June 17, 2022 at 7:53 am #26569
The first nesting this year was successful with 4 fledglings. Same parents for second nest had 4 eggs, 2 that hatched. Both hatchlings in died after three days. I believe it is due to the heat. I have a camera in the box and they both struggled with the heat, but died after the mom sat on them during the night (to keep them warm). I think they suffocated from the heat and no fresh air. The temps have been at or near 100 the past week with no relief in sight (Dallas area). I will be cleaning out the box this weekend, but wanted to get opinions if I should cover the hole so the BB can’t build another nest, or if I should just leave it open and let nature take its course with a third nest. I’m very sad and don’t want this to happen again.June 17, 2022 at 8:41 am #26570
So sorry, Vanessam – if you live in the Dallas area you would definitely need to put a heat shield on your box – even here in Mid-Missouri the temps are in the 90’s and I have put on my heat shield for my 3rd nest box. A heat shield definitely will keep the temps down inside the box by a lot (there are statistics on this) – BUT it MUST have at least a 1 inch dead air space between the box and the shield or else it will just make the box hotter. You can check at http://www.sialis.org for more information on this. Others may chime in on this matter for you. Good luck. (P.S. I use Styrofoam as my heat shield but others may use different material.) Oh, the shield needs to be on the south side, west side and top of the box (those receiving the most sun).June 17, 2022 at 1:18 pm #26574
In reviewing my post above, Vanessam, I noticed a slight error, the dead air space is between 1/2 to 1 inch from the box itself – more is better but 1/2″ is the most used I believe. Hope you understand – if not let me know. The heat shields are really a lifesaver!June 17, 2022 at 2:38 pm #26575
Thank you for the information. The box is not out in the open. It is attached to an outdoor structure with the opening facing east, so it doesn’t receive any western exposure and is shaded most of the day by the roof of the structure it is attached to. It does have a double wood roof with 1″ spacing and extra overhang, but no side shields. I will install a heat shield on the north and south side as an extra precaution. I plan to make the heat shield from 3/4″ styrofoam and attach reflective foil tape with the tape facing away from the box and 1″ spacers. Hopefully this will help. I think we will have a scorcher of a summer this year.June 17, 2022 at 6:10 pm #26576
Sounds like you have things under control – good for you! I am concerned about my nest #3 which is in full sun (not supposed to put them too close to a tree where snakes could crawl down and onto the box). I have very good heat shields on it and that is about all I can do. I have had these boxes up in the same spots for lots of years and the blues seem to take to the open territory. Also been trapping some HOSP in the extra boxes and also keeping the wrens busy putting sticks in a box or two. AIN’T THIS FUN TRYING TO FIGURE OUT ALL THESE THINGS!June 17, 2022 at 7:58 pm #26577
During my “research”, I saw some suggestions about using an umbrella. Maybe that could work for you?June 18, 2022 at 7:30 am #26578
Yes, I have tried the umbrella a few times – too much wind here – it is gusty all the time and just blows the umbrella down or inside out! But thanks for the suggestion.
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