Table of Contents
- On-Line Bluebirding Resources
- For the Beginner & A Refresher Course
- Bluebird Books
- A Few Other Cavity Nesters
- Who Is Nesting in My Box?
- Predators & Parasites:
- What Happened????!!!!!
- House Sparrow Identification
- House Sparrow Deterrents - Monofilament & Spooker
- European Starlings
- Nestboxes, Feeders & Sparrow Traps
- Build It Yourself Nestbox Plans
- Make Your Own Trap
- House Wrens
- Blowfly Identification and Information
- European Paper Wasps
- Hanta Virus
- West Nile Virus & Disease
- Wildlife Rehabilitation
- Emergency Baby Bird Care
- The Seasons of "Bluebirding"
- State Bluebird Societies
- Bird Identification
- Some Other Eggs
- Bluebird Videos
- Alpha Codes
- North American Bluebird Society
- The Bluebird Box
- Bluebird-L Reference Guide
- The Best of Bluebird-L
- Woodstock Conservation Commission
- Arlene Ripley's Nestbox
- Ed from MA
- Fawzi Emad's Bluebird page
- Wendell Long - Bluebird photographs
- Christy's Bluebird Project
- The Bluebird Nut Cafe - free Bluebird forum/discussion group
- American Bird Conservancy (Cats Indoors)
Below are the NABS Fact Sheets, or just start here: Fact Sheets
- Getting Started
- Nestbox Specs
- Nestbox Plans
- Good Monitoring
- Predator Control
- House Sparrow Control
Resources such as this forum are excellent. A good book is also a treasure trove of information well worth sitting at your side. (Be sure to check the Garden.Web bookstore for these books!)
Scriven, Dorene "Bluebird Trails A Guide to Success", Bluebird Recovery Committee of the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis ISBN: 0-9639661-1-1 C
Berger, C., Kridler, K., and Griggs, J. "The Bluebird Monitor's Guide". Harper Collins ISBN: 0-06-273743-0
Stokes, Donald & Lillian, "The Bluebird Book", Little Brown & Company ISBN: 0-316-81745-7
Zickefoose, Julie, "Enjoying Bluebirds More, The Bluebird Landlord's Handbook", Bird Watcher's Digest ISBN: 1-880241-03-X (This booklet can be found in zillions of places, usually costs $3, or less (the last I saw it - WalMart has it for $2.27!!!), and is MARVELOUS!!!)
Troyer, Andrew M., "Bringing Back the Bluebirds - Even on Your Hand", Carlisle Printing ISBN: 0-9642548-4-0
Grooms, Steve & Peterson, Dick, "Symbol of Hope - Bluebird"
(Nest Identification) Harrison, Hal H., "Eastern Birds' Nests". Peterson Field Guides, Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN: 0-395-93609-8. (This is the paperback Eastern guide).
(Nest Identification) Harrison, Hal H., "Western Birds' Nests". Peterson Field Guides, Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN: 0-618-16437-5. (This is the paperback Western guide).
Paul R. Ehrlich, David S. Dobkin, and Darryl Wheye, "The Birder's Handbook A Field Guide to the Natural History of North American Birds" A Fireside Book published by Simon & Schuster. ISBN: 0-671-65989-8. (Ok, not specifically about bluebirds, but an excellent birding book!)
- Purple Martin Conservation Association
- Purple Martin Society
- Tree Swallow Nesting Project
The two nest identification field guides mentioned above are the best. But, for a quick check this might help: Egg & Nest ID
A site with some clearer pictures of nests of the most common tenants: Nests
|Eastern Bluebird||MountainBluebird||Western Bluebird||Tree Swallow|
|INCUBATION||12-18days||12-16days||13-17 days||13-16 days|
|FLEDGING||16-21 days||14 days+||14 days +||16-24 days|
|ENTRANCE HOLE||1 1/2"||1 9/16"||1 1/2"||1 1/2"|
A baby blue's eyes usually open on or about day 8 - Tree swallow babies are similar.
All too sadly, some predator raids a bluebird nestbox. Sometimes we find just an empty nest that had eggs or babies; sometimes there are remains; sometimes destruction. Of course, we rarely get to see 'who' the predator was. But, sometimes clues are left. Check the chart at the site below for hints as to what the predator might have been.
House Sparrows (debatably a Weaver Finch, not a sparrow) are deadly predators on bluebirds - and other cavity nesters. House Sparrows will peck eggs, nestlings, and adult bluebirds to death. However, it is imperative that other sparrows not be confused with House Sparrows. Only House Sparrows are a threat. To learn what this predator looks like: House Sparrow ID
To learn about house sparrow behavior and some methods of control, Steve Eno gives some excellent information at the site below.
Sialis.org - an extensive source of information on House Sparrow management
House Sparrows as sources of diseases: Sparrow Facts
A link for how to attach monofilament line to a nestbox. For set-ups showing free-swinging strings of monofilament, great caution is needed that those strings do not swing into the nestbox to tangle adult or baby bird feet or get swallowed by babies. Just me, but I'd recommend free-swinging strings be shorter than the distance to the entrance hole. P.S. "monofilament" is fishing line.
This one isn't monofilament, but another option:
NOTE: it imperative that, when adding ANYTHING to a nestbox, with an in-process nesting, the box must be watched for at least a half-hour to assure that the adult birds have accepted the change. If the adults do not accept the change, un-do it.
- Andrew Troyer's: The Bird's Paradise 20835 Morris Road Conneautville, PA 16406 1 800 872 0103
- Ahlgren Construction Company 12989 Otchipwe Ave. N. Stillwater , MN 55082 (651) or (612) ???? 430-0031
- Bluebird Nut Mealworm Feeders - Starling-Mockingbird-Robin-Proof Design
- Deluxe Repeating Sparrow Trap Blaine Johnson 29 3rd Ave. N. Waite Park, MN 56387
- Cedar Valley Live traps - Zell Olsen 8128 Blaisdell Ave. So. Bloomington, MN 55420
- For Gilbertson Boxes and traps: Steve Gilbertson 35900 Dove Street Aitkin, MN 56431 218-927-1953
- The PMCA also sells house sparrow and starling traps.
- Van Ert Traps - Nestbox sparrow traps - both universal and for PVC (Gilbertson-style) boxes
Other sources for feeders, nestboxes
- Huber Trap
- Bolt Trap
- Gruenke 10 Minute Trap This really is a great idea for an emergency trap!
- Bauldry Trap
- Peterson Trap
- Gilbertson Trap
Another artificially introduced unprotected species, starlings are usually (but not always) too big to fit through a bluebird sized entrance hole. However, some starlings are able to fully fit through the entrance hole.
Most starlings that visit a bluebird-size nestbox will hang onto the box front and just stick their head into the box. Starlings will eat eggs and toss hatchlings if they can be reached. A starling's reach will be the length of its beak plus the length of its head plus the length of neck-stretching it can do. This reach can easily be 4 or more inches.
Methods for deterring starlings from bluebird-size nestboxes:
- assure that the diameter of the entrance hole is true to North American Bluebird Society specifications: 1.5 inches for Eastern and Western Bluebirds; 1 9/16 inches for Mountain Bluebirds;
- a box whose floor is at least 7.5" from the bottom of the entrance hole;
- an external hole guard to increase the depth of the entrance hole;
- internal predator pegs.
A protected species, the House Wren, is also a predator on bluebird eggs and hatchlings. It is important to understand, that of all wrens only the House Wren is a danger to other cavity nesting passerines. After claiming his nesting territory, the male House Wren will place twigs/sticks in every cavity (e.g. nestbox) he can find. Often, in this process, he will puncture or toss another bird's eggs or hatchlings and place his twigs/sticks on top of the existing nest. He sings to attract a female. When she arrives, the male House Wren will show her all of his nest-starts. She will pick one that she finishes into a final nest for her eggs. Then the other nest-starts, which are now (and ONLY now) considered to be "dummy nests", may be removed. Removal of stick deposits at any point before a final nest is chosen is illegal nest tampering. If one has house wrens visiting blue boxes, wren guards should be tried. Once the male house wren has started nests, the starts can't be disturbed. SO, the only legal effort at this point prevention by trying wren guards.
The first step in protecting against House Wrens in bluebird nestboxes is to site the bluebird boxes out in the open at least 100 feet away from wooded areas. However, as wrens over-populate their preferred nesting habitats they are known to move out to those open areas and attack bluebird and tree swallow habitats. ... and, nestboxes in areas with trees are the usually preferred by chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches who are also at risk of house wren attacks. In such instances, maybe - just maybe - a wren guard will be helpful. Information about the guard developed by the late Mr. Robert Orthwein can be found here: Wren Guard
Mr. Orthwein's information stops in the late 1990s with his passing. However, many of his expert protégé's have since gone on to use Wren Guards - for bluebird nestings - with great success. From what I can find, public information on any possible research about tree swallow acceptance of wren guards is non-existent.
A clear picture of a wren guard can be found at: Wren Guard Photo & Drawings
NOTE: it is imperative that, when adding ANYTHING to a nestbox, with an in-process nesting, the box must be watched for at least a half-hour to assure that the adult birds have accepted the change. If the adults do not accept the change, un-do it.
The larvae of the blowfly is a parasite on hatchlings and nestlings. Blowfly larvae seem more common when outdoor temperatures are warm. Therefore, first-nestings may be larvae-free. The adult blowfly lays its eggs in the nesting material. The larvae will survive only when there are baby birds in the nest as the larvae need the birds' blood to eat and grow. (Note: the larvae try to attack the adult birds, but the adult birds pick them off.) Usually, by the time these whitish-gray larvae are clearly visible they have already done much of their damage. A major infestation of blowfly larvae can be hazardous to baby birds because of the extent of blood loss when other nesting factors (food rarity, extra cold or extra hot, etc.) are extreme.
The earlier these larvae are found, the better for hatchlings and nestlings. Sometimes, by gently rubbing through the 'dust' on the box floor - under the nest - blowfly larvae can be felt before they can be seen (they really blend in with that dust!).
Common methods for trying to control these larvae:
Use of a hardware cloth screen on the nestbox floor to keep the nest about a half-inch off the box floor. Debate about these screens include mention that by the time the larvae are heavy enough to fall out of the nest and through the screen, they've done most of their damage to the baby birds.
The nest may need replacing. (Note: technically, this is illegal. But then, technically, most of what monitoring calls for is illegal.) This may be necessary repeated times for the same nesting as new blowfly eggs are laid and hatch in as little as 36-48 hours. Moving the baby birds from the infested nest to the replacement nest can be dangerous to the baby birds' soft bones. One key factor about moving nestlings … don't "roll" them.
Low-level (0.03 - 0.1%) pyrethrin pesticide can be used under the nest. However, this is a toxin and is considered a choice of last resort.
Check Blowfly Information and Research to learn about this parasite and the Bird Nest Research project. This site shows interesting pictures of blowfly larvae of varying sizes as they grow. This research project needs nests from which baby birds have fledged and is for the main purpose of examination of the nests to determine the occurrence of parasites such as blowfly larvae, mites, etc.
Mites and ants sometimes invade cavity nesters' nests. If a severe infestation, a replacement nest may be the only option.
Prevention: For ants: A small moat can be placed around the bottom of the mounting pole (e.g. a "Bundt" style baking pan fit down over the pole)
Vaseline or a mixture of turpentine & lithium grease may be painted in a ring around the mounting pole (under the baffle so as to prevent blue feathers from coming into contact)
Cotton swabs dipped into Terro and then stapled to the outside of the box bottom
For mites: mites are rare for bluebirds, common for Tree Swallows (TRES). Providing TRES with all their feathers for nesting can prevent mite infestations. This is probably unrealistic for large trails. Then the nest replacing and pyrethrin as described for ants could be tried.
Nasty buggers that seem to love building their nests in nestboxes, baffles, and feeders. European Paper Wasp
If wasps are allowed to build in a nestbox, adult bluebirds could be induced to abandon a nesting as wasps will attack the adult birds, hatchlings, and nestlings.
Deterrents to wasps building in a nestbox include smearing a very thin layer of Vaseline on the ceiling of the box or smearing a very thin layer of a high-fat bar soap. If done after a nesting is in process, great care must be exercised to not drop any Vaseline or soap into the nest, onto eggs, or onto babies.
Cowbirds are nest-site parasitic birds - they do not build their own nests. Rather, they deposit their eggs in the nests of other birds. Often, the cowbird will toss an egg of the nest owner before depositing its egg. A cowbird egg in a bluebird nest is rare, but does occur. Maybe this information may help identify if a mystery egg in a bluebird nest came from a cowbird. Cowbird Eggs
Pretty much ... the history on cowbirds ... a century or so ago, they roamed the great planes of the "wild west" with massive herds of buffalo ... picking bugs and parasites off of those exquisite creatures. As such, cowbirds helped the buffalo. Because of this nomadic life, cowbirds weren't in one spot long enough to nest. So they deposited their eggs in the nests of other birds and then moved on. When the massive herds of buffalo died off (no comment) ... cowbirds were stuck with their 'roaming' nature, but with nowhere to which to roam. Now ... they still often grace herds of dairy cows and beef steers with their bug & parasite picking nature ... but ... they've become a "nuisance". Terribly sad; sort of a pain in the butt. Cowbirds usually toss one egg of the host clutch and lay their egg in its place. Sometimes cowbirds will parasitize the same nest twice. Some host birds will abandon their nests when a cowbird egg shows up in their nest. Many birds will raise the cowbird as their own. Sometimes this 'adopted' baby is so big, compared to the others in the host nest, that the other chicks die of starvation as the adults try to feed the ravenous appetite of the cowbird chick.
While cowbirds most often parasitize an open nest, they have been known to manage to get into a nestbox and parasitize bluebird nestings.
Some reports say a single cowbird female lays between 60-80 eggs each year.
Nestboxes offered in any area even thought to have raccoons should be on baffled poles. Although no baffle is 100% guaranteed, this is a highly effective baffle and very simple to make ... inexpensively! Raccoon Baffle
This same baffle is helpful against skunks and opossum as well. With well-fit hardware cloth (or other solid cap), it can also help against squirrels, chipmunks, mice, and rats ... as long as those critters cannot otherwise jump to the box.
For any baffle - before mounting (and annually) it might be helpful to spray inside it with a 'no-stick' cooking spray to help deter paper wasps from building inside the baffle.
Snakes are all-too-common predators of nestboxes. Because snakes can 'stand' 3/4 of their own length, snakes often easily by-pass raccoon baffles. In snake-prone areas, a large Zeleny Baffle ("skirt" or cone baffle) may help Zeleny Cone Baffle, but equally may not. Some snakes are able to slither straight up vertical surfaces with no difficulty. There are some effective pole-mounted snake traps ... in that the traps catch the snakes. All are lethal to the snake, unless watched constantly to immediately free the snake. Because these traps are usually lethal to a protected species, I'm opting to not list any links here.
However, most often, the adult birds see a snake long before it is at the box (i.e. anywhere near the trap). If there are babies in the box, at the mere sighting of a snake, the adults will make extreme efforts to fledge the 'kids'. If the 'kids' are of any age passed open-eyes they will make every effort to heed the adults' panic call. Unless the 'kids' are of full fledging age they will otherwise fledge prematurely and most often drop right to the ground into the snake's path.
Keeping grass well trimmed within a large perimeter of the box might well be the best deterrent for snakes. However, that's piddlin' little protection against a snake.
Perhaps, the most important concern ... in any area prone to snakes, the monitor should always exercise care when opening a nestbox. To be 'greeted' by a coiled snake in a box is an unnerving experience.
Hanta Virus is a serious, sometimes lethal, disease contracted - by human - from the droppings of certain mice. Since mice often nest inside bluebird nestboxes, it is important to know how to properly deal with cleaning a box in which a potentially infectious mouse nested. CDC Hanta Virus
West Nile disease is killing birds. Believed to be spread by bites of infected mosquitoes and bird-to-bird contact this virus and its disease are of concern to the birding world everywhere. Keep up to date on the spread and what can be done. CDC West Nile Virus
Truly, West Nile has taken an awful toll on birds. However, it seems that when some generation of birds finds a way to survive it … that generation develops an immunity and … passes it along to offspring. Birds - it seems - are doing WAY better than humans.
Well, when dealing with all those predators and parasites and wet nests and etc. … a bluebird landlord should be prepared before opening the nestbox to check on a nesting.
These are the things that I've found very helpful to have right with me.
- a deep bucket (thanks to my cats, I have tons of old cat litter buckets!);
- several plastic bags (one to line the bucket into which to sit the wet or infested nest with the nestlings; another one into which to scrape out the nestbox);
- an old egg turner (to lift the nest for examining under it and to scrape out the bottom of the box) - if the center of the egg turner is open space, it is easier to check the bottom of the nest itself;
- soft dry grass (in case a replacement nest needs made);
- trimmed, white craft feathers (in case a Tree Swallow nest needs replaced);
- a metal putty knife (to smash wasps if found);
- a bar of high-fat soap or jar of Vaseline (to coat the interior of the roof against wasps);
- if monitoring on a trail, a container of antibacterial wipes (until hands can be washed);
In areas prone to mice nesting in boxes one should also have:
- disposable gloves
- a dust mask
- a spray bottle of 10% bleach solution (to spray the mouse nest before removing it as well as to spray the box interior)
In the event you find an ill or injured bird (or other critter) it is crucial to the animal's survival that it be given to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. It is not legal to keep and care for the animal except by licensed rehabilitators. Find your closest rehabber now - before the emergency occurs. Being prepared is especially important ... there are now rehabbers included in these lists that have actually had to close down due to lack of funding. So checking things out before the panic is crucial.
A link was once given in response to a bluebird emergency in North Carolina. It is such a great link that I've included it even though unique to NC. NC Rehabber List
TOO often, folks 'deal' with the first day or so of a "rescued" bird that is doing "fine". THEN they take the bird to a rehabber and the bird dies. Of COURSE, the rehabber is faulted for the bird death. Ya know WHAT?!?!?!? MOST times, those first few days of self-saving bird survival was nature's luck. The DEAL is way too often what actually caused the bird to die was failure to get it to a rehabber SOON enough. I'm sorry, my rant … you have a bird (adult or baby) in need of help … if you don't get it to a rehabber … you didn't save it, you killed it. YES, I appreciate that you "care" … but if you can't or WON'T take the bird to the professionals … just whack it now so it doesn't suffer. JUST ME … I will NOT tolerate excuses that a rehabber is TOO FAR away. IF you love your birds … "too far away" does NOT exist. If, in your mind, a rehabber is "too far away" … let the bird die quickly, you are doing no favors otherwise.
Tips for interim baby bird care information, provided only as a temporary resource for care until the bird can be delivered to - or picked up by - a trained, licensed wildlife rehabilitator.) These links are in addition to the wonderful "Emergency Bird Care and FAQs" link at the top of the forum's opening page.
FALL & WINTER "BLUEBIRDING"
When the bustle of nesting season passes, that "empty nest syndrome" hits landlords like a brick! BUT ... fear not! There is still lots to do!
IF offering nestboxes for winter roosting - late-summer/Fall is the time to get them ready! Particularly in northern states, blues may choose to roost in their summer nesting box! Some do not. Side note: some folks prefer to 'take down' the nestboxes v. availing them for roosting. Either way is totally the landlord's choice!
While timing is also certainly individual choice, I usually pick Fall for renewing the waterproofing (or paint) of the boxes ... only because I'd otherwise have to do it February to be in time before nesting starts! It is also good to double check the caulking of the various seams of the box (e.g. where the sides & roof are attached to the backboard and where the roof is attached to the sides) and replace it if needed - before waterproofing/painting.
If you opt to leave your boxes up, take measurements of the various parts of your nestbox to have those measurements handy for winter days of making repair parts. Sometimes wintering critters will chew or excavate your boxes resulting in "Spring" repairs being needed.
Prepping a box for winter roosting usually only involves sealing up the ventilation holes (don't forget the floor!). Duct tape can do the trick nicely (if it sticks to the waterproofing). Rolled caulking (e.g. "Mortite") is excellent for tightly sealing any gaps - only on the outside of the box, though! You may add an inch or so of woodchips (avoid sawdust and commercially sold cedar bedding)or a layer of soft grass onto the floor of the box. A thin sheet of aluminum-foil covered Styrofoam may also be slipped under the woodchips or grass for added insulation and heat reflection.
Take down or leave up various shade devices.
Keep an eye out over the late Fall for when soft field grasses have died - time to collect lots of soft dead grass for IN CASE replacement nests are needed next year.
By January (southern blues are real close to nesting!), you should have various repair parts ready for your boxes - interior wall liners might be needed if woodpeckers roosted. Replacement hole-guards might be needed, or new box-fronts, or hole repair pieces - to 'fix' an entrance hole that may have been enlarged by squirrels, woodpeckers, mice, etc.
Routinely check the fasteners that mount your boxes on their poles - to be sure none have broken, rusted, or worked loose. This can prevent a potential disaster of a fallen box during roosting or the nesting season.
SPRING AND SUMMER "BLUEBIRDING"
Well, this topic is pretty much covered in all the books and websites. So, for here, I'll toss in just a few reminders of some of the little things - in no particular order.
Rain and high humidity cause wood to swell and shrink. In turn, that can cause wood to crack or roughen. Anyone with wooden boxes should routinely check the condition of the entrance hole to be sure cracks that can catch a blue leg) haven't formed or if the surface has become rough (extra wear on blue feathers). These problems should be quickly repaired or the box-front replaced.
If the unfortunate event of a lost nesting occurs, save the nest IF it is in good shape. This nest could be an awesome tribute to the lost sweeties by saving new ones from a wet or infested nest. (Just don't keep this nest in the house … in case it has bugs!)
Blues will likely 'appreciate' if nestboxes and bird feeders aren't mounted in proximity to each other. Even birds that are no harm to blues could distress them just by being close during a nesting.
Fresh water year round!
Not all states have North American Bluebird Society (NABS) affiliated bluebird organizations. The complete list of the NABS affiliates is here: NABS Affiliates
It is usually not "necessary" to offer mealworms to bluebirds. However, in times of cold and/or prolonged-wet weather snaps with a nest full of babies or if one of the adult birds is lost during nesting, mealworms can make the difference in the survival of the babies. Mostly ... it's a warm-fuzzy!
- GRUBCO 1 800 222 3563
- Rainbow Mealworms 1 800 777 9676
- Sunshine Mealworms 1 800 322 1100
- Reptile Food To offer food to the blues and help the Purple Martin Conservation Association receive a no-cost-to-you donation - just me … my FAVORITE source (no more expensive than elsewhere, but exquisitely packed!!!): On-line only
While bluebirds prefer insects, after much patience (like a couple of years) they sometimes sample peanut butter mixtures. In the meantime, these recipes will be adored by woodpeckers, chickadees, titmice, juncos, cardinals, etc.
The Suet-Lard-Shortening question: A question has been raised concerning the best source of fat to be used in these homemade "suet" recipes. The experts do not all agree on this issue. More research is yet to be done on the matter. There is some concern that suet (raw fat from cows or sheep) goes rancid too quickly. There is also concern that pure rendered suet, otherwise known as tallow, may be too high in saturated fats to be readily digested by birds. There are concerns about using hydrogenated vegetable shortening because of the trans fatty acids created in the process. Some concerns have also been expressed about vegetable oil having a laxative effect on birds. There is some suggestion that using a combination rendered suet and peanut butter, lard, or vegetable oil may result in a better product for the birds' health. Some of the comments of Bluebirders and other experts have been posted here for you to read to make an informed decision. The following recipes have been tried and found acceptable to Bluebirds' tastes. You may wish to make adjustments to the recipes to conform more closely to some of the latest findings.
Brenda's super mix:
1 5 pound can of Crisco 1 large jar crunchy peanut butter Melt over low heat and remove pot from stove. Stir in 5 pounds of corn meal. Add 3 pounds of white flour. Stir until mixture is a flaky consistency. You can add or subtract flour as desired.
"I store this concoction in a large Tupperware holder on my counter. I also freeze it. I mold this mixture into a standard basket-type suet hanging feeder also." ... Brenda
And another yummy recipe (the one I use, but in a X5 batch … it really is sucked up!!!)
- 1 cup Lard
- 1 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
- 1 cup Cornmeal
- 3 cups Oats ("Quaker" cereal type)
- 1 cup Sugar (less is ok, but the full cup is great for a winter calorie boost in cold climates)
Melt lard and peanut butter together (microwave works fine - keep an eye on things). Stir until blended.
In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients, except for the oatmeal.
Then, pour-in the melted lard & PB.
Next, start adding the oatmeal 3 or so cups at a time. The "suet" should be thick. You may add extra oats if it is not thick enough. Pour the mixture into a greased pan (or glass pans - no extra greasing needed), cool in refrigerator and cut or spoon into the proper shape for your feeder. If you don't use it up quickly it can be frozen until needed.
I also add extra chopped peanuts, chopped raisins, chopped sunflower hearts, and powdered sterilized eggshells.
Interesting 'stuff' with tangential relationship to bluebirds!
The purpose of putting leg-bands on birds is for research ... things such as migration patterns, nest site fidelity, survival length, etc. are just some examples of research. Banding migratory birds is legal only with a permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The specific part of the site that covers information on how to apply for a federal permit is found here: Bird Banding Permits.
"Bluebirds in the Suburbs" DGPearse 4497 Woodstream Drive Columbus, OH 43230-5128 (614) 478 5004
Boz Metzdorf, videographer. Birdseye View Productions 1761 co. rd. H Deer Park, Wisconsin 54007 (715) 248-7459
Just a few for birds that are interested in nestboxes:
- EABL = Eastern Bluebird
- MOBL = Mountain Bluebird
- WEBL = Western Bluebird
- AMKE = American Kestrel
- ATFL = Ash-throated Flycatcher
- BCCH = Black-capped Chickadee
- BHNU = Brown-headed Nuthatch
- CACH = Carolina Chickadee
- CAWR = Carolina Wren
- CBCH = Chestnut-backed Chickadee
- EASO = Eastern Screech Owl
- EUST = European Starling
- GCFL = Great Crested Flycatcher
- HOSP = House Sparrow
- HOWR = House Wren
- HOME = Hooded Merganser
- NOFL = Northern Flicker
- MOCH = Mountain Chickadee
- PROW = Prothonotary Warbler
- PUMA = Purple Martin
- RBNU = Red-breasted Nuthatch
- TRES = Tree Swallow
- TUTI = Tufted Titmouse
- VGSW = Violet-Green Swallow
- WBNU = White-breasted Nuthatch
- WODU = Wood Duck