July 2, 2019 at 8:46 pm #7537
Hi All, Today was exciting for me, I saw one of the fledglings with papa blue. So cute….sat in a nearby tree for awhile then flew off. Also, got the 1st egg of the second nesting in the backyard paired box. I put up the sparrow spooker. I will try the wren guard tomorrow if I see egg #2. I can not tell the 2 pairs of bluebirds apart, but one female was not accepting of the wren guard on the first nesting. I removed it, she was successful, but she only laid 2 eggs. It’s getting hot and humid here….at what temperature do I need to worry about putting up a heat shield? Happy 4th of July!
Judy-MichiganJuly 4, 2019 at 9:06 pm #7538LisaParticipant
I should have mine up and I confess that I don’t. It’s been in the 90’s and they are 10 days old today. Feeding lots of mealworms for hydration but getting home in the dark and haven’t done it. Shame on me. The box is super active with feeding so I think they are faring well.July 4, 2019 at 9:51 pm #7539
Update…..the blues are good with the wren guard. I see both going in and out. As of today she has laid 3 eggs. I see another pair of bluebirds checking out the front yard boxes, but they don’t stay long and have not started building a nest yet. Anyone know how late in the season they lay eggs in Michigan.
Judy-MichiganJuly 5, 2019 at 10:05 am #7540
I don’t know how late they normally lay eggs where you are, but in Atlanta I have a third clutch being laid right now. That is a little late for here because of the heat.
When or if to add heat shielding depends on how good the ventilation is in your box, how much (and when) there is shade during the day, the outside temp and the direction your box faces. Vents work really well when they are opposite each other, afternoon shade is best, and facing well away from the west all help.
My box faces away from the afternoon sun and is also shaded then. Vents are adequate and I have never had to heat shield.
Atlanta, GAJuly 5, 2019 at 12:31 pm #7541
Gin, Thank you for your response. I know your weather in Atlanta can be super hot, so it’s good to know you have been successful with out heat protection. This bb box is in an open area where it is full sun all day. The vents are at the 4 bottom corners, V wedges on both sides at the top and the front has a slot opening. With the wren guard on it shades the front of the box. Box is facing north/east. Today was #4 egg…..I added a piece of white styrofoam to the roof with a 1/2 air pocket between the roof and shield. I almost think she has started brooding today, because I saw her go in the box and not come out.
Judy-MichiganJuly 5, 2019 at 1:36 pm #7542Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Gin, you are lucky about having some shade for your boxes. None of my boxes have any shade whatsoever, as they are all in my back yard which is about 2 acres. I do have some big trees but they are closer to the house and also have some dwarf fruit trees which are good for babies to fledge to but don’t provide any shade. Therefore, being in Missouri which gets pretty hot, I always go ahead and put up my heat shield. Plus I have an extra large shield of Styrofoam for the top which provides extra protection from rain on the sides & front. Judy, congrats on your good luck with the blues this year.July 6, 2019 at 4:52 pm #7552
Judy those holes in the corners of the floor are not really very efficient vents. In theory, they are for drainage. Of course a good box doesn’t need that.
Your box is facing an excellent direction. No worries there. Your heat shield sounds perfect.
My boxes normally face northeast but sometimes that changes, depending on weather. A few years ago, Fred (who isn’t around much) mentioned free wheeling boxes. I’ve been doing that ever since that day. My boxes are mounted on a pole with a flange under the floor of the box. When the wind changes direction during a storm the box is free to rotate so rain can never blow in the entrance hole. After the storm, I walk out there and correct the direction of the box.
Atlanta, GAJuly 6, 2019 at 7:49 pm #7553
Gin, My boxes are mounted the same way. So are you saying just sit the box on top of the pole so it can turn freely…..do not use the tighten down screw? That has never crossed my mind. We just had a big thunder/rain storm roll through.
Second nesting has 4 eggs, her first nesting was 2 eggs. All is well. So, cute one of the fledglings likes to sit on the shepherd’s with papa keeping an eye on things.
My other box of babies fledged on June 18th. Tuesday will be 3 weeks, have any of you had a pair wait this long to start a second nesting? I do see them looking in the boxes, but no nest building. I think the clock is ticking towards the cut off time.
Judy-MichiganJuly 6, 2019 at 9:19 pm #7559LisaParticipant
Mine waited ONE day before nest building this year after the last fledge. Insane.
I also have a box that turns freely but it makes me nervous when severe weather is headed our way.July 9, 2019 at 4:33 pm #7563
Yes, Judy, that’s what I’m saying. When we have the rare winds that come from all directions it helps keep the inside of the box dry. If you don’t like what happens, you can always tighten things again. At this point I’m not really sure where my screws are!
I probably have had them wait several weeks between nests, but I don’t worry about that ever. They are going to do what they are going to do and worrying gets me nowhere. I don’t see worried looks on their little faces so I just go with what they do.
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