kept going to this site and especially sialis.org site and studied and studied and kept making changes to my box till I got it right. One thing I noticed is you said you have the box on a tree. That’s a big no no. Squirrels and every other predator can climb right to them. I switch to a nice long pipe i got in plumbing from home depot. I also saw that they preferred old wood versus painted wood and my measurements inside my box were a little big so i added a piece of old aged wood to the inside and made it just the right size. I guess what I’m getting at is just keep problem solving it and you should get success like I did last year.

    #3787
    Linda
    Participant
    • Topics started 1
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    • Total Posts 5

    Thank you so much. I will get a pole and move the box right away.

    #3790
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
    Participant
    • Topics started 110
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    • Total Posts 1168

    Yes, Linda, boxes on wooden poles are a tragedy just waiting to happen. You might get by for a time, but it just makes sense that those climbing predators can go right up, especially the snakes. A slick pole will definitely help, and we also recommend a baffle underneath the box.

    #3802
    Lisa
    Participant
    • Topics started 21
    • Replies 613
    • Total Posts 634

    I would first suspect snake, depending on where you are located. Mine never went back to a box after a snake attack. I had to get very aggressive with snake protection last year. And finally fledged four.
    This year I suspect HOWR.
    Feels like it’s always something.
    But, bless their hearts, they keep trying. Keep us posted!

    #3875
    tamsea
    Moderator
    • Topics started 26
    • Replies 699
    • Total Posts 725

    Tree swallows put feathers in their nests. Could you have had tree swallows nest in it this past year?

    Tammy

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