March 13, 2021 at 12:29 pm #8742Rich KParticipant
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Sooo…. I’ve had HOSP’s nosing in and out of my Gilbertson and Slot the past two days so I put up my Van Ert’s. I usually catch the little demons within minutes. I was monitoring the boxes and came in for lunch. While eating, I heard a male EABL singing away. I went outside and saw the Van Ert was triggered on the Gilbertson. I carefully went to remove the bird in a clear plastic bag. It was a FEMALE EABL!! That is the FIRST time I’ve ever caught one with the Van Ert. She flew off completely unharmed, followed by the Male. HOWEVER, now I am freaked out thinking they will never come back because she will be spooked. What is your experience with this if the EABL gets caught with the Van Ert??March 13, 2021 at 5:47 pm #8743
Rich, this is the reason the set VanErt trap MUST be monitored closely. In all my years I maybe have had one bluebird get caught and it did not bother her at all. This is unusual that if the HOSP were claiming a box for a bluebird to enter. Did you wait for the start of a nest from the HOSP before you set the trap? I know they usually scout a box for some time and if the female “likes” the box, they will start building.
I have had a HOSP couple scouting my favorite box for 2 or 3 weeks now. They finally began a nest so I set the VanErt for them. They we had terrible rains and wind and he never did go inside to get caught, so I took it out. Well, today we had a pretty clear day, just small amount of light rain, so I went out and noticed there was some “this is mine” starters of a nest there. I will wait a day or so and then set the trap again.
Keep up the work on those HOSP. Believe our birding season is upon us. Now, if I could just get rid of my winter birds (juncos, white crowned sparrows, so I can begin feeding my mealworms, I will be a happy gal!March 17, 2021 at 9:24 am #8749Rich KParticipant
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I keep a very close eye on the traps when set. This is perhaps where I made an error though, there was no nest material in the box and I had only seen the male HOSP sitting on top of it. I will wait for them to begin building a nest next time. The good news is I saw the female EABL on top of the box about an hour after I posted this. Today the female EABL and the Male have been going in and out of my slot box where I had three broods last year. I think it’s too early to start nesting here in Western PA (normally first week of April for 1st brood). But they are no doubt scouting and laying claim as the male was chasing HOSP’s away. Thanks for the tips!!March 17, 2021 at 8:39 pm #8750
Rich, sure goad your blues are scouting for a box – I’m really worried that mine are not “scouting and laying claim” like usual – still not sure if the three that are left (after finding two dead in a box) are juveniles from last season or if the parents from last year are here, along with one juvenile. I have four boxes in four different corners of my 2.5 acre yard, so I’m sure hoping they will finally pick out one. It is still early for a nest for them, but not too early for scouting.
P.S. This forum is a great asset to us who are trying to help out our precious blues – what one person has learned (sometimes by trial and error), is passed along, and then that same person may get good tips from someone else. Great to hear from everyone.March 21, 2021 at 12:19 am #8753
I trapped 3 males with the van ert this month. Between that trap and the cage trap I caught 74 this winter! Always paranoid I’ll catch a good bird with van ert, But so far so good. I hope I put a decent dent in the hosp pop.March 21, 2021 at 10:37 am #8754
Carol they should have Junco day instead of Groundhog day. I just want them to leave so spring can actually start…haha.March 21, 2021 at 11:27 am #8755
Great work, Philly Blues – glad someone is having luck trapping them – I am working on a pair right now but letting them build more of a nest and then will set VanErt again. They WILL NOT hatch any as long as I’m alive and kicking. Yes, the Juncos are fun to watch but need them to go home, like you said, so spring will appear.March 23, 2021 at 12:44 am #8760DanaParticipant
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Carol and Phillyblues regarding the Juncos. I want them to leave too.
Time for Spring!March 25, 2021 at 9:30 pm #8762
Make that 5 this month! They keep coming. Working from home makes this easier to manage too. I convinced a nearby neighbor to start trapping too.
March 27, 2021 at 10:12 am #8764David in Stafford,VAParticipant
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Great news!!! And getting the neighbor involved is a Bonus. That will help the blue’s in a big way.
Stafford, VAApril 6, 2021 at 9:34 pm #8817
This has been the most peaceful spring in a long long time. I haven’t seen or heard a sparrow in days. It is so nice. My work over the winter is paying off I think. I know it will be a never ending battle, but I feel I have already made a big difference taking out about 80 plus or so.
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