About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

How to Protect My Bluebird House

My neighbor put up my new bluebird house and the birds started to build a nest immediately. I want to change the direction of the house because I think he put it up in the wrong way. Also I bought a baffle for my pole. Do you think it would be okay to take the house off for a few minutes to put on the baffle. I also bought the bird guardian. Can I put that on now? I've been checking the nest and there are no eggs yet. Are there any rules on checking on the nest too much? Bonita ~Charlotte, MI

Wow you're going to have some very well cared for birds! You've asked a lot of questions so I'll just go down the list.

  1. What direction should the house face? In the northern states like Michigan, the birds prefer the early morning sun coming in the front of the house as it faces the east. However Eastern Bluebirds can nest in a bird house that faces in another direction. It's just not their 1st choice.
  2. Should I change the direction of the house? No, if the bluebirds have accepted the nest box and started to build, don't disturb the nest.
  3. Can I put a baffle on the pole? Wild Birds Unlimited has wrap-around baffles that go around 4"x4" poles or metal poles that wrap around pole without disturbing the house. If you already have a baffle, it would be alright to remove the house and put it back the way it was as fast as you can.
  4. When do I attach the Bird Guardian? The Guardian can be put on after the eggs have been laid. The instructions recommend monitoring the nest after you've attached the guardian. If the birds haven't re-entered the nest within 30 minutes, remove and attach it the next day, repeating as needed with continued observance. Once the pair have both been seen entering the box, you have success.
  5. How often can I check on my birds? I can tell you are a very caring landlord but let's not be too nosy. The bluebirds are tolerant of humans but it's best check on the nest no more than twice a week during active nesting season until the nestlings are 12-14 days old. After that leave the birds alone. We don't want the babies to fledge too early by accident. If you do find a fledgling on the ground, scoop it up and plop it back in the nest.

For much more information go to the Michigan Bluebird Society website at: http://www.michiganbluebirds.org/nestbox-basics#nest

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