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Predators

The Eastern Bluebird has many predators. Raccoons, Squirrels, Opossums, Starlings, Humans, House Sparrows, House Wrens, Grackles, Blue Jays, cats, mice, snakes, insects, birds of prey, etc. It is important to try to keep these predators from reaching Eastern Bluebirds, their fledglings, and their eggs. Raccoons, opossums, cats, and squirrels will reach in a nest and take whatever they can get. Insects like Paper Wasps can kill young fledglings by stinging them. Snakes can eat the fledglings and eggs whole. Starlings, House Sparrows, and House Wrens will kill the parents, kill the fledglings, and/or break the eggs. Then, afterwards, they may decide to build over the old bluebird nest. Grackles and Blue Jays will take fledglings or eggs. Mice have been known to chew (eat) on the fledglings. Birds of prey can catch the adult bluebird or a newly fledged bluebird.

Many of these problems can not legally be prevented, but then again some can. To keep House Sparrows and Starlings away from your Eastern Bluebirds you must monitor nesting sites at least once a week. If you do come upon a House Sparrow or Starling nest remove it immediatly, install a House Sparrow Trap, and kill the male sparrow/starling (optional). Then plug the hole for a week (to discurage the female). You can also relocate the trapped bird 5 or more miles away.


Click here if you are interested in House Sparrow Trap plans!

To keep raccoons, opossums, cats, and squirrels out you can install a predator baffle (Nixalite) below the box, and a Noel Predator Guard around the entrance hole. To stop snakes and mice apply grease to the post or pole that the box is mounted on. When killing insects (DO NOT USE PESTICIDES) just eliminate them by hand (use hand tools; example: paint scraper). If you have ants in a nest box just take a paintbrush and brush them out. After brushing them out apply some grease to the post or pole the box is mounted on. Don't disturb any of the other predators because it is against the law (unless you have a specialized license). If you have any specific problems that you would like advice on just e-mail me.


Links

Nixalite Predator Control - Ask For Type W
Click to see how I use Nixalite