The Bluebird Diaries – Vol. 2 No. 4

There’s been a (tiny) bit of drama in our bluebird world over the past few days and we’ve been anxious to fill you in!

First, a recap. Work on the second nest began a bit more than a week ago (Vol. 2 No. 1) and took about a week (Vol. 2 No. 2). Then, she laid an egg! (Vol. 2 No. 3)

That’s where we’ll pick up here. She laid the second egg the following day, right on schedule. By the way I took all these pictures myself. 🙂

We had already known we needed to replace the sparrow spooker, a device we fitted onto the nest box during the first nesting of the year to deter house sparrows. (More info here.) We decided we’d better make it a goal so it didn’t disintegrate before we got around to replacing it. Here is the old sparrow spooker, well worn but a complete success!!!

Kind of pitiful looking, actually, but it allowed five babies to fledge and for that I could kiss the thing!

Introducing, Sparrow Spooker 2.0!

It’s easy to see how windy it was the day we installed it. One big difference between this spooker and its predecessor is the amount of noise it makes. Because these mylar strips move around more than the others did, they swish together and make a sound. It’s not obnoxious, but noticeable.

Nevertheless, the bluebirds came back to the nest box almost immediately and the female went inside as usual. We expected the third egg, but she left without leaving anything new. We didn’t think much of it. They came and went all day long, and they were hanging around like normal. It wouldn’t be out of the question for her to skip a day, especially with this new contraption. But then she didn’t lay an egg the second day either. Hmmmm.

And then on the the third day, we got the third egg!

We’re happy to be back on track. We didn’t think they’d abandon the nest, especially considering how readily they accepted sparrow spooker #1 and how much time they were spending here this time around. But I’d be lying if I said we weren’t a little bit concerned!

Here’s a picture of the sparrow spooker without the wind!

In case you ever have a need to make your own, it’s a 1″ x 1″ x 12″ piece of wood with a hole drilled through it about an inch from the top and a wire coat hanger fed through the hole in a V-shape. We covered the ends of the wire with duct tape, then taped strips of mylar tape on each wire. We cut the mylar to be about a half inch shorter than the roof of the house, and voila! A sparrow spooker! We attached it to the pole holding the nest box using plastic ties. For the first version, we cut up a mylar balloon to make the strips, knowing this wasn’t the best choice since it curled and didn’t blow around well. But it did work! This time we used actual mylar strips purchased here, however you can also use a party banner cut into strips, or (believe it or not) a potato chip bag with a shiny side.

We’ll be back in a few days with another update! Thanks for following along.

Unless otherwise noted, all photos courtesy of White Pine Photo. I wouldn’t have a blog if not for my fantastic photographer! Connect with White Pine Photo: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

This entry was posted in Birding, Second 2012 Bluebird Nesting, The Bluebird Diaries and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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