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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Kennett Square, PA
    Posts
    608

    Big Grin

    The bluebirds have hatched in one of three nestboxes in our yard. Mom laid 5 eggs and it looks like all 5 hatched either yesterday or today. I caught her sitting on them when I checked the box today and got this photo.

    Tree swallows in box 2 should hatch in a few days, and there are wrens in boxes 3 and 4 (was hoping for chickadees or titmice here ).

    If you have bluebird boxes you know all about wrens - once you have them, you'll never be rid of them and they compete for all the boxes, so I have to put out an extra box just for them
    Southeast PA - 7 colonies, local mutts on natural comb, TF
    George Imirie's INDEXED Pink Pages: http://goo.gl/WiZUH3

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    Way tp go Pete! I've got a few bird houses out but haven't been paying attention to what (if anything) is nesting in them. I keep hoping a honey bee swarm will take up residence [img]smile.gif[/img]

    There is a lady down the road that we call the Blue Bird Lady, she has great success with them.

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,030

    Post

    Nice Pete! I attract a lot of birds, but have to engineeer each nest/feeding site so it doesn't become a cat feeder. Our mountain blues stay in the prairie/meadows and our yard is too "treed" to bring them in. I actually like the wrens; they'll stand up to the cats and let everyone else know if one's around chattering at them. Gutsy little buggers!
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Kennett Square, PA
    Posts
    608

    Post

    Yep - they are gutsy, Ben. I do like them aside from that they "hog" the bozes, but they're territorial enough that they make it more difficult for the european sparrows, so I guess it's a mixed blessing.

    I'll sit and watch the bluebirds bring food for a bit today - should be neat.
    Southeast PA - 7 colonies, local mutts on natural comb, TF
    George Imirie's INDEXED Pink Pages: http://goo.gl/WiZUH3

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Kennett Square, PA
    Posts
    608

    Post

    Here's a picture of the babies today - looks like there are just 4 - guess one of the eggs didn't hatch.
    Southeast PA - 7 colonies, local mutts on natural comb, TF
    George Imirie's INDEXED Pink Pages: http://goo.gl/WiZUH3

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    Very nice Pete! And yes I know about wrens. Fiesty rascals to say the least. We can only be greatful they aren't the size of crows....... our species would be in danger if they were.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Worthington, Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    1,848

    Post

    Nice photos Pete! See bluebirds in my boxes but did not check them out, have not seen any tree swallows in my boxes this year.
    Wrens do not bother my bluebird boxes, have smaller boxes for wrens and they seem satisfied.
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Tyler, Tx
    Posts
    29

    Post

    You guys probably already know that its the MALE wren that builds the nest. Actually, he builds more than one, escorts a prospective mate on a tour to choose the one she likes, and then they settle down. I love having them! They "groom" my outdoor potted plants and I've seen them going from plant to plant, along the rows of beans and squash, divesting them of varmits.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Kennett Square, PA
    Posts
    608

    Post

    Sad news on our bluebirds. I checked on them this evening and found the female dead in the box with the babies.

    I took out the female and threw her in the woods, then checked back in on the babies. They were pretty lethargic and when I touched them they weren't very warm. The male definitely helps feed the young, but I don't know if he will keep them warm as the mother did. I didn't have much choice as the babies were so lethargic I think they would have died overnight, so I ran to the pet store for some meal worms. Believe it or not, unlike when I was a kid, they now have a selection of worms, including wax worms! These looked the best - soft and juicy - so I bought a cup and came back home to rescue the babies.

    After warming them up cupped in my hands for about an hour, 3 out of 4 are now responding well and taking food (wax worms [img]smile.gif[/img] )

    The local animal rescue closed at 5 tonight - I called them earlier to see if they could take them. Now that the babies are responding, I'm thinking if I can get them through the night, I may just put them back out to see if the male takes care of them in the morning. If so I'll leave them in the box and maybe help out the male with some wax worms now and again. If it doesn't look like he's around, I guess I'll be forced to take them to animal rescue as it's illegal for me to raise them myself.

    Wish me (them) luck [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Southeast PA - 7 colonies, local mutts on natural comb, TF
    George Imirie's INDEXED Pink Pages: http://goo.gl/WiZUH3

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    St. Clair, Mo.
    Posts
    133

    Post

    Good luck, Pete. I know the tradgedy that sometimes befalls our bluebird friends. I am having a terrible time with House Sparrows at my house. They constantly harrass the bluebirds and chase them off repeatedly. I then go and remove the sparrow nest only to see the whole drama repeat it self again and again. I have even had sparrows kill all the baby bluebirds by pecking there little heads in. This year I resorted to shooting the sparrows with a .22 rifle. I hate to do it, but they are an invasive species and not protected for the reasons stated above. Even that has not helped much. My neighbor has an old martin house that has become a breeding grounds for sparrows. I have yet to come up with a solution. Keep us posted.
    \"Home is where the hive is.\"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Post

    My buddy has started putting glue traps on the floor of his bluebird boxes after cleaning out the sparrow nest. Almost always has the male sparrow in a few hours. He tried putting it on the roof once, but got a red winged blackbird right away, he was on his way to let it go, and the male sparrow swooped on the blackbird and got stuck too!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Kennett Square, PA
    Posts
    608

    Post

    I trap out the sparrows, Ed. You have to get and kill the male or they'll come back. I have a spring-loaded trap and a remote-controlled one that I rigged up using an old radio-controled car and remote. When the male goes into the house I spring the trap. Once the male is trapped, I put the whole bluebird box in a plastic garbage bag then open it and catch the male in my hand.

    *** Squeamish and animal-lovers - do not read further ***

    I kill him quickly by throwing him down hard on the concrete slab behind the house. I hate doing this and alwasy feel bad, but I've had sparrows kill our bluebirds and I suspect that's what happened with this female as well. This is the only way I've found to temporarily keep the sparrows from out-competing the bluebirds for the boxes in our yard.

    Wrens are another story (and they're native and protected, so you can't kill them)
    Southeast PA - 7 colonies, local mutts on natural comb, TF
    George Imirie's INDEXED Pink Pages: http://goo.gl/WiZUH3

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Kennett Square, PA
    Posts
    608

    Post

    Interesting idea about the glue traps dcross - might have to try that one!
    Southeast PA - 7 colonies, local mutts on natural comb, TF
    George Imirie's INDEXED Pink Pages: http://goo.gl/WiZUH3

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Kennett Square, PA
    Posts
    608

    Post

    Oh - by the way - three out of four of the babies revived and ate well before retiring for the night around midnight - they slept on the nightstand next to me and chirped a few times in the night.

    In the morning when I checked on them they were toasty warm and very active - quite a change from the previous evening. I fed them again - each baby eagerly took 4 or 5 wax worms!

    I put them back outside in their box but no sign of dad during the 45 minutes that I watched, so I brought them back in and called the Phila area animal Rehabilitation center - they could take them, so I drove them over on my way to work.

    I felt bad giving them up, but we've brought other animals there and they've done well, so I thought it was the best option for the babies. Hopefully all three will make it - I'll try to remember to post when I call about their final status in a couple of weeks.
    Southeast PA - 7 colonies, local mutts on natural comb, TF
    George Imirie's INDEXED Pink Pages: http://goo.gl/WiZUH3

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Post

    Just keep a very close eye on those glue traps! Imagine how bad you'd feel catching a bluebird!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    St. Clair, Mo.
    Posts
    133

    Post

    Good ideas about trapping. I checked the house yesterday. It looks like they abandoned it with the nest half built. Guess the bluebirds got tired of all the harassment. I guess I need to go over and close up all the holes in the neighbor's martin house( I already have their permission. This is starting to get depressing. Four years ago, I built a few nice cedar houses and mounted them on pipes with predator baffles and was really proud when bluebirds, tufted titmice and tree sparrows all raised several generations in them. Now it has deteriorated into bedlam. I am starting to feel like Bill Murray with the gopher in "Caddy Shack". **** Vietcong sparrows!

    "Don't mind the wires, Mr. Sparrow, doctor's orders!" he says as he depresses the plunger on the explosives igniter........
    \"Home is where the hive is.\"

  17. #17

    Post

    My dad uses a mouse trap inside his bluebird boxes, it never catches the sparrows but it sure scares the living snot out of em

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Post

    You'll have to get Sabu to make you a bullshot!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    Kudos PA............

    House sparrows are pure Evil Doers! My barn is infested with them. I tried trapping to no avail. Now I just try and close up holes and do the nest destruction routine.

    This summer I will be applying metal to the barn and outbuildings and hope this eliminates them from the buildings.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Kennett Square, PA
    Posts
    608

    Post

    Good luck with the barn renovations Bruce! Yeah, those sparrows are like yellowjackets - keep getting rid of them and they keep coming back
    Southeast PA - 7 colonies, local mutts on natural comb, TF
    George Imirie's INDEXED Pink Pages: http://goo.gl/WiZUH3

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