IS THERE A NEED TO FEED BLUEBIRDS?
(REVISED JANUARY, 1994)
stretched across the tray and wrapped around
two nails on each side of the roof will hold it firmly in place.
The aluminum food tray
on the inside is 3/4-inches less than the inside dimension of box to allow easy removal
for filling and cleaning. The inside tray should be approximately three inches blew
the entrance hole, low enough to force the bluebirds to go inside to reach the feed.
Support with berry basket or blocks of wood.
The purpose for the inside
tray is for feeding the cavity nesting birds only - when other non-cavity birds take
possession of the top trays and keep the bluebirds away. If these birds continue
to be a problem, place the feed inside only. The bluebird, chickadee, titmouse, nuthatch,
and woodpecker will go inside for the feed.
Securing a 3-foot limb, dowel, reed, or yardstick across the top will aid in separating
the bluebirds. (See sketched layout on last page.)
The latest modification in this feeder is the lowering of the entire front 2 inches in order to create a more spacious rectangular opening. This will allow bluebirds to make easier and quicker entries or exits. For early morning and late afternoon feeding the large opening provides more light inside the feeder.
The lowered front can remain in the down
position until starlings or other unwanted birds find the feed. It can then be
raised to the original position and the bluebird will then enter through the
regular entrance. In the case of marauders, there may be a need to lower the
inside feed tray even more.
If the feeder is in mockingbird territory, the
mockingbird will not allow other birds to take feed so he must be forced to go
elsewhere. Other feed stations can be placed outside his territory. If the
distance between each feeder is 250-300 feet, the mockingbird cannot guard them
Bluebirds are not overly sociable at the
feeder. Most visits are quick and the seldom linger. Two bluebirds on the same
feed tray at the same tine is not a common occurrence, except in the very early
morning or on cold, snowy or windy days.
It may be appropriate to
give some form of call when you place feed in the feeder. In time, the bluebirds
may associate the call with the feeding. Also always remove old feed form the inside
tray and place on the top tray. Fresh feed should be placed inside.
How long should feeding continue? Several participants in North Carolina have continued to feed through the first brood. The adult birds carried feed to the nest during
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