April 30, 2020 at 1:36 pm #8076
Hi All…….so excited, I was checking the box not expecting to see an egg, but there it was. I’m feeling rusty on what to do next. I immediately put up the sparrow spooker. I’m now watching to see if they approve. This pair of BB do not hang by their box guarding it. The box is paired with another in my front yard. The other box has been claimed by tree swallows….no eggs yet. The TRES are hanging out on a shepherds hook often.
Two questions- If there is egg #2 tomorrow afternoon do I put up the wren guard? If there is not another egg tomorrow do I put the wren guard or wait?
The other question is – Should I put up another shepherds hook for the bluebirds or do they prefer to hangout in near by trees or will they share with the TRES since it’s a double hook.
Judy-MichiganApril 30, 2020 at 8:17 pm #8077David in Stafford,VAParticipant
Congratulations on the first egg. The fun begins. Did she lay a second egg after you put up the spooker? If so, I would try the Wren guard if you have a wren problem. I have not seen a sparrow or wren in my back yard for a while so I have not put up a spooker or wren guard. I have them ready in case I see some of that activity.
Question 2. Have you had a shepherds hook there before? If so, did they use it? Mine seem to like the hook in the morning but stay in the trees during the afternoon – except following the hatch. Then they seem to land there with their meal for the nestlings before going to the nestbox. My hook is about 30 feet in front and to the left side of the nest box. I do not have many other birds that share the hook. maybe a cardinal or robin once in a while, but not many others.
Stafford, VAApril 30, 2020 at 8:37 pm #8079
Good news, Judy – dido to what David says about the guards- I don’t have a shepherd’s hook – my blues LOVE to hang out in my trees. They come to one special tree where they wait for me to put out the worms and then swoop down to devour them and bring them to their 5 babies. P.S. Don’t let those wrens fool you – they are around and we just don’t always see them until it is too late. HOSP don’t try to hide from you but those wrens are sneaky.May 1, 2020 at 9:36 pm #8083
Thanks David and Carol for your help. The bluebirds accepted the spooker and laid egg #2. I put the wren guard up today about noonish. This pair of blues do not hangout by their box, but I did see papa blue poke his head in the hole and leave. Mama was hanging out on the high wire……never saw her close to the box. Guess I will have to wait and see if she lays egg #3 tomorrow. I know those nasty wrens are on their way, but have not seen or heard any yet……grrrr.
I’m hoping the tree swallows nesting in the paired box will help keep unwanted intruders away. They are always on the shepherds hook watching their box. The blues are elusive. I think I will add another shepherds hook to see if they will hangout on it like the tres are doing. In past seasons the blues preferred the shepherds hook.
This bluebirding is so much more involved than I ever knew, but it’s a labor of love 💗
Judy-MichiganMay 1, 2020 at 10:30 pm #8086David in Stafford,VAParticipant
Your female should accept the wren guard as she has eggs in the box. Watch tomorrow to see if she has laid another egg. If no, I would remove the guard again until she goes in again, then put it up again. Young females might not be comfortable with a guard hanging over their door until the see that it is not harming the nest.
Stafford, VAMay 2, 2020 at 6:37 pm #8089
Yup…..all went well with the wren guard. She laid egg #3 today. They were super skittish yesterday, so I was a little worried. Well I knew they would be coming….the house wrens showed up this morning. I heard at least two. I was hoping to get hatchlings before they arrived.
Carol….I’m trying one of your ideas. I put up a dummy box to let the wrens fill with sticks and keep them occupied. Will they stay interested if I remove the sticks daily? Sure hope it works‼️
Judy-MichiganMay 3, 2020 at 4:32 pm #8090
Judy, yes, they will just keep putting sticks in the box – just be sure to leave a few so they know that this is THEIR OWN box. Also, do not remove any nest which is completed, that is with a nice cup and/or with eggs. . . . . . .May 3, 2020 at 6:47 pm #8093SassyParticipant
Hi Judy, so glad you have eggs and the guard worked. Mine have hatched, but I think only 4 have made it.
ConnieMay 4, 2020 at 8:14 am #8100
I’ve been keeping the wren busy with the dummy box. Thanks for the advice Carol. You and Connie should have fledglings at the end of this week. That’s really exciting!
Today should be egg #5. Weather forecast for later this week is predicting two days of below freezing temp, one day as low as 26 degrees…….brrrrr. Can I assume if mama blue is brooding the eggs should be fine? I have never had eggs this early before.
Judy-MichiganMay 4, 2020 at 9:08 am #8101
Wow, Judy, 26 degrees – that is scary. If you have read Tammy’s reply on May 1 to my thread about the freeze, about her eggs not making it through a cold spell this year, you have reason to be concerned. My 5 eggs did make it through 2 freezing nights, with very strong north winds. The only thing I could do was close up one of the vents at the top side of the box, which was on the north side. Don’t know if that helped of not, but it was SOMETHING I could at least try. Mama blue should be able to keep the eggs warm if she is incubating well, but . . . . Sometimes we just have to do what we can and let Mother Nature take care of the rest. Good Luck!May 4, 2020 at 4:09 pm #8102
Thanks Carol…..I think I will tape up both side vents for sure. Wind probably makes things worse. I’m pondering using a piece of batten insulation around the sides, bottom, top and back. Nothing on the front. Box faces south/east. Anyone ever tried this?
Judy-MichiganMay 4, 2020 at 7:16 pm #8105
Well….I took my tape out with me when I did today’s nest check……already to tape up the side vents. To my surprise there are none. I guess in this case that is a good thing. There is a vent above the door, should I tape that up? That would leave the entry hole and 4 small bottom drain holes.
Good news, egg #5 today.
Judy-MichiganMay 4, 2020 at 9:51 pm #8106
Judy, I believe this is a toss up – but since she is incubating I wouldn’t disturb her off the nest this late at night. Probably be okay if there are no ventilation vents on sides . . . .May 5, 2020 at 10:29 am #8107dogsandbirdsModerator
Judy, I hope your wren guard keeps working. It did not work here today. He got in there and killed both eggs. Now they are back to square one with this cycle. If only they could be as vigilant as TRES.
Atlanta, GAMay 5, 2020 at 11:52 am #8111
Sorry to hear about your wren problem, Gin. Aren’t they just a pain! I haven’t had too much trouble in all these years, but they have wrecked about 3 nests with eggs that I can remember. BUT I still am faithful to be sure I have one on the box when 1st or 2nd egg is laid.
Judy, what kind of temps do you all get there in the summer? If your box has no side vents for ventilation flow through, and it gets hot at all, I would think about adding them. That opening above the hole is something but does not allow for flow through the box, which we have to have here in the Midwest and where I live. Just a thought.
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