April 11, 2018 at 7:22 pm #6196
Just wondering if a wren guard can be used on the slotted bluebird boxes. I know how it’s used on the round hole entry type of box. I’ve just ordered a set of slotted boxes. My friend used one last year and the bluebirds preferred it to the single hole. Plus she said the HOSP did not like it. I hope to be successful this season. We have all the predators here, HOSP, wrens and red squirrels……grrr. This will be my second year. Last year I had one unsuccessful bluebird nest. After the blues laid one egg the HOSP took over the nest. The bluebirds didn’t return. I believe they may have been a young pair of bluebirds because they were not very protective of their nest. They would both be gone for hours. I do not allow the HOSP to use any of my bluebird boxes. Any tips for a beginner would be very much appreciated.
Thank you, Judy/Michigan-not seeing Bluebirds yet.April 11, 2018 at 10:10 pm #6199Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
I would think it could be used just like a round hole opening box, but guess it would depend on how the top is made. You MUST have a minimum of 2 1/2″, and better with 3″, clearance from face of hole to the guard so that the parents can swoop underneath the guard to feed babies. If the top does not extend enough over the box you would have to make an extension of some sort on the guard. It’s also best to have sides on the wren guard, also. The Sialis.org webside has lots of info on everything Bluebird! I have not had experience with slot boxes, so maybe others who have will comment.April 12, 2018 at 11:43 pm #6204BrendaVParticipant
Best solution for House Wrens is just move the box away from shrubs. House Wrens like shrubs, will nest withing 20 metres of shrubs, may pierce eggs up to 30 metre from shrubs but as long as you are more than 30 M from shrubs you should not have to worry at all about House Wrens.
You need proper predator guard if squirrels are a worry. Squirrels should not be an issue. At all. Get a stove pipe some “all-round” and a bit of 1/4 inch hardware cloth. Look up “stovepipe baffle”…I think the post I made about it before is on the old forum (and I can’t find it at the moment). For added protection paint a layer of new machine grease or petroleum jelly around the post (under the stovepipe is best) and that will stop ants from climbing up.
Slot entrance will not “deter” House Sparrows…but it is suppose to give a bird in the box a chance to escape a HOSP attack though, since the slot has more space the HOSP cannot block it all at once. Slots entrance also gives room for multiple young to line up for food and may prevent one from hogging all the food by siting in the hole and not letting its siblings eat (maybe more an issue with TRES than EABL?).
I also recommend “pairing” boxes. Tree Swallows are wonderful.
Best House Sparrow solution is to trap and euthanize. I love Uncle Blaines deluxe repeater, works great with a ‘bait’ bird. https://www.sparrowtraps.net/
And I second the sialis.org website. Lots of great info.
Welcome and good luck!April 12, 2018 at 11:46 pm #6205BrendaVParticipant
PS: yes a wren guard should work just fine on a slot entrance, just make sure you follow the specks….and make wide enough for the slot (rather than just a hole).April 23, 2018 at 8:23 pm #6242
Thanks for all of the suggestions. I was hoping the bluebirds would arrive before the house wrens to claim a box first. In my area the house wrens are coming into our mowed lawn areas away from shrubs. We have a total of 4 Bluebird boxes up. Paired 2 in the back of our property and 2 in the front. Paired one slotted box with one round hole box. The paired boxes are 15 feet apart…..with the sets 100 yards apart. All 4 have the stovepipe baffles. The house sparrows still try to build nests in the round hole boxes, but do not like the slotted boxes. I toss the sparrow’s nests out daily.
I have not seen any bluebirds yet. I have my fingers crossed…..hoping to get at least one bluebird family this season.
Judy-MichiganApril 24, 2018 at 9:26 am #6245Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Judy, good you are removing the HOSP nests, but you really need to trap & dispose of them. I know this is not a thing some people want to do, but it is absolutely necessary in order to protect our blues & native cavity builders. Just ponder over this – look at some of the pictures of HOSP killings on the sialis.org website and you may realize how dangerous they are. Good luck.April 29, 2018 at 7:40 pm #6284tamseaModerator
Yep, to what Carol said. You’ll pull their nests out over and over again! They never give up. But your bluebirds will give up on your box. You need to buy a Van Ert Trap. They are cheap. And dispose of the HOSP.
Wrens at my place don’t follow the 50 – 200 feet away (or even 600) rule. They’ve tried to nest in my boxes a few times and I have very few trees and no shrubby areas.
TammyMay 5, 2018 at 10:16 pm #6328
I did buy 2 of the Van Ert Traps. Thank you, Judy-Michigan
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