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Old 05-24-2016, 02:49 PM   #1
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Default Backyard chickadee nest

We had 8 eggs, one for sure didn't hatch and I removed it. I only see 6 chicks here, so either another didn't hatch or the 7th chick isn't visible. I help out the parents by putting mealworms/waxworms out twice a day.

We live in prime house wren habitat, so immediately after the first egg is laid, I make a simple wren guard and that seems to work well. It's very easy to make one, I put together some instructions here: Wren Guard Photo Gallery by Liz Stanley at pbase.com
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Old 05-24-2016, 04:09 PM   #2
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That's a lot of babies. Good to know how to make a wren guard if needed. I am really struggling with house sparrows here. I had to block all my bird houses because of them.
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Old 05-24-2016, 08:31 PM   #3
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If you put a hole reducer on, then the house sparrows won't be able to get into a chickadee nest. For bluebirds, the options are a) close the boxes, b) try a sparrow spooker, or c) eliminate the invasive species.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:40 AM   #4
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That's a lot of babies. Good to know how to make a wren guard if needed. I am really struggling with house sparrows here. I had to block all my bird houses because of them.
I'm also suffering terribly from house sparrows, and I now have about six birdhouses that used to house tree swallows and bluebirds and chickadees under the back deck, rotting with disuse. I don't even try reducing the holes any longer, as the house sparrows still land at the hole, and terrify the occupants while harrassing the ability of the parents to feed their young. For a number of years I trapped and destroyed hundreds of HOSPS, but it was a losing battle, and the trapping wasn't doing my conscience any favors...

I'd love to see a disease wipe out the species here in the states, but I can no longer destroy them individually without a noteworthy result....
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:24 PM   #5
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Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. I'm fortunate that I haven't had any major problems with them. A couple of winters ago I trapped about 2 dozen, and I still occasionally see one, but not that often.
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:52 PM   #6
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Maybe because I live out in the woods, I have never had a problem with house sparrows in my bird houses. I have had chickadees and nuthatches fledge, a one really stupid tufted titmouse who nested in my eastern screech owl box who had noticeably less success. No bluebirds, though - I have seen them checking out my boxes, but never nesting, though they overwinter at my feeders. I think I am too wooded for them.

I have had a problem with wasps setting up shop in my bird houses, paper wasps, bumblebees and mud daubers. Any ideas on how to discourage them? I like bumblebees, but not in my bird boxes, likewise the wasps are welcome but not in these locations.
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Old 06-12-2016, 09:05 AM   #7
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Maybe because I live out in the woods, I have never had a problem with house sparrows in my bird houses. I have had chickadees and nuthatches fledge, a one really stupid tufted titmouse who nested in my eastern screech owl box who had noticeably less success. No bluebirds, though - I have seen them checking out my boxes, but never nesting, though they overwinter at my feeders. I think I am too wooded for them.

I have had a problem with wasps setting up shop in my bird houses, paper wasps, bumblebees and mud daubers. Any ideas on how to discourage them? I like bumblebees, but not in my bird boxes, likewise the wasps are welcome but not in these locations.
Birdhouses do make excellent homes for bumblebee communities, and as they are in distress in the country, as are most pollinators, if I find a birdhouse being borrowed by the bees, I let them be (pun intended)!
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Old 06-13-2016, 10:27 AM   #8
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Birdhouses do make excellent homes for bumblebee communities, and as they are in distress in the country, as are most pollinators, if I find a birdhouse being borrowed by the bees, I let them be (pun intended)!
Most bumblebees, like most native bee species, nest in the ground. There are others like mason bees that are cavity nesters.
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Old 06-13-2016, 11:20 AM   #9
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Most bumblebees, like most native bee species, nest in the ground. There are others like mason bees that are cavity nesters.
A few years ago I went to clean our a birdhouse and found it stuffed to the brim with fine material. Without thinking, I simply thought it was debris from the previous year and pulled it all out in one pull. It turned out to be a bumblebee nest, and I was quite remorseful about what I had done.

In later years, after my neighbor put up community bird houses that attract many, many house sparrows, I pulled all of the houses down and stored them away (not without a fight with them first), and now I look back on that day as a missed opportunity to observe the moments of bees, knowing exactly where this colony lived...

I know that yellow jackets also live both in the ground and in cavities. They seem to choose whatever is most convenient and available to them.
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