May 5, 2020 at 9:48 pm #8116Rich KParticipant
So with temps due to plummet the next three days I have an idea. I am thinking of providing an insulating “shell” to go around the box. This would be on the roof, sides, back and bottom. It would consist of some stiff cardboard with foam on the inside. The foam would go against the wooden box and hopefully provide some added warmth. I would leave the front of the box as is with the hopes that Momma will accept this insulating “shell”. I would test it tomorrow during the day to see if she accepts it (I don’t see why she wouldn’t). Any thoughts?
PS: I have also read that feeding a lot of mealworms during cold spells really helps as Momma doesn’t have to hunt for food and is not off the nest as long.May 6, 2020 at 8:27 am #8119Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Rich, I like the sound of your insulation wrap – really good you are testing it today to see if mama accepts it. Yes, feeding worms does help – just remember not TOO many – they can be calcium depleting for the birds if given too many. Papa blue should be bringing her food while she is incubating, also.May 6, 2020 at 3:49 pm #8120Rich KParticipant
So I made the insulator for the nest box. I have another Troyer slot box that is not being used so I used that as my model. I cut 1/2″ styrofoam and glued it to cardboard to make two sides and a back. I used Gorilla Tape to secure the seems. I went to slide it over the box the EABL’s are nesting in and it fits perfectly except I need to cut more where the Sparrow Spooker bracket is attached at the back so it will slide all the way in. I couldn’t do too much fiddling because it’s only 40 degrees today and she was off the nest. Momma was on the branch above me when I was putting it on. She flew away but returned withing 5 minutes and straight into the box!! I did not cover the roof or front because I think that may have spooked her too much. I order those portable thermal blankets from Amazon and they arrive tomorrow so the plan is to glue that around the cardboard for extra insulation. Again I will test it during the day tomorrow. It is really only supposed to be cold on Friday and Friday night so if I slip it on first thing Friday until mid Saturday I am hoping the added warmth will allow for viable eggs. Who knows, maybe I should Patent this!! LOL!!May 6, 2020 at 3:49 pm #8121blue diamondsParticipant
Hi Rich, I’m worried too….I keep watching the weather forecasts, hoping the low temperatures go away‼️ Friday and Saturday both below freezing 25 & 30. The way I see it when temps are too hot I put things on the box to cool it, so why not try to keep it warmer when it’s extra cold with another layer. I made a 3 sided covering (long enough to tuck under the box). I fit it to a twin box not in use, so I didn’t have to fiddle around when putting it on the box in use. Had it already to attach with a strap and some tape….the process only took a few minutes. Mama blue accepted it. This is day 2 for brooding. I’ve done my best and hope it works. Good luck to everyone!!!
Judy-MichiganMay 9, 2020 at 11:20 am #8136blue diamondsParticipant
Last night broke the record low for May 8 temperatures in Michigan…..set in 1983. The low was 27 degrees in my area. I had the back and sides of the Bluebird box wrapped, yesterday I decided to add wool socks stacked up under the box, between the baffle and bottom of the box. Hoping this would help keep those eggs warm. We are not out of the woods until next Wednesday for freezing temperatures. I’m optimistic all will turn out well. I think papa blue might be lazy….I do not see him carrying food to mama blue(lol).
Judy-MichiganMay 9, 2020 at 5:13 pm #8137Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Wow, Judy, you really did have a cold night! Bless your heart for going the distance to protect those precious eggs – hope it works out for all concerned. We only got down to 38 degrees last night in mid Missouri, not nearly as bad as Michigan.May 9, 2020 at 9:23 pm #8138JulieParticipant
Rich and Judy, you both sound like you did an amazing job! I’m so impressed with your creativity. You should consider patenting your methods, Rich, or at least taking pics and getting them posted somewhere. This spring weather is nuts. 27 is so cold!! Our lowest is now set to 31, but it does keep changing.
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