Bluebirds!!!

Sun Mar 06, 2005 8:36 am

Spring can't be to far away....saw a male Eastern Bluebird showing a female one of my boxes this morning. :D 8)

Re: Bluebirds!!!

Sun Mar 06, 2005 8:58 am

Cub-Bud wrote:Spring can't be to far away....saw a male Eastern Bluebird showing a female one of my boxes this morning. :D 8)


Good news, CB. Yesterday was my first outing. I drove the golf cart so Marilyn could clean our 18 bluebird boxes. :lol: :lol: I hate those !#$%^ sparrows! We've had the boxes for about 13 years and have only had one successful bluebird brood. I keep hoping. Maybe this will be a good year. We plan to clean them in again in another week or so.

Sun Mar 06, 2005 10:10 am

I don't have a sparrow problem. I only have two boxes in the yard; I have a spot for a third one, just haven't gotten around to building a box.

On a similar note, I put my Purple Martin house up Feb. 15, but have had no lookers yet. I had some scouts late last March, but none took up housekeeping. I am hoping for some success with the martins this year.

I have no trouble attracting hummingbirds to my property. At times, I have so many trying to feed, they chase each other off the feeders.

Sun Mar 06, 2005 10:21 am

I have no trouble attracting hummingbirds to my property. At times, I have so many trying to feed, they chase each other off the feeders.


We have a hummingbird sighting about once a year. Marilyn got a feeder for Christmas last year, so we will try it. Maybe our luck will be better than with bluebirds? :D

It took about 6 or 7 years for the bats to finally find the 2 bat houses I have on the side of the barn. I put a flat surface on the ground beneath them and finally see some droppings... good clue! Der fliedermaus has arrived! :lol:

Sun Mar 06, 2005 10:25 am

Cub-Bud,
Here in SW Ohio we're getting an increase in hummingbirds. I've had feeders out for the last 4-5 years and have at least 2-3 families using them each year. If I could just keep the hornets and black ants away, life would be good.
Larry

Sun Mar 06, 2005 10:42 am

I have Martens building in about 5 of my boxes now. I have a hard time keeping the Bluebirds out of them. They have taken some of the holes, so I just let them have them. I need to put up some Bluebird boxes I guess. I spotted the first Martens this year on Jan. 7th & 8th, but it took them a while to come back to build their nest.

Sun Mar 06, 2005 11:19 am

We have humming birds here, no idea where they nest. They like our hanging Impatiens on our front porch. Barn swallows will arrive first week of May. I love to watch them catch insects on the fly.
BILL

Sun Mar 06, 2005 1:10 pm

Rebuilt 2 and added two mor blue bird houses in middle of Feb. We won't see any action for another month. Barn swallows try to take over the boxes. I have found that when I have two about 100 feet apart The swallows keep swallows out of the other box. Blue birds then use it with no competition.

Bill

Sun Mar 06, 2005 8:14 pm

:evil: :twisted: :twisted: :evil: The sparrows are ok. But those #@*%$ Starlings are driving me nuts. They have some how pulled loose the soffet on the house and built nests in the attic. I put it back up and thet pull it back down :evil: :twisted:

Sun Mar 06, 2005 10:11 pm

Guys:

I really would like to get some DECENT Purple Martin House plans. What we have available here does not work. The plans that I have been able to find on the net, well they are about as useless as you know what on a bull :!: :roll: :roll:

I have been having a lot of success with my barn and cliff swallows. They sure do eat of the skeeters. Hopefully this year I will be able to get maybe 2 nice bat houses up, that's the plan anyways.

I have had a Purple Martin house before, but no matter what I do I cannot attract them.

As for the bluebirds, well we are at the very northernmost part of their range, and I am going to build a Petersen house or two and see if that might work.

I would assume that having the pond, a nice wood road and lots of trees would be advantageous to attracting some of the beautiful birds.

We so far have seen about 40 species of birds - everything from the Common Red Pole, Pine Siskins, American Gold Finches, Purple Finches, House Finches, Gross Beaks of all types, Cow Birds (boy do I dislike them), Blue and Grey Jays, Cardinals, Red Wing Black Birds, half a dozen different vaieties of ducks, and the list goes on.

We even get Cormorants and Great Blue Herons, however they like my trout :roll: :roll: The cormorants get .22 cals where it hurts, but the Herons are on the protected list so they just get chased.

However, Blue Birds and Martins are still on my list of hopefuls :!: :D

Mon Mar 07, 2005 6:00 am

Rudi, if you build your Marten box where the nesting area size is exactly 6"X6"x6", that is what a Marten likes. I build mine 2 story with 6 holes on each side. I heard that if you make the hole 1" that the starlings wouldn't take it, but I tried that and neither would the Martens. I tried 1 1/2" and they didn't care for that either. Make sure they have a porch about 1 1/2" wide to land on and a 2" hole 1/2" above the porch. The color of the box should be contrasting with the entrance hole. If the house is white, the hole looks black and they can see it better. That is because when a Marten comes home to roost, they don't stop, they fly directly into the hole. The bottom of the box should be 15' above the ground and between 50' and 100' from a human occupied home. They like human intervention. No trees within 40' of the box. They need a 40' flyway to feel protected and safe enough to land. I don't have any plans, just in my head. We can sit on our back deck or front porch and listen to them and talk to them and they seem to talk back. We have what seems like hundreds of Martens. The boxes should be taken down and cleaned every year, but I wasn't able this year, but they will still come if they aren't cleaned. Martens start building nest here in Feb. and leave in July. When they gather up to leave, that is a beautiful (but sad) site. They gather by the thousands and leave together. Hope you can get some this year.

Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:05 am

Ijw
You can keep ants out of a humming bird feeder by putting a water trap or barrier between the feeder and what ever it hangs from. Basically make an extended hanger out of wire or rod and pass it through the center of the bottom of a small can such as a tuna fish can, and hang the feeder from this hanger. Seal the can where the wire/rod goes through and fill with water, then the ants have no access to the feeder without crossing the water barrier . You can buy these, but they are simple and quick to make. Can't help you with the bees/hornets/wasp.

Mon Mar 07, 2005 11:29 am

Paul B wrote:Ijw
You can keep ants out of a humming bird feeder by putting a water trap or barrier between the feeder and what ever it hangs from. Basically make an extended hanger out of wire or rod and pass it through the center of the bottom of a small can such as a tuna fish can, and hang the feeder from this hanger. Seal the can where the wire/rod goes through and fill with water, then the ants have no access to the feeder without crossing the water barrier . You can buy these, but they are simple and quick to make. Can't help you with the bees/hornets/wasp.


Thanks, Paul, I'm going to do that. I've tried using grease as a barrier, but after a day or so they can run over it.
Larry

Thu Mar 10, 2005 11:36 am

George,

Install a couple of these on your bluebird houses to help control the sparrows.

http://www.vanerttraps.com/universal.htm

Fri Mar 11, 2005 6:00 am

To keep sparrows (English Sparrows aka Sputzies) out of blue bird boxes, one author suggests drilling holes in the roof of the box. The rationale is that native cavity nesting birds, i.e. Blue Birds, do not mind some openness above the nest; whereas, the pesky imported English Sparrow requires a solid roof overhead. I tried this on one of my blue bird boxes (drilled four 3/4" holes) but am unable to confirm the rationale since the box was not nested in by anything, not even hornets.