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tclarkwood

Bluebird Nesting Spring 2019

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10 minutes ago, tclarkwood said:

I'm sorry... I will make a point of sending you a photo of my set up that is more predator proof.  Something is getting into you box and destroying the eggs. Don't give up yet.  I keep forgetting to send you the photo of my set up that has worked well.   Chaseman has a very good set up too with three boxes so his bluebirds have the luxury of having a choice of which box they want.  Maybe he can post a photo the next time he is on here? 

I forgot that you said earlier in the year that you have HOSP around your property.  There is a chance that a HOSP is getting in the box and pecking at the eggs?  Have you seen any HOSP go into the box? 

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On 6/5/2019 at 11:43 AM, tclarkwood said:

I forgot that you said earlier in the year that you have HOSP around your property.  There is a chance that a HOSP is getting in the box and pecking at the eggs?  Have you seen any HOSP go into the box? 

I haven't seen a HOSP on or at the box since I put up the spooker after something killed the first set of eggs this year.  I can't rule it out, I've had HOSP ignore the spooker in previous years.

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The female figured out how to remove the two unhatched eggs without me helping. Now you tell me how she removed those eggs? Did she eat them? She certainly didn’t remove them whole! What happened? 🧐

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The two chicks that hatched are growing fast. They have doubled in size since June 5.  Never saw a trace of the two eggs the female removed last week. 

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Well... 2 more bluebird babies have fledged now!  That is 7 babies so far this year.  I will wash out the box this afternoon and see if she starts building another nest in the box.  The babies must have flown out Saturday morning because she was feeding them on Friday. 

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I cleaned out the bluebird box so let's see if she builds another nest.  I have not seen her, the babies or the male in the last few days. 

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I think my bluebird pair maybe done for the year.  The box has been empty since June 25 with no signs of activity.  I'm wondering now if something else happened to my last two babies other than them fledging?  It seemed like it was an early fledge but there was no sign of foul play in or around the box. 

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first time ever....the female has started building the nest in the blue bird box for the third time.  I was concerned about the last brood but like tclarkwood - have seen no sign of a problem with the last brood but did not see them leave the box.  I waited two or three days..then went to look and  the nest was empty.  I cleaned it out and three days later they are back for the third time

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My bluebird pair gave up just after 2 broods.  I'm not sure why they gave up and didn't try a 3rd brood unless it was the heat or the fact that something got into my box, past the baffle, and took my two fledglings from the second brood. When this happens, the pair will sometimes not try any more broods in a box where a predator has been successful.  I'm hoping that it is just the heat because if it is a predator problem, I'm not sure how I will fix the issue for next year.   What I might do is put up another box with a predator baffle on the property that offers a little more shade.   Nothing else left to do this summer except try to stay cool and get ready for Fall Migration which will start in September.  Maybe I will catch a rose-breasted grosbeak on the way back through headed back to Central America.  I did see one two years ago during the fall migration.  My hummingbird issue is better.  I at least have 3 or 4 hummers now compared to none during June. 

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I think it may have been wishful thinking on my part...the third brood.  The female definately came back to the box two or three times that I saw but I have not seen her for the past week.  Will still keep looking but hope is fading.  But it has been very warm...understatement here in Baltimore County...over 115 heat index.   I have been surprised that have had no predators  - both the boxes I have up are on trees- the one used this year is more secluded than the other.  The male keeps a pretty good watch and chases other birds and squirrels away.

Having no problem with hummingbirds now...for at least two or three weeks - all I saw were females but males are there now and what I believe is a juvenile male.  I bought a second feeder today because one of the males seemingly has staked out the first.  We will see.  I have  not had a lot of luck with this type - reservoir over the feeder..  They are hard to individually ID but I think I have at least 6 possible 8.  

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I must learn to be more patient or something..now the female bluebird is back and and has definetly built a nest in the box.  More as things progres  (or not)

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well I guess she had second thoughts - did not see the female in or out of the nest for a while..well over a week. So this morning I checked  - she had built a nest but not used it.  

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Usually egg laying is over by August.  The latest I have seen new eggs in a nest was the first week of August and that happened only one time and I think it might have even been a mistake by the bluebird pair.  Ironically, the eggs hatched and the chicks fledged the nest.  This happened about 5 years ago at my parent's house in North Alabama.  If they start in March with the first brood, you can sometimes get 3 broods in one year.  The one I'm talking about at my parents house was actually 4 broods that year.  That is the only time that I have seen or heard of 4 successful broods in one season. 

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Hello all, it’s been a year since I’ve logged in at whatbird. Just wanted to give an update on the Eastern Bluebirds in my neck of the woods. Last winter I decided to try a different method for getting Bluebirds to nest on my property. I’ve had a problem with House Sparrows kicking them out. This past year I decided to see if adding more nesting boxes helped, and it did! I added 3 to the existing one. I was hoping that the HS wouldn’t be able to defend so many boxes. At first, I didn’t think it would take. It seemed that the BBs decided to nest out in the woods or on another property. Then I noticed that the BB make and female returned after the HS were “training” their fledglings. Mr & Mrs set up housekeeping in one house after inspecting the 3 that the HS didn’t pick. Within days, there were 4 eggs! My first brood to keep an eye on! That was probably late May or so. I missed watching them fledge, but saw them shortly after in the trees nearby. I cleaned the house out right away, and presto Mama & Daddy got busy again! The next set was also 4! By August they in full training mode. I didn’t see any Bluebirds for about 6 weeks, but could always hear them around. When the weather started to get chilly, they came back to my feeders. I’m seeing 3 males and 4 females on a regular basis. They seem to swoop into the trees and then take turns at the feeders for several minutes. They come by several times a day. What a joy the process was to watch, from choosing an abode, to building, then laying eggs, incubating them, feed them after hatching, fledging, and then training! 

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On 12/12/2019 at 10:48 AM, FamiliarFace said:

Hello all, it’s been a year since I’ve logged in at whatbird. Just wanted to give an update on the Eastern Bluebirds in my neck of the woods. Last winter I decided to try a different method for getting Bluebirds to nest on my property. I’ve had a problem with House Sparrows kicking them out. This past year I decided to see if adding more nesting boxes helped, and it did! I added 3 to the existing one. I was hoping that the HS wouldn’t be able to defend so many boxes. At first, I didn’t think it would take. It seemed that the BBs decided to nest out in the woods or on another property. Then I noticed that the BB make and female returned after the HS were “training” their fledglings. Mr & Mrs set up housekeeping in one house after inspecting the 3 that the HS didn’t pick. Within days, there were 4 eggs! My first brood to keep an eye on! That was probably late May or so. I missed watching them fledge, but saw them shortly after in the trees nearby. I cleaned the house out right away, and presto Mama & Daddy got busy again! The next set was also 4! By August they in full training mode. I didn’t see any Bluebirds for about 6 weeks, but could always hear them around. When the weather started to get chilly, they came back to my feeders. I’m seeing 3 males and 4 females on a regular basis. They seem to swoop into the trees and then take turns at the feeders for several minutes. They come by several times a day. What a joy the process was to watch, from choosing an abode, to building, then laying eggs, incubating them, feed them after hatching, fledging, and then training! 

Bluebirds are great!  Glad you figured it out rather than giving up! 

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I've read that bluebirds don't mind if there's a hole in the roof, but that House Sparrows and many other species won't use boxes with open tops.  This year you might try cutting a hole in the top, maybe 2" square.  And yes, I'm quite serious!

You might also try long tubular boxes, similar to the plastic ones people use to have for newspaper delivery.  The bluebirds in my neighborhood nest in those regularly.   I doubt House Sparrows would like that shape either.

Edited by Charlie Spencer

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