April 13, 2017 at 8:44 pm #3658
….my very first bluebird egg!
Thanks again to those of you who responded to my other post – seems the bluebirds decided today was the day to start! I came home around 7pm and checked the box and sure enough, there was a beautiful blue egg. The parents made one last check of the box shortly after and I imagine they went off to roost someplace.
I installed my spooker – now I just hope that they are ok with that. They have been fine with the monofilament and steel leaders I added to the box a couple weeks ago when they started looking at it and I still had HOSPs around.
I have a baffle (the conical kind for now) that I need to put on too – the bracket has been on the pole for a couple of days with no disturbance to the bluebirds. Can anyone please advise me as to how soon I can do that after the spooker? I found out about the stovepipe kind and have one made and ready to install, but it will have to wait until the nest is empty and I can take the box off the pole.
Good news is that I changed out my birdseed and added some shiny wire across my hanging and ground platform feeders (anchored with pushpins) and the HOSP have not been around other than the occasional scout who leaves disappointed (hopefully). The doves and native sparrows have done a great job cleaning up any hull-free seed that was scattered around before I changed it all out. My fingers are crossed that they will stay away. The other birds are ok with the wires and navigate around them to get the seed which is mostly safflower and grey striped sunflower with a bit of black oil.
Should I add any kind of grease or oil to the pole for ants or anything else that may be a problem? If so, what do you recommend?
Thanks again for all the help and wonderful information on here!April 13, 2017 at 10:23 pm #3659
Yes, you need to grease the pole. I completely forgot this year until I found my BB nest just full of ants today! Mama blue has been incubating about 2 or 3 days. I had greased the pole yesterday, not realizing ants were already there until today when I checked the box. I had to do a complete nest change they were so bad. Now I’m just keeping my fingers, toes and eyes crossed that I didn’t mess up. The spare nest I had was too large for this box so I had to take some out and kind of remake it and then put the unhatched eggs in the nest. I had an exact spare box, so I was able to put the clean nest in this box and just move the box and all to the previous pole. P.S. The ants probably would not hurt the mama incubating but it has been said they are very hard on the babies, sometimes fatal if it is a bad infestation.April 13, 2017 at 10:40 pm #3661LisaParticipant
Congrats on the egg! I posted on the other thread that I just knew it would be soon!April 13, 2017 at 11:30 pm #3669
I am sorry to hear about your dilemma. I hope that as a new bluebirder that I do not have to deal with anything as complex as replacing a nest. I truly hope that this works out favorably for the birds and you! Granted I am very new to this but surely what you are trying to do is better than letting the ants do harm – that would crush me to know that was going on and that I did not try to do something.
What kind of grease do you use in order to discourage ants etc? I have heard that some kinds of products are not recommended due to potential harm to feathers etc.
Anyone else, please feel free to chime in with your recommendations. I have read about things like some kind of finishing spray that people use on showhorses, among other things. I certainly do not want to use something that would give off an odor that would attract unwanted attention from a predator. I have a neighborhood cat that skulks around – I cut the base of the shrubs near the box way back and thinned them out a bit so that I (and hopefully the birds) can see the cat better should it try to hide.
These little birds are totally magical….I am enthralled with them and want to do everything I possibly can to watch over them.April 13, 2017 at 11:34 pm #3670
Thank you so much! Today was considerably more sunny and fairly nice temperature-wise. I had hoped all day (while at work) that perhaps all they wanted was a sunny day to start out with. The last two days before were rather grey and colder out. Sure enough….
…..and to think so many of you on here have seen many little bluebird families through to the empty nest stage.April 14, 2017 at 2:52 am #3675Love my blues!Participant
Hi Wild Blue Yonder. I put my baffle up after an egg was laid. I did it in evening when parents weren’t around. I had someone with me to hold box while I put baffle on. Then, we carefully put box back on pole. I guess you could always remove the egg & put it in a padded container while you’re changing it out. In my opinion, it’s better to have the baffle up to use all safety precautions possible. Forgive me if I misunderstood your baffle message. Hope all works out!
NicoleApril 14, 2017 at 8:46 am #3677
I will install the conical “collar” baffle for now. After reading some other threads here, i only put 1 pair of mylar strips on the spooker so as not to scare the BBs. I saw him perched on one of the upper rods before he flew off. Pretty sure it was her who went into the box. Hopefully they acclimate to it today. I will add more strips tonight.
I noticed a robin doing battle with himself in my next door neighbors window so i went over and taped a couple of small strips to the glass in hopes that he moves along.
Really hoping for egg 2 today. The sun os out and I can hear him put amongst the nearby trees.
He just now came back and is checking the sun is out. He was in the slotted entry. I think she might be the shy one.April 14, 2017 at 9:18 am #3682
Wild Blue – I use heavy axle grease, the kind like mechanics use for greasing wheel bearings. It does not wash away like the light stuff. You only put a about a 2″ strip on the pole, down about 4-6″ from the box itself. The birds will not get into this if you keep it up high enough. BUT, need to lift up nest gently to be sure there are not any ants in it already. This is what happened to me and I had to do a complete nest change. (I did not get my pole greased soon enough!)April 14, 2017 at 9:55 am #3684
Success with the spooker so far….2 eggs already :) He realizes its a new taller place for him to perch upon and survey his kingdom.
Where can I get axle grease? WalMart?April 14, 2017 at 1:44 pm #3692
Probably – my hubby uses it for our boat trailer wheel bearings. Glad your blues accepted the spooker okay. Don’t forget to check the nest to be sure there are not ants there already before you grease pole!April 15, 2017 at 8:36 pm #3716dogsandbirdsModerator
I use the same grease we use on the garage door tracks. It stays there a long, long time. Like years. I always reach up under the baffle to apply it and I use a disposable glove.
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