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Friday, April 16, 2010

I Added the Hole Restrictor/Guard to the Chickadee Nestbox

I shared in a previous post how a Hole Restrictor or Guard would protect small birds like Chickadees from losing their nest to larger birds who wanted the same nestbox.  Last year a pair of Eastern Bluebirds ran off the Chickadee pair and built a nest on top of theirs.  I didn't wish this to happen again. Bluebirds need an opening of 1 1/2".  The Chickadee guard size is 1 1/4".  I had ordered copper guards and they finally arrived this week. 

Yesterday I watched the nestbox waiting for Mama Chickadee to leave.  When she finally left I ran and quickly mounted the guard.  Sitting on pins and needles I waited to see if she would accept the guard.  When she returned acted really confused as if thinking "What the Heck is this thing?" and wouldn't enter the box.  Three times she flew away and came back.  I was getting worried that she would abandon the nest.  This is a picture of the bewildered Mom checking out the guard. 




Just when I thought I should take the guard off....she flew back and entered the nestbox.  Success! 




During this whole ordeal I was in contact with someone who has years of experience with cavity nesting birds.  She had told me that one must wait until the eggs are laid before mounting the guard.  The birds will have bonded with the nest and less likely to abandon.  Chickadees are skittish so checking the nest more than once a week is not advised.   Hmmm....I'm glad I didn't scare them off by checking them more often.  Every year I learn something new. 

Now I can relax knowing if and when a pair of Bluebirds show-up they can't enter and harass the Chickadees.  I do have two more Bluebird Houses available.  

Wishing All a Great Day.  Remember to take a few and enjoy the beauty of Nature!      

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