Keeping Bluebirds

koszta_kid(Iowazone 5)February 22, 2005

I have 3 bluebird houses I bought at the Koszta church auction. I bought 3 guards to put on front to help keep sparrows out . It also keeps woodpeckers from enlarging opening. Dh has to redo the houses so i can clean them out and check to see is "who" is nesting there. Got book that shows the nest. And if it looks like they just threw the nesting material in it's a sparrow. Right???? Anyone have Bluebirds. When do they migrate back????

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mid April tends to be the peak of Bluebird migration, I notice that usually males arrive first.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 12:57PM
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bradiniowa(5 Ia)

Our new house has a bluebird house mounted in a corner of the lot. The previous owner said that they had Bluebirds nesting in it for the first time just last year, so we are hopeful they will be back!
I did a search and found these
Bluebird Links that answered my questions. I hope you find them useful also.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 12:20PM
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intheforest(4b Iowa)

Bluebird nests are very tidy grass nests unlike sparrows & have blue or white eggs. You can check them regularly if your box is hinged to clean out sparrows, etc that start building. Birds have no sense of smell so scent near nest is a big oldwives tale. When I ran a Blubird box trail for a park we would check them each week, remove undesirable things from box, and log progress of active boxes each week (they didn't mind at all). If a nest has a failed attempt or destroyed remove old nest and often they try again.

Sparrows have sloppy nests, wrens are of twigs, also chickidees and tree swallows may use -one has moss in nest and one lines with feathers.

Keep an eye on nest b/c one species will often kick out another if allowed - just remove repeatedly if this happens-the other will give up. I used to have 3 boxes at my last house and as soon as blubirds moved into one, I let the wrens have the others-mine were probably too close to support more than one (possibly 2) bluebird families-they like space.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2005 at 12:40PM
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I have four bluebird boxes, and every year a wren nests in the same one. The first time I thougt it was a sparrow because of the disarray of nesting, but after closer inspection, and a good scolding, realized she had staked her territory. So, now I just settle for 3 pair, and sometimes they are here as early as middle March. The second most fun thing to do is watch how they 'feed and clean' in one flight, and then alternate babysitting while mom gets some exercise. My favorite thing to watch is the male teaching them to leave the nest and fly to some close object. I wish I had a hundred pair, but they're too territorial.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2005 at 7:34PM
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koszta_kid(Iowazone 5)

Jay I have one of your boxes you brought to the the swap in Morse. Talked to guy south of Marengo. Said he had to check his nesting boxes daily for House sparrows. Said would build nest right on top of the baby BB. And to spray the PC pipe I have attached to BB houses-to keep snakes from climbimg up. But we have some grass fence line I think they will like.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2005 at 7:55PM
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The only trouble I have with sparrows is with my 3 Martin houses. It's a constant battle from the time the first scouts arrive until they start nesting to keep the pesky little things out of the boxes. I usually end up with about 2 or 3 nests of sparrows, but it doesn't seem to bother the Martins. Probably bothers me more than them!

One way I have learned about keeping sparrows out of bluebird boxes, is to keep them low. I am over 6'4" tall, and I can look down into all my boxes....the lower the better. Of the four, only the one with the wren has been 'ceded'.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2005 at 9:52AM
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Saw a male fluttering around one of the houses yesterday. Won't be long till they're all here. Hope we don't get the snow here in Missouri you people up North are suppose to get~

    Bookmark   March 17, 2005 at 8:54PM
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koszta_kid(Iowazone 5)

Jay That means wouldn't be long until Males will be scouting here. We didn't get any snow today. But east corner of Iowa had slick roads this morning 4-6 of snow.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 9:58PM
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Just got home and checked one of my active boxes. 5 eggs laid week f may 19 started sitting may 26. 1st brood successfully fledged. Came in to check emails and heard a bluebird commotion so went to check. The pair of bluebirds was circling the house raising a fuss and an English sparrow male was looking out of the hole. I ran out and all of the eggs were gone, and in looking around found all 5 on the ground broken open and almost ready blue babies dead with one still alive but short lived. I just hope the parents don't think that I got their eggs (babies), they would have hatched this weekend. Never had a sparrow problem in 20 years of raising bluebirds at this location. But this year for some reason I put out a feeder with mostly sunflower and cracked corn. I just took it down and will not put it out again. I and my wife are devastated over this, it's as though we lost our own. Any suggestions to get rid of the sparrows.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 7:45PM
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