View Full Version : I am new am sorry for asking questions that has already been addressed
08-28-2008, 08:29 PM
Just how far apart should BB houses be placed? I know what my books say yet I do know things can change since our enviroment is changing. I do appreciate all your help.
I hope you will be patient with me and my endless questions. I love bluebirds and have them nest here and would like to increase the numbers. I live in NW GA.
I appreciate all and any advice.
08-28-2008, 09:24 PM
Welcome to our Bluebird Conferences! You came to the right place and we are always happy to answer your questions.
Things do change for many reasons. Environment along with learning more and finding better ways of doing things makes the information change.
When I first started my trail eleven years ago, the recommended distance between Eastern Bluebird boxes was 100 yards. A few years ago, it was changed to 150 (NABS recommendations). The distance for Western Bluebirds is 100 yards apart and for Mountain Bluebirds it is 300 yards apart.
Most of mine are farther than 150 yards apart, but it is mainly because I always place them where they can be facing a tree, bush or structure for the babies to fledge to. This is very important as they fly directly to the trees (if they are healthy and normal)
Now is the time to put up boxes at new sites. The Bluebirds are checking them out already. I saw my backyard pair a couple of days ago at their box and she went in and out of it.
Thanks, Jean and I hope you enjoy our Bluebird Conferences.
08-29-2008, 05:48 PM
Jean. I believe it is 300 feet, or 100 yards. I only have one acre, so even though I've got sever BB houses, I only get one pair nesting. Mine are on their fourth brood now. Mom has been sitting on eggs about ten days. CUL Lou
08-29-2008, 07:28 PM
The 100 yard recommendation was changed for Eastern Bluebirds a few years ago. It was changed because field experience by many bluebirders across the country proved unless you have ideal habitat and can place boxes out of sight of each other, 100 yards is too close.
The North American Bluebird Society now recommends 125 to 150 yards between boxes for Eastern Bluebirds.
On one of our LBBS trails, a few boxes are that close or closer, but they are out of sight of each other and the forging habitat is perfect.
08-29-2008, 07:30 PM
Thanks for the answers. My next question is....What is the easiest way to measure such long distances? My little tape measure could work. Just wondered if their was a better way.
Also I read here on a past thread not to hang BB houses on power poles. Why?
08-29-2008, 09:48 PM
Jean, my husband says you can find tapes at hardware stores that are 100 ft. and 200 ft. Remember to figure that you are needing to space it in yards. Having someone help you would be a big advantage, but you could get some flags on a thin wire and put down to mark where you measured to if you have to do it by yourself. I am going to do this measuring the distance from a couple of boxes to the trees that the babies fledge to. They should not be any farther than 100 ft. from the tree.
I will address the subject of hanging boxes on power poles in another thread.
08-31-2008, 06:07 PM
Thanks Evelyn and Lou. I believe I can put another box up around the back side of my home out of sight from the other box. Most of my place is wooded and left to nature. Hmmmm time to start another thread.
09-26-2008, 09:57 PM
But how can anyone learn if they don't ask questions, even if it's already been asked?
09-27-2008, 06:25 AM
Monty is right. We welcome any and all questions, old and new. Our readers that don't take part in posting are learning too.
Thanks to Jean and Monty!
09-27-2008, 06:47 PM
Thanks to you Evelyn and Monty!!! You both have educated me so much in a short amount of time. I truly appreciate you both.
Come on, other Bluebird Lovers, jump in and share your knowledge/experience/questions.
10-25-2008, 11:29 PM
Jean Pell. Regarding "Thanks for the answers. My next question is....What is the easiest way to measure such long distances? My little tape measure could work. Just wondered if their was a better way.
Also I read here on a past thread not to hang BB houses on power poles. Why?
I haven't been around in awhile. Just been too busy. However, here are my answers to your questions.
First for the measuring. Just go out in your drive, or yard, and walk. Go several steps, then stop. Measure from your trailing toe, to the forward toe. OR use the heel, matters not which. Then you can go out to where you want the boxes, and just figure out how many steps, to equal a distance. For instance. If a person has a two foot pace, then they would need to go fifty steps to equal one hundred feet. Okay?? Maybe not exact, but that'd be close.
Second, as for the power poles. Mainly because those poles are Private Property. Also, if there is ever a time that the line repairmen need to climb the pole it is their right to remove the house. Some wouldn't, but some would. So mostly it's for the safety of the birds, and repairmen. CUL Lou
10-26-2008, 08:55 PM
Thanks Lou and Welcome back!
When I read your answer it was like "Duh" Jean, you could have figured this out!
I appreciate the information on the downfall of posting on a power pole, also.
I am happy that I now have 3 bluebird nest boxes up and baffled! I know that I maybe will have one nesting pair due to the size (or lack of size) of my place.
10-27-2008, 12:42 PM
I've read the same thing about the proximity of one nestbox to another, and had decided to use the excellent already-placed poles of the utility company. And realized one day that maybe that wasn't such a good idea given that they still climbed the poles.
Not all human feet are exactly 12" long, but a good rough guess is usually close enough --the birds are not out there with tiny tapemeasures either <smiling>-- so if you can walk-off between 100 and 300 ft. between nestboxes, I think you're safe. That's the spacing of mine. I have them at or between each utility pole on my parents road, and have yet to have any serious avian disagreements.
My opinion of it all is, with so many naturally-rotted cavities, woodpecker-made cavities, and manmade cavities falling to/being taken over by/let used by h. sparrows and starlings, the native birds are happy to find the open ones they can, that they don't have to fight beak and claw for. So I'm happy that I do what I do, control-wise, for the native birds. Eliminating their competition means one less pair of h. sparrows or starlings that they have to do battle with, especially since their chances of winning aren't usually the best. I'm glad that I help eliminate those nuisance birds.
Since I've already built a horizontal --trial-- box, and now have three more vertical regulars contructed, I'm halfway to having the eight replacements that I needed for my trail done. Once I have the other four completed, just have to go out, take down the old and put up the new. I'm excited about having new boxes in the trail. Hoping the birds will take to them as well as they did the old pine boxes.
10-28-2008, 12:33 AM
Thanks for confirming the measuring technique. It is certainly easier should you are alone.
I have abandoned the power pole as a possible site for a nest house.
I went to a Georgia website on birds and they said that there is a decline in HOSP here. I certainly hope that they are correct!
I would love to hear more about the horizontal blueblue nest box.
10-28-2008, 09:32 AM
The horizontals are basically just inverted verticals. The frontice piece with the entrance hole is where the roof is on a vertical, etc. The concept is to take the space-for-attacking advantage away from h. sparrows should they follow a bluebird/pair of bluebirds into a nestbox with the intent to kill.
Since their attack and destroy method is to corner the native bird(s), as a team, or even as an individual, hold the victim down and peck at the back of the victim's head until the skull is pierced and the brain is exposed. Trying this killing method within a horizontal should be virtually impossible given the lack of space.
A horizontal nestbox is basically a mailbox with an entrance hole. I haven't placed one yet, but have one built for a trial run next spring. I've seen too many trees swallows end up with the backs of their skulls opened, and I've had it with the sparrows. Even though I promote that I am a shooter/trapper/destroyer of these pest birds, one more solution can't hurt. If I can spare any other native birds an early death by encouraging their use of the horizontals, great!
But, I may also have to employ its use in a, dare I say, more sparrow-ridden area. There aren't too many to be found in my trail anymore, so if I want to put a horizontal to the test, I may have to find a place where there actually are --eehh-- sparrows. But, then again, <grinning>, maybe I'll first see if the blues or swallows will use the new style.
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