October 9, 2021 at 9:46 am #23546
I have a nest box from WBU that I put up this year. I had one successful nest in the spring. I was able to trap house sparrows so that the bluebirds could use the box. When they tried to nest a second time the wrens had arrived and stopped them. I kept taking the twigs out of the box, but the bluebirds weren’t ever able to use it a second time because of them. The box has a v-shaped roof which makes it impossible to put a wren shield on the box.
Last week I noticed two separate pair of bluebirds at my bird bath and inspecting the box. I would like to change the box to one with a flat top and add a second box that the wrens can use (although I would remove the twigs and not allow them to nest). I already have two sparrow shields that I can use on both boxes.
I was thinking about a Gilbertson PVC box for the second box. I would use a trap that’s made for the Gilbertson box for the sparrows along with a wren guard. I’m not sure about the best kind of box to buy for the bluebirds. I just know that I want a flat roof so I can use a wren guard. I have read about the boxes on sails.org but am still unsure. Since they have already used and like the WBU box with the V-shaped roof will they be okay with a new box? It was just awful watching the wrens prevent them from building the second nest this summer. I have to do something. Thank you for your input.
- This topic was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by NickNackHummer.
East TennesseeOctober 9, 2021 at 10:01 pm #23548
Carol, I would assume you are getting ready for next spring’s season because of winter coming. I don’t remember where you live, but you should have some time to decide on what to do. I have had no experience with the Gilbertson PVC box – all my boxes are wooden Gilwood designs. Maybe someone else can help you out – good luck. P.S. I, also let the wrens put sticks in an extra box and keep taking out their twigs to keep them busy. I use four boxes in my back yard, but it is a large area and able to keep them about 125-150 feet apart. I find this very useful during the nesting season.October 10, 2021 at 6:02 am #23549
Thank you Carol. I’m in East TN. Yes, I’m planning for next spring. I was excited to see bluebirds already checking out the box for the spring. I was thinking about switching the box that I have now with the v-shaped roof for another box now since they’re already checking out boxes. I want a box that I can attach a wren guard to, and I can’t do that with the box I have now. I am considering different boxes for the one I already have as well as adding a different one for the wrens to build dummy nests. I guess I didn’t explain it well as to what I’m planning, but I want two different boxes.
The Gilbertson PVC box was what I was thinking about for the wrens. I know they like that style because I used to have one. I am considering the Gilwood box to replace what I have. I read on Sialis that was the preferred box for bluebirds. I may just go ahead and order one since you like them so much. Sialis said that HOSP liked them though. I read on Duncraft’s website that HOSP don’t like them. What is your experience with that? I will definitely use a Van Eat trap when I see HOSP, but that’s a problem if both bluebirds and HOSP are checking out the box at the same time.
East TennesseeOctober 10, 2021 at 7:52 am #23550
I personally like the Gilwood, although we have altered the specs slightly to make for a larger floor size, but I used the regular for some time. As far as the HOSP liking it, there is not any box they do not like! I use my Van Ert trap when needed, but only after they have a good start of a nest. This is my secret to keeping them busy for a while and then trapping.
This is my preference, Carol, but then everyone has theirs. Again, good luck.October 10, 2021 at 9:51 am #23551
Thank you very much Carol. I think I will order a Gilwood and a Gilbertson PVC box.
East TennesseeOctober 10, 2021 at 11:24 am #23552phillybluesParticipant
Van Ert is a Godsend. I would have no problem with someone catching wrens and releasing them elsewhere.October 10, 2021 at 9:55 pm #23553David in Stafford,VAParticipant
Carol, my first box was a standard NABS nestbox from Lowes. It was made from rough-cut cedar and had the slanted roof and a predator guard. I believe that it had a 4″x4″ floor. I put a 12″x12″ plywood shield over the slanted roof for a weather guard and after seeing discussions here about heat, I added a Styrofoam insulation sheet to the west facing side. it was easy to add a wren guard to this box by using a sized corrugated cardboard box lid and duct tape.
I have had several of the same kind of boxes as the initial box got battered by a woodpecker. I ordered my last one from Amazon. You might find a photo in one of my earlier posts.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by David in Stafford,VA.
Stafford, VAOctober 11, 2021 at 7:54 am #23555
Thank you David. I’ve always used the nest boxes from WBU with the v-shaped roof. I also used a Gilbertson PVC box one time. The wrens loved the Gilbertson box, which is why I think I’m going to get one again and let them use it to build their dummy nests. I didn’t put up a nest box for several years until last year when I used the WBU box again. I think I’m going to go ahead and order a Gilwood box and a Gilbertson PVC box. I hope these will work well for me.
East TennesseeOctober 15, 2021 at 4:01 pm #23800dogsandbirdsModerator
Carol, have you looked here: http://nestboxbuilder.com Fred is a member here and builds wonderful boxes of all kinds. He probably has what you would want. He built one for me several years ago and his craftmanship is expert.
Atlanta, GAOctober 15, 2021 at 4:09 pm #23801
Gin, yes, that was one of the first places I looked. I had bookmarked it years ago. Fred has a note on his website that he has had to take a break from building due to health issues. I do hope he’s okay. I did read about the various nest boxes on his website, though, and got some good info.
I ended up ordering a Gilbertson PVC box and a Gilwood. I ordered two ready made wren guards and a PVC box style Van Ert trap. I have a regular Van Ert trap already for the Gilwood. I want to go ahead and put the boxes up since the bluebirds have started checking the box out for the spring.
East TennesseeOctober 18, 2021 at 4:10 pm #23802
My new Gilwood box came, and I’d like to put it up in place of my existing box from WBU. The bluebird pair is spending a lot of time sitting on top of my existing box and going in and out of it. Will they be bothered if I switch the boxes? I’m attaching a link or image (not sure which, I’ve never used Imgur before) of my current nest box. I hope the link works.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I wanted a nest box with a flat roof so that I could attach a wren shield next spring when nesting season begins.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by NickNackHummer.
East TennesseeOctober 18, 2021 at 11:22 pm #23804phillybluesParticipant
Interesting. Is that the Wild Birds Unlimited box? I just bought one to try it out. Have you had luck with bluebirds in it? It seems really solid butnthe roof design is very different than what I am used to.October 19, 2021 at 8:05 am #23805
phillyblues, the bluebirds really like this box. They’ve used it for two seasons each year for several years. Then I got so frustrated with the wrens and HOSP that I took it down for a few years. I put it back up last spring. They used it successfully for one season. I used the Van Ert trap to catch HOSP before they started using it.
After their first nesting the wrens took over and wouldn’t let them use it. They kept trying. I decided I would switch to a flat topped roof so that I could use a wren guard. Also, it was my only box. I’ve ordered a PVC box to put up that hopefully the wrens will like. I will just keep pulling their sticks out.
I’m sure there’s a way to use a wren guard with the WBU box, but I need something that I can buy.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by NickNackHummer.
East TennesseeNovember 16, 2021 at 11:27 am #23833markParticipant
It’s more about location, location, location than the nestbox design. Being your having problems with wrens (and HOSP) tells me your nestbox is too close to trees. Wrens are always going to be a problem with nextbox located in one’s yard within 50-100′ of trees.
I’ve made several of my own ‘unusual’ designs just to see if a EABL pair would take up occupancy. Bluebirds aren’t as fussy as one might think. Some of my nestboxes have an oval (vertical) opening like BRAW’s nestbox design … https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2020/06/03/PMJS/79dc518b-57b5-414d-b0b5-a44b065c2f56-bluebird28p5.jpg … that they prefer, especially during busy in&out feeding of young.
My preferene is the Gilbertson with an oval opening for ease of monitoring. Also, hang the nestbox inside of those two pegs for squeezing the two sides instead of squeezing the front and back to release from roof. Gilwood is another excellent choice.
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by mark.
Zip-a-dee doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay ... www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoEojphw7kkNovember 16, 2021 at 7:46 pm #23835
I really agree with the fact that it is more location than design – blues like open spaces with not a lot of brush, bushes, etc. Wrens will always be a problem and this is why I like to have an extra box or two, that way they and HOSP can be kept busy rebuilding while my blues are laying eggs and taking care of their young. This is my secret to having a good season. Of course, can’t be without my VanErt trap for the HOSP.
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