April 2, 2016 at 7:27 pm #1253
I had a pair of bluebirds hanging around my box this year. It is the same pair that had two successful fledges last year in my box. I believe they were getting ready to start to nest in the box when a male house sparrow came and claimed the box. They fiercely tried to fight the HS away but gave up. Mean while I ordered a Van Ert sparrow trap. By the time the trap came the BBs stopped visiting the box. I got arid of the HS. The female still comes a few times every day to eat the meal worms I put out and to drink from the bird bath. I haven’t seen the male come any more. Is it likely that they went some where else to nest and won’t nest in my box now because of this HS?April 2, 2016 at 8:22 pm #1254
They probably did choose another box for the first cycle but may return for a later nesting. Another pair may also come along. Don’t give up hope!
Atlanta, GAApril 3, 2016 at 4:55 am #1262Love my blues!Participant
Hi Missy- If your bluebirds do appear for a later nesting (or you get another pair), do you have a sparrow spooker to put up after 1st egg is laid? Since you have HOSPs around, you may want to go ahead & get one to be prepared (unless you already have one). Hope it works out for you!
NicoleApril 3, 2016 at 2:02 pm #1264
Yes, I have a home made sparrow spooker. I also have monofilament string wrapped around the house as suggested on Sialas.org. I once read that putting up a decoy bluebird on the box will attract new BBs and deter sparrows. Has anyone else heard this?April 3, 2016 at 7:06 pm #1265
I’ve heard of that but I don’t know how effective it is. Some people try a piece of blue cloth. Don’t know about that one either. The strongest attractions are probably suitable housing and a large open space around the box for hunting.
Atlanta, GAApril 4, 2016 at 12:02 am #1270phillybluesParticipant
I put up dual-holed boxes which is supposed to help bluebirds defend the box from sparrows. It creates an escape route so the bluebird can take the fight outside the box. I can’t prove it but I had success with them last year.April 4, 2016 at 1:07 am #1271Bobs FarmParticipant
Our local bird store is trying out a new concept that seems to be catching on. Bluebird houses with a plexy glass sunroof. He drills a nice sized hole in the roof allowing sunlight in and covers it with plexy glass. The sparrows do not like the sunlight protruding in where it does not seem to bother the blues. He’s running a test cycle this year in several parks around the area. So far so good. Thought I would share.
BobApril 4, 2016 at 7:28 pm #1273
A couple years ago I took the roof off my BB box and replaced it with piece of wood with a hole drilled in it and covered the wood with plexi-glass. My husband accused me of trying to cook the BBs. He said all it would do is generate heat inside the box and cook the birds’ eggs. So I took it off and put the original roof back on the box. What is your thought on the plexi-glass retaining too much heat in the box?
I was wandering if there’s a chance one of the babies that fledged from my box last year would come back this year to lay his/her eggs with a mate? Don’t last year’s babies nest later in the year?April 4, 2016 at 9:47 pm #1278Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
I don’t believe putting plexi-glass on a roof hole would be a good thing, unless it were very small. I would be more inclined to make your ventilation areas a little larger it you wanted more light, not on the very top where the sun bears down. I even have to put a Styrofoam heat shield over my wood roof to keep the heat down, as my boxes are in full sun. Gin is definitely correct in that the correct box and location is what will attract the birds. Good luck.April 4, 2016 at 10:39 pm #1279Bobs FarmParticipant
Good question. It’s being tried by our local bird store owner. I can defently see both of yours concerns with the heat related issue. I’ll bring that to his attention and see what his response is.April 5, 2016 at 8:56 pm #1286
Birds who nest in cavities do so for a good reason. Their chicks need the darkness for their undeveloped eyes. “Skylights” do not belong in the roof of a box.
Atlanta, GAApril 6, 2016 at 9:20 am #1291The Original Bluebird NutAdmi-nut-strator
I agree with Gin – from the Sialis website:
Experimentation: When conducting experiments, we must make our best efforts, based on available information and good judgement, to first do no harm.
For example, somebody tried putting Plexiglas roofs on a nestbox, in an attempt to deter House Sparrows. The heat cooked the eggs. There is no need to repeat an experiment like that. This is why I encourage people to report not just on successful experiments, but also on failed ones, despite how embarrassing that may be.
TMB StudiosApril 7, 2016 at 11:40 am #1310Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Amen to what Cher & Gin say – not just with the plexi-glass but we DO need to report on unsuccessful attempts with our ideas, as well with the successful ones. This is how we learn. More general things might work in one part of the country and not in the other, i.e. box design, shade vs. open, etc.
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