May 19, 2019 at 12:59 pm #7236
My backyard paired boxes had TRES that built a nest. Bluebirds took it from them. They were both hanging out for a while. I wasn’t sure who would end up with the box. It looks like the blues won because yesterday I found a bluebird egg in it. We have wrens in the area so I put up a wren guard at 7:00pm yesterday. It’s morning they came but were very leery. Papa blue entered the box after 1-2 hours. Mama blue only looked in the hole. There was not a second egg laid this morning…..so I took the guard off. Did I do the right thing?
Judy-MichiganMay 19, 2019 at 1:38 pm #7237
Oops…..tried to correct my excepted to accepted, sorry could not edit. I was in a big hurry. Delete wouldn’t work either. I still need advice, I’m new at this.
Judy-MichiganMay 19, 2019 at 3:15 pm #7238David in Stafford,VAParticipant
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Judy, I usually wait until the third egg is laid before I put up the wren guard. I did not use the guard on my first batch this year because I have not seen many wrens around. That could be due to some shrub and tree clearing that my neighbor and I have been doing in the wooded area behind our houses and the nest box. I will update this when round 2 begins.
Stafford, VAMay 19, 2019 at 8:51 pm #7243
Judy, some birds are just more cautious than others. Does your guard have sides? Is it extra long? Either feature can be slightly altered to help them accept it. I always try to get a guard on in the morning after the first egg is laid. That gives her about 24 hours to get used to the thing.
Atlanta, GAMay 19, 2019 at 10:45 pm #7251
The guard I made had about an inch on the sides with about a 4” front. They were very happy when I removed it. I’m thinking I will try the sparrow spooker tomorrow…if they lay a second egg. Then maybe try the wren guard again if there is a 3rd egg?
While they were upset…. another pair of blues show up going in and out of the other box. The female was very pale, faint peach coloring on her breast and almost no blue on her tail. If she didn’t have a male bluebird with her I would have wondered what type of bird is that. What would cause her to be so washed out in color? The original blues ran them off.
Good news is the front-yard box has 4 eggs with a wren guard and sparrow spooker. Mama blue is very good about staying in the box with papa blue watching things outside.
Thank you, Judy-MichiganMay 20, 2019 at 9:14 am #7255Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
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Judy, when you say your wren guard was 4″, do you mean long or extend from the front of hole 4″? I believe the now suggested 3″ extension from front of hole is better than the 2 1/2″ formerly used. I like your idea about putting up the sparrow spooker, let her lay another egg, and then try the wren guard again. Those wrens can do as much or more damage as the HOSP I have found. But the more eggs she lays the more committed she is, so don’t give up. But then again like Gin says, some mamas are more finicky than others. P.S., yes I like to put up any guard quickly (but only one at a time) after the egg is laid so they have the rest of the day to get used to it before the next day’s egg laying.May 20, 2019 at 11:46 am #7261
Carol….the wren guard was about 4”(vertical) on the front, 1 inch sides and 3 1/2 to 4 inches out from the entrance. Today is another cold windy and rainy day here. The bluebird pair were there this morning, after they were gone I saw a pair of chickadees enter the box so I went out to check the nest. Still one bluebird egg. I didn’t put the spooker up because of the wind….obviously they get spooked easily. They leave their nest unattended most of the day. My front pair have always stayed around the box guarding it.
It’s so nice of all you folks that have been dong this for years help us newbies. Many thanks.
Judy-MichiganMay 22, 2019 at 3:38 pm #7294
Judy, your specs sound fine on the guard. When birds have eggs in a nest they usually try not to draw too much attention to what is going on. That’s why so many of them disappear for much of the day during egg laying. What they don’t seem to get is that leave the door (literally) open for HOWR or HOSP attack.
Atlanta, GAMay 22, 2019 at 8:06 pm #7297
Gin…that explains why they are gone most of the day. Unattended nest is very dangerous in my area. So far so good.
Update….one egg, put up wren guard…second day, no egg, took wren guard off, third day, egg #2, put up spooker, they both would enter bb box, so I assume it was accepted..day four, no egg, still see them come and go. Today, day five, no egg, still coming and going. One of the no egg days was super cold and rainy. I really expected another egg today. Thoughts….have any of you experienced this type of pattern? Anyone had mama blue lay an egg late afternoon or evening?
Judy-MichiganMay 23, 2019 at 12:17 pm #7312
They absolutely will lay eggs in the afternoon and even skip a day sometimes. There are no rigid rules.
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