Eastern Bluebird – 01/15/2008
The calendar is edging toward February so it’s time to get ready for the 2008 bluebird nesting season. Take a look at all of your nest boxes and make sure they are in good mechanical condition and the nesting cavities are clean and ready for use. Repair or replace nest boxes that are not mechanically sound. It’s a good idea to coat the ceilings and door interiors of your nest boxes with a bar of unscented ivory soap to deter paper wasps. Check around the base of your mounting poles and be sure that there is no significant undergrowth that could hide predators. Add predator guards if you don’t already have them. You can purchase predator guards at hardware stores and wild song bird supply stores. If you’re handy with tools, you can make your own predator guards using 4” diameter PVC sewer & drain pipe or sheet metal.
Check back later this week to see an article on mounting systems, predator guards, and predation mitigation.
Mounting nest boxes on trees, fence posts, or the sides of buildings is not a good practice. Predators and other undesirable visitors can easily reach nest boxes mounted in this fashion. If you have a nest box that hasn’t had any nesting activity in the past two years, relocate it to another suitable spot. Put molded wood fiber nest cups in your nest boxes to facilitate monitoring activities during the nesting season. Nest cups enable you to safely remove and replace nests without physically damaging them. Nest cups can be purchased at wild song bird supply stores or ordered through the Internet.
Tip: Possessing real wild song bird nests and unhatched eggs is illegal unless you are properly licensed by federal, state, and local government agencies. If you are a wild song bird lecturer or exhibitor and wish to display nests, you can make very realistic simulated nests including eggs. Artificial eggs can be purchased at craft stores and painted as needed.
Simulated bluebird nest in a nest cup — 01/15/2008
If you have questions regarding eastern bluebirds, Email Bluebird Shepherd.