It is very important to monitor your bluebird box regularly. Monitor your box two to three times a week. Bluebirds do not mind their chicks and nest being checked. Every season clean out your box and pour boiling water through it if possible (this will kill any insects and mites).
PLEASE MONITOR YOUR BLUE BIRD BOXES REGULARLY DURING THE NESTING SEASON.
To prevent rats, ants and lizards from climbing the pole it is advisable to grease a length of 4-6 inches halfway up the pole.
An un-monitored bluebird box becomes a breeding area for the enemy the sparrow. The blue bird nest is cup shaped and neat where a sparrow nest is very messy made of grass, feathers and plastic. Sparrow nests must be removed continually (see the sparrow section).
Mark on a calendar when you see the first egg (mothers lay an egg every consecutive day) and then you can deduce the time of hatching (13-14 days) and fledging (18-20 days).
It may be necessary to remove eggs that have not hatched or dead chicks at times so that ants do not invade the nest.
Checking for mite infestation – The red mite is most likely transported by the sparrow into bluebird boxes where it then sets up residence. If you find mites, pour boiling water throughout the box and let dry. If you have chicks and a chronic mite infestation, remove the nest and chicks (preferably at dusk) , place the chicks on white paper in a cardboard box (avoid excess exposure to light) and as the mites jump onto the paper kill them. Discard the nest, make a new nest from dead casuarina needles, pour boiling water through the box or replace the box and put the nest and then the chicks back into the box. Old timers would put a tablespoon of pipe tobacco/old cigar tobacco under all the nests when the first eggs are laid, to dissuade mites.
It is recommended not to monitor the box the few days before the chicks fledge as excess light exposure can induce them to fledge prematurely.
If you are a cat owner it is also advisable to keep you cat indoors during the fledging times. Adult bluebirds are vulnerable to predation when they are catching worms for their chicks.
If you are unable to monitor your bluenird box at least once a week, please take it down.
Finally please remember to register your bluebird boxes!
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