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Old 06-15-2011, 07:51 AM   #31
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Not sure that's a HOSP. Looks like it may just be a chipping sparrow. Looks more like a dot than a bib. My old eyes fool me often.

I thought the same thing... the dot on the breast looked familiar, but I didn't let me (somewhat old) brain even come up with "chipping sparrow" (one of my many favorites).
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:02 AM   #32
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Actually now that I take a closer look... It's shape reminds me more of a Redpole. We have LOTS of those here.
The unit was filled with Martins swarming around it this morning with no sign of any marauders, so that's good!
Had I seen any less activity I was going to lower it to boot the intruders eggs out if any!
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:35 AM   #33
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Actually now that I take a closer look... It's shape reminds me more of a Redpole. We have LOTS of those here.
The unit was filled with Martins swarming around it this morning with no sign of any marauders, so that's good!
Had I seen any less activity I was going to lower it to boot the intruders eggs out if any!
GLad to hear it's not a HOSP, which, by the way, has made its appearance again on my property. Wednesday, when I finish school, the trap will go back out. After trapping the catbird and having hiim spend more than a few hours in there, I want to be around while the trap is in operation. The catbird is my buddy. He was miffed at me when I freed him and gave me a good nip.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:29 AM   #34
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Taking note ....This thread started out as The Bluebird Trail 2011
I created a new thread for the Martins and their homes here: http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/for...r-housing.html
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:54 AM   #35
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Did a nest check on Friday, the 17th. Tree swallows that had been evicted by HOSP in one box have nested again and have six eggs. Another tree swallow wasn't so lucky. That makes seven tree swallows killed by HOSP this year, that I'm aware of. They were all either checking a box for a nesting site, or beginning a nest.

I had another first. The bluebirds at this location have not kept up on their reading. Two pair are nesting in boxes that are within 100' of each other. One box has five eggs and the other had three, as of Friday.

The martins have started hatching. Still need time to see if more nests become active, or not. Friday's count was 96 eggs and 38 young.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:15 PM   #36
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Did a nest check on Friday, the 17th. Tree swallows that had been evicted by HOSP in one box have nested again and have six eggs. Another tree swallow wasn't so lucky. That makes seven tree swallows killed by HOSP this year, that I'm aware of. They were all either checking a box for a nesting site, or beginning a nest.
I'm sorry for your losses.

What do you do about the HOSP?


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Originally Posted by fishlkmich View Post
I had another first. The bluebirds at this location have not kept up on their reading. Two pair are nesting in boxes that are within 100' of each other. One box has five eggs and the other had three, as of Friday.

The martins have started hatching. Still need time to see if more nests become active, or not. Friday's count was 96 eggs and 38 young.
Congratulations!

I can't remember how far apart the nestboxes were supposed to be for the bluebirds...100 ft seems far--but I do remember reading you could put them closer and tree swallows could nest nearby with no ill effects.
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:09 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishlkmich View Post
Did a nest check on Friday, the 17th. Tree swallows that had been evicted by HOSP in one box have nested again and have six eggs. Another tree swallow wasn't so lucky. That makes seven tree swallows killed by HOSP this year, that I'm aware of. They were all either checking a box for a nesting site, or beginning a nest.

I had another first. The bluebirds at this location have not kept up on their reading. Two pair are nesting in boxes that are within 100' of each other. One box has five eggs and the other had three, as of Friday.

The martins have started hatching. Still need time to see if more nests become active, or not. Friday's count was 96 eggs and 38 young.
Damn HOSPs. Are their days numbered, Mark?
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:43 AM   #38
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I start trapping HOSP in March at this site. As soon as nesting boxes are claimed, I start to thin them out. I can only get there once, or twice, per week. This usually means that I get a few every trip, until this time of year. In March, the males claim boxes. When nesting material is brought in, they can be trapped. You occasionally get a female that has paired, but not started to lay eggs. After eggs are in the box, it is relatively easy to get the female, but males become harder to catch.

Right now, nine out of ten active tree swallow nests have young and the other has eggs. Every year I find dead tree swallows and usually at least one bluebird that has been killed by HOSP, before a nest has been completed. Many times, no nesting material is present. The tree swallow that I found on Friday was building a late nest. I didn't find a HOSP nest on Friday, so I couldn't trap. Two boxes are available now. If HOSP nest in one of these, I will remove the female, at least. All of the boxes that have eggs or young are protected with Sparrow Spookers as soon as I find eggs in the boxes. I have lost nests, eggs and young in boxes protected with Sparrow Spookers, but I had 100% occupancy at the time. If a couple of boxes are available (and without spookers), it seems that the HOSP will take the available box. This passive control method has helped me to protect existing nests and increase HOSP capture.

I'm used to the tree swallows nesting close, but I believe that 300' is the minimum suggested distance between houses when targeting bluebirds. I was actually surprised at two nests within a 3/4 acre parcel.
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:01 PM   #39
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This time of year is strange. The tree swallows have fledged from most boxes and are gone. A couple of late nests with young remain, along with a few adults. Two weeks ago they were as thick as mosquitoes in a swamp.

Four bluebirds look ready to go soon, but are not too old to take a shot of. Four of the five eggs in the second nest had just hatched yesterday. The last egg could have hatched by now. I have a new bluebird nest at home with three eggs so far.

The martin count is 110 young and seven eggs. Since I had just over 100 young survive last year and the housing has not changed for three seasons, this may be the current capacity for this site. The prime compartments are filled to 100% - two houses/8 & 12 large compartment. 8 gourds have 5 nests, but one has failed. 8 of 24 small aluminum compartments are active. I plan to add four large compartments to the 8 compartment house this winter. The maximum size of this colony should be dictated by available food, or available housing. I'm curious to know which it is. One prime compartment in each house went unused last year. 5 gourds and 8 aluminum compartments were used last year. Will the colony shift housing, leave available large compartments open, or expand in numbers? The addition of a house identical to one of my prime houses, several miles away, will make things even more interesting next spring. If the new house is successful, will it impact the size of this colony?

The house sparrow problem is over for this year. I'm sure that they are still nesting, but they must establish sites by now. I never have HOSP problems after the 4th.
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:32 PM   #40
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When you spoke of the food supply possibly limiting ultimate numbers, I found myself wondering what the trail supported plant wise. Are there primarily native species along there? It would seem the vegetation ultimately determines the insect supply, wouldn't you agree??
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