Caught a Bluebird in my Trap!

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arkansasmartinman
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:42 am
Location: Marion, AR
Martin Colony History: 2015 1st year landlord, put up Coates 12-room house, with round holes, had 10-pairs the first year!
2016-Added a 2nd house. Trendsetter 16-room with SREH, filled up 14 rooms in the 16 room house.
18 pairs, 60 fledged

I purchased Uncle Blaines repeating sparrow trap, put a female sparrow inside from my Martin house trap, as a "bait bird", didn't catch any birds until the 2nd day, and I only caught one bird. Im pretty sure it was a Bluebird! I've never seen a bluebird my entire life! Didn't think I had any around here. I let it loose and it flew away.
Im thinking about putting up a bluebird house now!
TBaugh
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:46 pm
Location: Lone Jack, Missouri
Martin Colony History: 2010 first 2 SK houses on tri poles (Martins found houses)
2011-2015 Total of 5 houses and all 3-1/2" round poles (2-6 pair)
2016 Found PMCI Added handmade crankup with 8 Eliminator gourds
2016 Results 32 cavities, 17 nests, 56 fledged
2017 Add homemade 27 cavity crankup on 3-1/2" sq tube
2017 Results 59 Cavities, 32 Nests, 90? fledged
2018 Replaced 27 cavity plywood crankup with 24 cavity pvc
2018 Results 56 Cavities, 38 Nests, 100+ fledged
2019 Add 8 Eliminator gourds, eliminated 2) 12 Cavity plastic houses
2019 Results 42 Cavities, 32 Nests, 100+ Fledged

I UNDERSTAND THE FEELING.
I Made a very successful trap too.
4 CARDINALS, 2 WOODPECKERS, 2 grackles, 1 Redwinged blackbird. :roll:
What can you do?
2010 first 2 SK houses on tri poles
2011-2015 Total of 5 houses & all 3.5" round poles (2-6 pair)
2016 Found PMCI Added handmade crankup with 8 Eliminator gourds
2016 Results 32 cavities, 17 nests, 56 fledged
2017 Results 59 Cavities, 32 Nests, 90? fledged
2018 Results 56 Cavities, 38 Nests, 100+ fledged
2019 Results 42 Cavities, 32 Nests, 100+ Fledged
tor
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:35 pm
Location: Marlboro County, SC
Martin Colony History: Capacity: 72 Troyers on 3 X Super-24 racks

arkansasmartinman wrote: Im thinking about putting up a bluebird house now!
or 2, or 3, maybe 4. Maybe a whole trail :grin:
Location: Marlboro County, SC

2020: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/11 - 71 pair - 298 hatched as of last nest check.
2019: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/22 - 70 pair - 315 fledged
2018: Capacity: 70 - First Scouts: 2/18 - 60 pair - 270 fledged
2017: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 2/25 - 39 pair
2016: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 3/10 - 32 pair
2015: Capacity: 24 - First Scouts: 3/23 - 4 pair

Purple Martins Of South Carolina
2020 Season
John & Linda - KY
Posts: 599
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:19 pm
Location: Kentucky/Hawesville

Bluebirds are great birds, put up several houses and keep the sparrows out. To minimize catching birds other than sparrows use German millet as bait for your trap. -- John
arkansasmartinman
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:42 am
Location: Marion, AR
Martin Colony History: 2015 1st year landlord, put up Coates 12-room house, with round holes, had 10-pairs the first year!
2016-Added a 2nd house. Trendsetter 16-room with SREH, filled up 14 rooms in the 16 room house.
18 pairs, 60 fledged

Where can you find millet for the sparrow trap? Do they sell that with wild bird food??

Also, I purchased my first blue bird house. I'm not quite sure where to place in in my back yard.
Would it be ok attached to a lattice post about 10-feet from my house in the back corner, near the bird feeders, or does it need to be out in the wide open?
Siberman
Posts: 262
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:03 pm
Location: Titus County , TX

You should be able to find millet at a local feed store .
2010: 5 pair - raptor attack .
2011 : nada .
2012 : 1 pair - 5 eggs / 5 fledged .
2013: zero
2014: Lots of visitors
2015 : several visitors . Seriously considering purchasing a drone to scare off raptors .
John & Linda - KY
Posts: 599
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:19 pm
Location: Kentucky/Hawesville

BB's prefer open nesting spots, about 5 - 6 ft high. If they're desperate to find a spot they become less picky. Be sure to keep the BB box at least 50 yards from your martin housing, and keep the house sparrows away. A house sparrow will kill a sitting female BB and build a new nest over the top of the old nest and body. -- JohnP
tor
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:35 pm
Location: Marlboro County, SC
Martin Colony History: Capacity: 72 Troyers on 3 X Super-24 racks

arkansasmartinman wrote:Where can you find millet for the sparrow trap? Do they sell that with wild bird food??

Also, I purchased my first blue bird house. I'm not quite sure where to place in in my back yard.
Would it be ok attached to a lattice post about 10-feet from my house in the back corner, near the bird feeders, or does it need to be out in the wide open?

I wouldn't attach it to a wooden post. Predators will get to it in no time. Buy some 1/2 inch metal electrical conduit (8 ft) and clamp the house to it using metal half moon clamps. If you can, make you a good predator guard for it. Plans on http://www.sialis.org/baffle.htm. Stick the conduit about 2 ft in the ground.

I attached a shot of one of my boxes on my BB trail just to give you an idea :-). They like it a little open in front of the box. 10 ft from your house might be a little too "busy".

Good luck to you. BB's are fantastic birds. You'll love them. If you're lucky, you'll get them to have a second brood in the same season. Happens sometimes.
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Location: Marlboro County, SC

2020: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/11 - 71 pair - 298 hatched as of last nest check.
2019: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/22 - 70 pair - 315 fledged
2018: Capacity: 70 - First Scouts: 2/18 - 60 pair - 270 fledged
2017: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 2/25 - 39 pair
2016: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 3/10 - 32 pair
2015: Capacity: 24 - First Scouts: 3/23 - 4 pair

Purple Martins Of South Carolina
2020 Season
arkansasmartinman
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:42 am
Location: Marion, AR
Martin Colony History: 2015 1st year landlord, put up Coates 12-room house, with round holes, had 10-pairs the first year!
2016-Added a 2nd house. Trendsetter 16-room with SREH, filled up 14 rooms in the 16 room house.
18 pairs, 60 fledged

Tor, thanks for the tip! That's a great idea that won't cost a fortune, use the metal conduit as a pole and just stick it in the ground, you could easily move that too, if you wanted.
I like your bluebird house, did you make that yourself? I purchased one at tractor supply the other day for $20.
How many blue bird houses do you have put up? And do you leave them up year round, or take them down and store them in the winter?

Thanks
Matt
BrendaVR
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 12:44 pm
Location: Ontario/Burlington

Male Bluebirds will defend 100 yards around their nestbox so you will not get more bluebirds by adding houses closer than (at least) 100 yards apart. I recommend to always pair boxes. Place two nestboxes 5 to 10 feet from each other; a Bluebird can nest in one a TRES in the other (if you only have one box sometimes there are conflicts when they both want it, the pairing solves that) I leave mine up all winter. No need to store them and the birds can roost in them on cold nights.
arkansasmartinman
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:42 am
Location: Marion, AR
Martin Colony History: 2015 1st year landlord, put up Coates 12-room house, with round holes, had 10-pairs the first year!
2016-Added a 2nd house. Trendsetter 16-room with SREH, filled up 14 rooms in the 16 room house.
18 pairs, 60 fledged

Do you all think that it is now too late in the year to put up bluebird houses? I was just reading that you are suppose to put them up early February.
So I may be better off, just waiting until next year?
tor
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:35 pm
Location: Marlboro County, SC
Martin Colony History: Capacity: 72 Troyers on 3 X Super-24 racks

arkansasmartinman wrote:Tor, thanks for the tip! That's a great idea that won't cost a fortune, use the metal conduit as a pole and just stick it in the ground, you could easily move that too, if you wanted.
I like your bluebird house, did you make that yourself? I purchased one at tractor supply the other day for $20.
How many blue bird houses do you have put up? And do you leave them up year round, or take them down and store them in the winter?

Thanks
Matt
Matt,

I currently have 6 boxes on our BB trail. We live on 20 or so acres, so plenty of space. They are spaced about 100 yards apart,since bluebirds are territorial. I built these from scratch, with side access. Added hardware cloth around the entrance for added intrusion prevention. Made the predator guards out of stove pipe ends (Lowes). Easy to make, and fun to do in the winter time. The boxes stay up year round, unless they are in need of repair.

No it's not too late. Remember BB's sometimes have 2 broods a season. I'm on my first brood with kids about a week old currently. I give the BB boxes the same treatment as my Martin housing as far as mites / flies go. It just gives the kids a better shot to survive.
Location: Marlboro County, SC

2020: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/11 - 71 pair - 298 hatched as of last nest check.
2019: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/22 - 70 pair - 315 fledged
2018: Capacity: 70 - First Scouts: 2/18 - 60 pair - 270 fledged
2017: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 2/25 - 39 pair
2016: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 3/10 - 32 pair
2015: Capacity: 24 - First Scouts: 3/23 - 4 pair

Purple Martins Of South Carolina
2020 Season
arkansasmartinman
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:42 am
Location: Marion, AR
Martin Colony History: 2015 1st year landlord, put up Coates 12-room house, with round holes, had 10-pairs the first year!
2016-Added a 2nd house. Trendsetter 16-room with SREH, filled up 14 rooms in the 16 room house.
18 pairs, 60 fledged

Wow 20 acres! My house sits on just 1-acre!
Do you think just 1 or 2 bluebird houses would be plenty for me? I noticed also that you can purchase the bluebird house and pole fairly reasonable together.
I may not be able to attract any bluebirds with my two Martin houses in the back yard. Also do you think that it is too late in the year now to attract them?
They must be around, because I'm sure that's what I caught in my sparrow trap the other day.
I wish I could show you the pics
tor
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:35 pm
Location: Marlboro County, SC
Martin Colony History: Capacity: 72 Troyers on 3 X Super-24 racks

arkansasmartinman wrote:Wow 20 acres! My house sits on just 1-acre!
Do you think just 1 or 2 bluebird houses would be plenty for me? I noticed also that you can purchase the bluebird house and pole fairly reasonable together.
I may not be able to attract any bluebirds with my two Martin houses in the back yard. Also do you think that it is too late in the year now to attract them?
They must be around, because I'm sure that's what I caught in my sparrow trap the other day.
I wish I could show you the pics
2 on one acre, at the most. If you want a decent setup, with predator guard and the whole works, I would just make a good setup for next year. Predator guard directions: http://audubon-omaha.org/bbbox/nabs/rk1.htm

The bluebirds and the martins usually live in harmony. I see my bluebirds stealing mealworms off the trays the Martin racks all the time, and sitting there perched side by side.
Location: Marlboro County, SC

2020: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/11 - 71 pair - 298 hatched as of last nest check.
2019: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/22 - 70 pair - 315 fledged
2018: Capacity: 70 - First Scouts: 2/18 - 60 pair - 270 fledged
2017: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 2/25 - 39 pair
2016: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 3/10 - 32 pair
2015: Capacity: 24 - First Scouts: 3/23 - 4 pair

Purple Martins Of South Carolina
2020 Season
arkansasmartinman
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:42 am
Location: Marion, AR
Martin Colony History: 2015 1st year landlord, put up Coates 12-room house, with round holes, had 10-pairs the first year!
2016-Added a 2nd house. Trendsetter 16-room with SREH, filled up 14 rooms in the 16 room house.
18 pairs, 60 fledged

I may not need a predator guard in my back yard.
I've never seen any snakes. Coons, etc
Just sparrows is my only predator
Forum Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 313
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 1:16 pm
Location: Erie, PA

Please don't assume that because you have not seen any snakes, raccoons, owls, etc., they are not a threat to your purple martins, bluebirds, and other nestbox tenants.

https://www.purplemartin.org/purple-mar ... predation/
The best time to protect your Purple Martins is before there is a problem. Having predator guards in place will help prevent predation—guards should be installed on ALL active housing.
Forum Administrator
Purple Martin Conservation Association - Please consider becoming a member of the PMCA.
MamaBruff
Posts: 1466
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:21 pm
Location: SW Missouri
Martin Colony History: 2013-2016 Unsuccessful at starting a PM colony. Health problems.
Rehomed all my PM stuff. Good Luck and Best Wishes to All.

Before you start investing in BB housing, be sure that is what you found in your trap. Keep in mind that all birds that are blue are not "Bluebirds"... That is "Eastern Bluebird", as you would find in AR. If you baited the trap with seed/millet, you may have caught an Indigo Bunting or Blue Grosbeak. Did you compare your blue bird to get a positive ID? Allaboutbirds is a very good website for bird ID. I think it's highly unlikely that a "real" Eastern Bluebird would enter a trap baited with seed and a female HOSP. Just my thoughts, as I have seen all three of these types of birds that are blue on my property.
~Mary B~

Lifelong PM Admirer and Nature Enthusiast.
Ruthless trapper of S&S year round.
2013-2016 Unsuccessful at starting a PM colony. Health problems.
Rehomed all my PM stuff. Good Luck and Best Wishes to All.
arkansasmartinman
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:42 am
Location: Marion, AR
Martin Colony History: 2015 1st year landlord, put up Coates 12-room house, with round holes, had 10-pairs the first year!
2016-Added a 2nd house. Trendsetter 16-room with SREH, filled up 14 rooms in the 16 room house.
18 pairs, 60 fledged

MamaBruff,

You could be correct!
I haven't figured out how to post pics on here.
If you will tell me, I will post pics of the bird in question.
They are not great pics either.
Wish I had taken better ones, I was so in a hurry to get it out of the sparrow trap.
JudyA
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:54 pm
Location: Clermont, FL

Martinman,
To post a picture, I use a PC. First upload the picture to photobucket.
Next get to where you are viewing the picture in Photobucket. On the right side of the screen, push the IMG bitton. That will copy the Photobucket link.
Next paste the link into your forum post where you want the picture to be.
You can press the Preview button to see that the picture shows up the way you like.
Next press Submit button.

Good luck. I expect someone will be able to help you identify the bird.

- Judy
2016 - 4 Pairs with 16 fledged
arkansasmartinman
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:42 am
Location: Marion, AR
Martin Colony History: 2015 1st year landlord, put up Coates 12-room house, with round holes, had 10-pairs the first year!
2016-Added a 2nd house. Trendsetter 16-room with SREH, filled up 14 rooms in the 16 room house.
18 pairs, 60 fledged

Thanks Judy!
I kept trying to post an attachment from my cell phone, and couldn't get it to work.
I may try the photo bucket thing.
Thanks
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