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Thread: Birdhouse help

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Hawkeye66's avatar
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    Birdhouse help

    We have a small birdhouse this year that we put up and within a day we got a pair of black capped chickadees.

    Anyway, according to what I read they build their nest, incubate the eggs, and rear the young in about 5 weeks times. So, Memorial Day they should be done.

    Should we clean out the box at that point or just leave it? Will other birds use it later in the season? I looked a lot around on Google, etc. and found nothing conclusive.

    Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    My understanding is that most birds have very specific requirements for bird houses and none are "all-inclusive", Have u tried Audobon or Wild Birds Unlimited for online info? Maybe there's even a chickadee website? I have read that they should always be cleaned after the nesting pair vacates the house, but admit I've never tried putting out bird houses.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Hawkeye: I know the folks who run our local Wild Birds Unlimited store, and they are very knowledgeable. I will ask them and let you know what they say.

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    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Congrats on the new boarders. Chickadees are my favorite little bird.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    Congrats on the new boarders. Chickadees are my favorite little bird.
    Mine too, tho I find them a bit crunchy and you gotta watch out for the bones.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

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    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    Mine too, tho I find them a bit crunchy and you gotta watch out for the bones.
    Monster!

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Ah yes, my little chickadee...

    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    The proprietors of our local WBU responded to Hawkeye's question about cleaning out the birdhouse after the chickadees have fledged:

    "We've heard two trains of thought on that. One says to clean it out so that accumulated nests don't get so close to the hole that they are more susceptible to predation. Some also say clean it out if there is evidence of insect infestation. The other side says leave it -- the birds will remove what they don't want. Leaving material in for the winter might also make it a more comfortable place for winter roosting. And in nature, no one cleans out nest holes other than the next occupants!"

    They added that they have used both approaches themselves. So... the jury's still out on this one. It's really up to you to decide now that you know both sides of the argument.

    Hope this helps. Ironically, I discovered an old birdhouse on the property we just bought, and it looks like it's filled to the brim with nesting material (possibly from previous occupants). I guess I have a decision to make, too!


    P.S. to ofos: Your age is showing.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    I'd wait until fall to clean out the nest. By then I'd forget about it and in the Spring, they'd come back to a furnished apartment.

    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    P.S. to ofos: Your age is showing.
    Flattery will get you nowhere. Gotta admit it's age though, it's certainly not maturity.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Flattery will get you nowhere. Gotta admit it's age though, it's certainly not maturity.
    We wouldn't like you as much it it were

    My vote is to leave the nesting material in there. Maybe empty it out every couple of years.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  11. #11
    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    Monster!
    I prefer smart@ss, but monster will work.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

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    Cyburbian Hawkeye66's avatar
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    Sadly it seems they may have given up and moved on. I last saw one going in yesterday morning, saw no activity today.

    I did a lot of reading and sometimes other birds will drive them out, but I dont see other birds...I dont see any going in there.

    I wonder what else would make them just give up. They were at it pretty hard for three days or so. Could it be that she is actually incubating eggs in there already? I would expect the frequent trips would drop off then, but I read the male bird brings food in still.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hawkeye66 View post
    I wonder what else would make them just give up. They were at it pretty hard for three days or so. Could it be that she is actually incubating eggs in there already? I would expect the frequent trips would drop off then, but I read the male bird brings food in still.
    She very well could be sitting on eggs already. I wouldn't give up just yet, not after only a day or two.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hawkeye66 View post
    Sadly it seems they may have given up and moved on. I last saw one going in yesterday morning, saw no activity today.

    I did a lot of reading and sometimes other birds will drive them out, but I dont see other birds...I dont see any going in there.

    I wonder what else would make them just give up. They were at it pretty hard for three days or so. Could it be that she is actually incubating eggs in there already? I would expect the frequent trips would drop off then, but I read the male bird brings food in still.
    I don't know if you have wasps in your area, but here in the south, I've seen recommendations to coat the inside roof of the house with vaseline to keep wasps from taking over the bird houses, as that might drive the birds out. Don't know if it's true...

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Hawkeye66's avatar
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    Update:

    I had not seen them for some time, then I was mowing yesterday and standing in our shed, which is about 15 ft straight out from where the house is, and I saw one pop out for a minute into our tree and then go right back in. My guess is that the eggs are in there now. I guess it takes around 2 weeks. We should be able to hear the babies, its close to a window. Also, the house hangs next to vines and a small pair of brown birds, finches or something made a nest about 3 ft away. I think they wanted the house, but there is no perch and the hole is made for small birds.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Hawkeye66's avatar
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    Here is a picture for reference. You can see the Chickadee's house in the upper right corner. The finches have a nest on the opposite side a little below.


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