July 7, 2020 at 3:12 pm #8564
Mama blue laid first egg in nest #3 today – Just put up wren guard, heat shield (index is almost 100 degrees) and greased the pole. Will put up the spooker tomorrow – shouldn’t have any trouble with either guard because this is same pair that has been here several years and she should be used to them. Hope this nest produces all live babies this time around.July 7, 2020 at 9:16 pm #8566
Wonderful news, Carol!!! Sounds like you’re off to a great start–armed and ready. So thankful. Fingers crossed you’ll see live babies this time! So tickled for you.July 8, 2020 at 1:31 pm #8569David in Stafford,VAParticipant
Great news Carol. I am going to be a bit behind you this year as my second nest of 4 just hatched. I am not sure that they will do a third nest. Good luck with this one.
Stafford, VAJuly 10, 2020 at 10:35 pm #8579
Thanks Julie & David – egg 4 laid today and mama is incubating. The Lone Ranger actually came down to feeder bowl yesterday with parents – they fed him a few worms and they flew off. The worms are really going slow right now – only parents are eating them & feeding Lone Ranger and they are eating a lot less than when I had them all here. It’s been real hot here – hope the heat shield does the job.July 11, 2020 at 10:18 pm #8583David in Stafford,VAParticipant
Carol. Good news on the 4 eggs. What are you using for the heat shield? I am experiencing the same slow-down o meal worm feeding. Several feedings this past week have had very few worms taken and the first fledglings do not appear as much as they did before. Mom and dad are feeding the 4 hatchlings but not from the feeder. Maybe the worms are too large right now. I don’t have new hatches from the many beetle eggs to offer yet. The rest of the worms have grown quite a bit, even with the refrigeration.
Stafford, VAJuly 12, 2020 at 1:38 pm #8585
David, I use my homemade 1″ Styrofoam for insulation with spaces between box & foam for air flow . I have an extra large top piece that it extends probably 3 or 4 inches to provide little more shade on the box. Has worked pretty well in the past – hope it does this year because it has been in the upper 90’s a few days – little cooler today but still hot & humid.July 17, 2020 at 9:58 pm #8589
Carol, how do you attach the heat shield? I’ve seen pics of them, but wondering how you do it. You have such practical ways that are approachable for someone like me who’s not the handiest tool in the toolbox!July 18, 2020 at 11:40 am #8595
Julie, yes, I am the practical one here – we make all our boxes, guards, etc. Ok – here is how I attach my Styrofoam heat shield. I use 1″ foam (comes in a large sheet but can have them cut a smaller piece at the store), cut it to size with a sharp knife for one side, the back and a large overhanging top. This is very easy to do. Then you will need to have some spacers about 1/2″ long, like push pins or make the spacers out of the foam. THIS IS CRITICAL TO THE SHIELD TO GIVE IT AIR FLOW AROUND THE BOX. If you use the push pins, put them in the wood on the south side, back and top of the box itself, Then you have to attach the foam to the box over the spacers with long deck screws (be careful the screw does not come through box to the inside!) with washers to keep the screws from pulling through the foam. I have a really good picture of my shield with a baby peeking through hole. I can e-mail you this picture but cannot post it here for various reasons. Just send me a PM message here with your e-mail address and I will send it to you if you like.
P.S. This does help with the heat but nothing is fool-proof.July 18, 2020 at 1:07 pm #8597
Carol, that’s what I was imagining, but indeed a picture is worth 1,000 words! Will PM you. Thank you!!!July 19, 2020 at 8:35 am #8598blue diamondsParticipant
Julie, I also use styrofoam for a heat shield with 1/2 spacer between the box and white shield. To attach I use temporary painters tape to hold in position, then I put a bunch of nylon self-locking cable ties together, enough to wrap over and under the box, tighten to hold the styrofoam in place. If you make the roof piece with a large overhang then I make a hole on each side of the roof piece where the sides of the box are, to run the nylon ties through. Tighten the ties then take the temporary tape off. If you have everything ready ahead you can have it in place super fast.
Update on my bluebirds…..2nd nesting of 5 in front box fledging today. New pair in back box with 4 eggs. Mama has been incubating for a couple days now. So exciting to still have a pair to enjoy. This is the first season I have feed live mealworms, I do believe it helps keep them hanging around the yard.
Judy-MichiganJuly 19, 2020 at 12:49 pm #8599
Judy, glad someone else here uses the foam – very inexpensive and I believe it works. We thought about the “bungee cords” for holding it on and together but was a little worried about birds getting caught in it. Guess we were being too cautious – since DH is handy with tools we decided to go that direction with the screws. Hope fledging today goes well for your birds. My 3rd nest of 4 is due to hatch on Wednesday – then have 17 days to stand up to this heat!
I am posting in another thread about those darn HOSP!.
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