Something Still Roosting in My Nest Box

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      All winter long something was roosting in both my nest boxes. Any ideas what it would be? Any chance it’s the blues?

      The backyard box is claimed by a Carolina Chickadee couple, although a pair of blues were in a standoff about the box 2 days ago.

      But the box in the front yard, which is the one the blues used last year, is still being used for roosting. There’s been a few pieces of grass put in it sporadically, but I keep finding feces indicating they’re roosting. Is that keeping the birds from nesting there?

      Not that I can do anything about it, I’m just curious.


        Usually for me droppings in the bottom of a box means house sparrows. You should see them perching on top though. I have friends that have figured out how to tell the difference between bluebird droppings and house sparrow droppings but I’m not that talented. I’d scrape the dropping out. I too wonder sometimes if dropping deter birds from using the box. I use a paint scraper.



          Roosting feces would not prevent someone from nesting in the box, no. The birds would build a nest right over top if they wanted to.

          I have had EABL use my boxes for roosting in bad weather but have heard woodpeckers and other birds can also use boxes. TRES will also roost, sometimes communally, if the weather is especially bad. One winter was so bad here I had two inches of feces in the box in the spring (and a dead EABL that had partially been covered with feces so even that did not stop them from continuing to use the box). I had cleaned the box totally before winter (and again in the spring so they did not have to build a nest on that!).

          If there’s room I would maybe put up a second box. Don’t Chickadees like shrubs? Maybe add another box in a more open area, that way you may have two species nesting! Always neat. But in my experience the Blues will get the box they want, no mater if there is another species nesting there or its dirty or whatnot.


            I have seen a woodpecker lately using one of the bluebird boxes. He or she does not leave a mess, it just seems to come at night and leave in the day time. Interesting to say the least.
            Connie (PA)

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