Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bluebird houses

On Monday, January 30, our neighbor and bird expert Jim came over and set up three new bluebird houses at Habitat Home.  The houses are located in the savanna area along the northern path. Savanna areas are excellent habitat for other birds as well such as Blue Jays, Hawks, and Orioles to name a few.  These houses will have to be monitored to remove any house sparrow nests.  House sparrows will attack and kill both young and adult bluebirds and destroy their eggs. Another pest of the bluebirds are raccoons, snakes and opossums.  The white tubing should  prevent any of them from climbing the pole and getting into the boxes.  Yet another pest of bluebirds living in boxes is the blowfly.  Their larva will suck the blood of nestlings at night.  But a natural control of blowflies are parasitic wasps which will over winter in the boxes.  So it is a good idea to leave old nesting material in the boxes until just before the new breeding season begins.  Also bluebirds often roost in nest boxes in winter and the nesting material will add insulation.
We have not seen any bluebirds on these warm winter days but soon we will. Hopefully there will be nesting pairs in each of the boxes our expert bird neighbor installed here. Thanks Jim!

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