First Bluebird Nesting Box 150-2

Early spring following a prescribed winter burn of our prairie.

Things are starting to green up.

First eggs noted on April 4th.

Two days later we had a full set of five eggs.

Hatchlings noted on April 19th.

Getting bigger. April 24th.

Dad bringing food.

Mom bringing food.

Bigger still.  Starting to fledge today.  May 6th.

Dad with a centipede.

Empty nest.  Fledging complete.   May 7th.

This entry was posted in Birds, Bluebird Trail 2010, Nesting attempts. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to First Bluebird Nesting Box 150-2

  1. Duane Rice says:

    Jack, I enjoyed checking out your bluebird blog. I’d like to learn how to do it too.
    Good luck! and keep it up.

  2. Joe OBrien says:

    Wonderful pictures with added value of time line to emergence to life. Timely also, in that a ladybird and her mate here in Little Rock Ar are building a new nest. The first in April was invaded by a rapacious raccoon who destroyed the nest while claiming the five beautiful blue eggs. Before the box could be moved from its wooden fencepost to a metal pole, the new nest was in progress. Question: if a one inch thick entrance extension block with same 1 1/2 inch opening is placed in front of the entrance, will this turn off the ladyblue, or, will she continue to claim the nest and lay her eggs there ? Thank you in advance, Joe OBrien

    • jackdodson says:

      You will find that people have strong opinions regarding most things pertaining to bluebirds. I do not necessarily feel that there is a single right way to approach the problem that you are having. Moving from a wooden fence post to a metal post is a good step, but raccoons are very resourceful and there is good evidence that they can climb the metal posts as well. While a face guard may make it harder for them to reach in and get eggs or small birds, it does not make it impossible. Keeping the raccoons from ever getting to the nest box is probably the best goal. A “Kingston” Stovepipe guard is the approach that I have adopted. Following is a link describing this and other “wobbling” predator guards. They are not the prettiest, but I have them on all of my roughly 100 nest boxes and have never had any problems with raccoons or snakes despite having lots of both on my farm. The link above is to what I consider the best single source of information on bluebirding. It is a wonderful site and I recommend it highly. As to what the birds will tolerate…… As you can see on the box in this post, I have made several additions to the box. There is a Noel predator guard. That is the wire mesh contraption leading into the nest box entrance hole. It is actually mounted on a wooden face guard that is in turn mounted to the front of the Peterson nest box. The theory for this is similar to the wooden face guard that you are talking about…. that it makes it harder for a raccoon to reach in. Again, I think a better goal is to keep them from ever getting to the box. Most people suggest putting the various face guards on after eggs are laid. I am not arguing with that recommendation, but I am just too lazy to do it that way. All my guards stay on full time. Some of my boxes have them, some don’t. I figure if the birds don’t like the guard they can pick a different nearby box that does not have one. Just my thoughts. Hope this helps. Best wishes. Jack Dodson

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