Help protect old bird box on tree trunk

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    Belinda Keller

      Hi, I’m in Southern Maryland — not a regular on the forum (mostly because bluebirds aren’t regulars in my yard :) but I have posted in the past and rec’d great help from all you ‘nuts’ and hope you can help again.

      Problem: Deteriorating nest box (not Bluebird box) about 5-6 ft. off ground

        on tree trunk

      had a successful Bluebird family in it a few years ago, but they have not nested every year. Usually, wrens take the box. Last yr. no attempts by any birds due to feral cats, and I wanted to remove the box this spring but I think I’m too late. Bluebirds are here and hanging around the box.

      No cats now :) but we’re in a wetlands area. A raccoon travels directly beneath the box nightly, and we have snakes and hawks, squirrels… The tree is about 36 inches around and not near other trees. What, if anything, can be used around the tree to protect the box from snakes and raccoons?

      I considered moving the box and placing on a pole but do not believe the box is strong enough to support any screws/holes necessary for attaching to a pole (or hardware cloth protection at entrance). I could remove it completely and get a new box set up nearby???

      What about leaving it and using hardware cloth cones stuffed with netting: one beneath the box and one above and inverted Too scary LOL! Also, I considered aluminum upholstery tacking strips that curve. They could go around the trunk. Talk about nuts — that’s me :penrealfunny: and ouch! Thanks everyone in advance for your ideas!


      The Original Bluebird Nut

        Belinda, if the bluebirds are only “hanging around” but haven’t started a nest, or have started putting some nesting materials in but haven’t laid any eggs, then you could just stuff something in the hole so they can’t get in, and mount a new, suitable box on a metal post with a good predator baffle nearby. Then then might adopt the new box instead.

        Central NY
        TMB Studios

        Belinda Keller

          A little nesting material is sticking out but they haven’t been here today at all. I feel like they have arrived extra early this year and can’t imagine they are ready to lay eggs. I’ll watch and if they aren’t around tomorrow I think it should be safe to stuff the hole and put up the new box nearby. I think the new box is the best way to go. It will also relieve me from racking my brain :BonkOwnHead:


            Yes, definitely a new box is the way to go. Make sure you put it on a pole. I’ll give you the link that gives you an idea how to do it in case you need it. If you put it further away from your trees it might help with the wren problem too. But putting it closer might be better right now if you don’t want to loose the nesting pair.

            • This reply was modified 7 years, 9 months ago by tamsea.
            • This reply was modified 7 years, 9 months ago by tamsea.


            Belinda Keller

              Tammy, Thanks for your thoughts and the links. They didn’t show up today, so I think it’s safe to stuff the hole with something and put up the new box. I do think they will be back even if just to investigate. Hopefully, they will stay this year. Wonderful to watch an entire family and I especially love hearing them —

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