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Old 05-10-2012, 07:53 AM   #1
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Default Chickadees being harassed by Bluebirds

This morning we discovered a pair of bluebirds trying to oust the little chickadees who claimed the bird house we put up last month. I know we can't interfere, and it seemed the chickadees won this morning's round, but is there anything we can do to help? I'd hate to see the chicks kicked out when they're incubating 6 eggs. Would putting up another bluebird house nearby help?

Any input is appreciated. We love both kinds of birds and would love to host them both. Thanks!
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:17 AM   #2
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Definitely put up another box, preferably 100 yards away. If you can do more it's all the better. Check out this website for all the info you need on bluebirds.

Sialis Home - Helping Bluebirds and Other Small Cavity Nesters Survive and Thrive
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:14 AM   #3
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Thanks, Linrose! I read their article about competition and it says chickadees get kicked out by everything! Wah! Putting up another nest box nearby is their advice. We'll give that a try.

Poor chicka's!
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:42 PM   #4
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I quickly scanned over the practice of "pairing" boxes, is that what you mean? I didn't see what they recommended for spacing when you have competition from other species. Good luck to you, and your chickadees!
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:42 AM   #5
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Well, the bluebirds went away and some sort of swallow is pestering them now! We put up a second bluebird house about 50 feet away - maybe that will solve the problem.
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitcatclub View Post
Well, the bluebirds went away and some sort of swallow is pestering them now! We put up a second bluebird house about 50 feet away - maybe that will solve the problem.
One way to solve the problem wound be to get a hole narrower in the form of a metal plate. You screw it over the existing hole, but the new opening is too small for the swallow or bluebird to nest in. All birding supply stores carry them. the shop owner will know the size you need. Best of all, it will cost you about 1.98!
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:03 PM   #7
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Great call, Jack! Way to go!
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:19 PM   #8
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I didn't know they made those - cool! Do you think I'll disturb the chickas too much if I try and install it while they're nesting? Poor guys are having a tough enough time of it.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:24 PM   #9
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I have had three boxes set up approximately 50 feet apart for three years now. I have had no problem with the different species each taking a box. In the past it was just the bluebirds and tree swallows (and one unoccupied box, I think)...this year a pair of chickadees picked the box closest to the house...the bluebirds are in the one farthest from the house. Just last week or so, a pair of tree swallows took the one in the middle. ~smile~ This weekend I noticed there were four tree swallows in the yard, so I put up a fourth birdbox. It is now the farthest from the house, however, it is a little closer to the hedgerow than I'd like. Anyway, so far, they all seem to be coexisting quite nicely.

I think putting up another house or two (if you have the space) would be a great idea, and you would probably host more species and not leave anyone out.

I agree with Jack's suggestion--I've read about them, but I can't remember the size needed for the chickadees. I'm sure you could get it in stalled in a short time without causing much disruption to the nesting bird.

The other day, I opened the box to look a the eggs and there was the mother just sitting there looking up at me. I quickly closed the lid and left her alone. (I just had to throw that in. )
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitcatclub View Post
I didn't know they made those - cool! Do you think I'll disturb the chickas too much if I try and install it while they're nesting? Poor guys are having a tough enough time of it.
Using self-tapping wood screws, you will be able to just walk up to the box, align the plate, and apply screwdriver to screw until firm. Indeed, though there is a hole in the plate at all four corners, in practice all it requires is one at opposite corners - two screws- and you are done. Don't use the screws that come with the plate, as they will require drilling and the concurrent shaking of the box. Wood screws are the way to go - get those separately, you'll need two quarter or half-inch long screws. It should take about two to three minutes and you'll be out of there.
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bird, bird house, blue birds, bluebirds, box, chickadee, chickadees, competition, eggs, harassed, hatched, house, houses, nest, nesting, swallows

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