July 16, 2022 at 11:41 am #26742
Just a reminder that if you have a wren guard on your BB box it is best to remove it several days prior to fledging date (usually about 4-5 days) so that it does not interfere with the babies fledging and also easier for parents to feed them since they are good sized by then. I almost forgot this on my current nest box #3 as they are due to fledge in 3 or 4 days. (WHEW – I need to remember this)
Also, I was wondering if anyone here on this forum has ever had a 4th nesting around this time – mid July. I am hoping my pair quit but I will care for them as usual if they keep at it.July 16, 2022 at 12:29 pm #26743tamseaModerator
Speaking of wren guards. I’ve never had wrens at my house but the last couple of years they have visited. I strongly discourage. This year one gave up early on and I have a new one. I can’t stand the sound!! Scares me and just annoys me. I’ve had a terrible bluebird year, I can explain later, but I’ve had no successful nests. I have eggs in a box and a wren flitting around. Wren guard is up. I’m making a new one out of sign material. And making it so I can open and close it with nest checks. (front load box). How far does all of yours hang below the hole. Directions say right below but I think I like it a little lower.The one that’s on now is hangs more than what is in the directions but the bluebirds are going in. I’m making my new weather proof one now.
TammyJuly 16, 2022 at 3:02 pm #26744stebetParticipant
Hi Tammy, what kind of Wren Guard do you use? Could you provide a link? I’ve been trying to use one, as well, but the BBs won’t go inside when it’s attached. It seems too daunting to them, somehow. I hate to remove it, but when I do, they jump right in. Maybe I purchased the wrong kind?July 16, 2022 at 9:44 pm #26745
The trick on wren guards is this – you do NOT put on the wren guard UNTIL after the 1st egg is laid – when this happens they are committed to that box and usually will go in after a time or two. And I usually already have a sparrow spooker on the pole right away – the blues will even stand on the spooker keeping an eye out for unwanted birds.
Tammy, my wren guard does hang a little below the hole, maybe 1/2 to 1 inch. Main measurement for the wren guard is the distance from the front of the box out to the spooker, which needs to be about 3 inches – they used to recommend 2 1/2 inches but then came out with the 3″ (this is to the back side of the guard – the clearance area) which I do believe is better so the birds can have room to swoop under the guard to get in the box.July 17, 2022 at 12:21 pm #26746stebetParticipant
Hi Carol, can you let me know what kind of wren guard you’re using? (And a link, if possible!) Thank you!July 17, 2022 at 1:09 pm #26747
I can’t tell you exactly, since it is homemade, but I got the pattern/information from the http://www.sialis.org/wrens.htm website. Like I mentioned the old recommendation for space between the front of the nest box and the guard used to be 2 1/2 inches but is now recommended 3″ which is a lot better for the birds to get into the hole. There is a really good picture of this wren guard on that website. This morning I was able to see one of my blues peeking out of their hole which you cannot see with the wren guard on. First time this year out of three boxes I have been able to see one peek.July 17, 2022 at 8:31 pm #26749JulieParticipant
Thank you for supplying all this wren guard info! I’ve heard one in the neighbor’s yard, which I usually do this time of year, but I also don’t usually have bluebirds nesting this time of year….so I’m on high alert. Think i’ll be crafting a guard…Thank you for the timely thread, Carol!!July 18, 2022 at 1:17 pm #26756David in Stafford,VAParticipant
Wren guards do work but I have not used one this year as my “temporary” guard came apart after 3 seasons and I did not build another one because of the late start of my season. If they do go for a 3rd nest, I will put a new one up after the first egg. I do have wrens in the woods and shrubs.
Stafford, VAJuly 18, 2022 at 9:14 pm #26757
David, it sure didn’t take me long to realize the importance of the wren guard until in my earlier years I found BB eggs pierced and broken on the ground several times. I was heart-broken and very next season my homemade (wooden) spooker was up right after 1st egg was laid.July 20, 2022 at 2:09 pm #26776David in Stafford,VAParticipant
Carol – That was my experience also. I have used the guard except for this year when we had our cool spring and late nest building (and the wren protector coming apart in the rain). I did put a longer weather shield over the roof of the box. It extends out over the front to just above the entry hole. It took the bluebirds a couple of tries to figure it out.
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