Attracting Bluebirds!

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Kyler
Posts: 893
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:15 pm
Location: Colby, Kansas
Martin Colony History: PMCA Member - Project MartinWatch - Enlarged Compartments - SREH - S&S Control - Mite Control - Predator Guards - Heat Control ( Vents and Insulation ) - Supplemental Feeding -

Manage 8 Colonies that consist of 250 Cavities in Colby Kansas.

Offer 78 Cavities Main Site
Offer 12 Cavities Golf Course
Offer 30 Cavities Grandpa’s Public Site
Offer 28 Cavities Grandpa’s Site
Offer 12 Cavities Homeowners Site
Offer 48 Cavities Homeowners Site
Offer 6 Cavities Home Site
Offer 36 Cavties Homeowners Site

I know this isn't about purple martins but I'm wondering the people that have bluebirds if you guys could give me some pointers! This is my second year have nest boxes up for them! I never had any lookers last year but I did see a male bluebird in a tree about 50 feet away from the boxes! He was in the area for about 2 days and then gone I never saw him again! My nest boxes are about 5 feet off the ground! And facing a open area where my Martin houses used to be! I build my nest boxes and also build the cage thing that goes over the hole! I have never seen any nest boxes around where I live! In fact I don't even think people even have any in there backyard! So I think the bluebirds are nesting in old fence posts or in other places! I think I just have to get them used to my boxes and they think there safe! In northwest Kansas we don't get many bluebirds! But we do get some! So hope someone could help me and give me some pointers so bluebirds will select my boxes! Thanks!

Kyler,
Purple Martin Landlords of Northwest KS
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC9HDLGlbCmSYcSExIySwUQA

2013 & 2015 - 0 Pair -
2014 - 1 Pair - 4 Eggs - 3 Hatched - 3 Fledged -
2016 - 5 Pair - 27 Eggs - 24 Hatched - 13 Fledged -
2017 - 18 Pair - 102 Eggs - 78 Hatched - 69 Fledged -
2018 - 22 Pair - 115 Eggs - 92 Hatched - 86 Fledged -
2019 - 28 Pair - 144 Eggs - 131 Hatched - 125 Fledged -
2020 - 40 Pair - 190 Eggs - 133 Hatched - 111 Fledged So Far - (Bad Year! To Many Single SY Males)
taxidermy lady
Posts: 2989
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:21 am
Location: IL/Ellis Grove
Martin Colony History: Started trying to attract purple martins in 2012! It's finally happened in 2017! 5 years!!! ASY male and SY female came May 1st, fledged 5 babies!

Maybe attach a small cup of dried mealworms on top of a house next spring if they come checking it out! Food will attract them!
I'll trade you some for martins. Their everywhere here! :)
Sharon from southern Illinois
warbird
Posts: 199
Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 10:04 am
Location: Calofornia MO

This is my first year with blue birds. I had a pair going in and out of house this spring and thought I had a pair, wound up with sparrow eggs in the house. So I thought I was done till next spring, kept shooting sparrows and a few weeks ago I seen blue birds again this time they were building a nest. the female was almost gray [young I guess] she is getting more blue on her tail, now l have 4 blue eggs. I guess them hs are hard on them too. Beings they have a few clutches a year, the little ones have to find a home. I think they come anytime. I bought a blue bird feeder and put meal worms in it and they haven't touched it yet. Maybe it takes awhile for feed too.
joe
2015 8 pair
2016 35 pair
2017 55 pair
Kyler
Posts: 893
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:15 pm
Location: Colby, Kansas
Martin Colony History: PMCA Member - Project MartinWatch - Enlarged Compartments - SREH - S&S Control - Mite Control - Predator Guards - Heat Control ( Vents and Insulation ) - Supplemental Feeding -

Manage 8 Colonies that consist of 250 Cavities in Colby Kansas.

Offer 78 Cavities Main Site
Offer 12 Cavities Golf Course
Offer 30 Cavities Grandpa’s Public Site
Offer 28 Cavities Grandpa’s Site
Offer 12 Cavities Homeowners Site
Offer 48 Cavities Homeowners Site
Offer 6 Cavities Home Site
Offer 36 Cavties Homeowners Site

Could I put some melworms out now and just see what comes or should I just wait until next year? I have no idea when they leave our area because I'm just starting to get into bluebirds! Also do I need to soake the mealworms or just leave them dried?

I also have had sparrows in my nest boxes! I always just set my ground trap and caught them right away!

Kyler,
Purple Martin Landlords of Northwest KS
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC9HDLGlbCmSYcSExIySwUQA

2013 & 2015 - 0 Pair -
2014 - 1 Pair - 4 Eggs - 3 Hatched - 3 Fledged -
2016 - 5 Pair - 27 Eggs - 24 Hatched - 13 Fledged -
2017 - 18 Pair - 102 Eggs - 78 Hatched - 69 Fledged -
2018 - 22 Pair - 115 Eggs - 92 Hatched - 86 Fledged -
2019 - 28 Pair - 144 Eggs - 131 Hatched - 125 Fledged -
2020 - 40 Pair - 190 Eggs - 133 Hatched - 111 Fledged So Far - (Bad Year! To Many Single SY Males)
marcus
Posts: 314
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 10:21 pm
Location: Fairland OK
Martin Colony History: Mom n Dad had a plastic 12 unit martin house with some martins as long as I can remember. In 2013 they had 1 pair. I don't think they fledged any. I then started learning how to take care of martins and in 2014 we took that house down and put up a Troyer 18 gourd rack. We had 7 pair with 28 fledged.That summer I built a T-14 (I was only 12). I was also given 4 natural gourds that I hung beneath the T-14. In 2015, we had 23 pair although only 22 pair fledged young. They fledged 88 young. In 2016, we had 36 pair, 210 eggs, 163 hatched, 149 fledge!! One pair fledged 2 broods. In 2017, I had 36 pair with 35 fledging young. They laid 204 eggs, hatched 155, and fledged 152.

Kyler,
I would try right now. I prefer live mealworms but they do eat dehydrated as well. Also my bluebirds don't even leave for the winter. :) In the winter you can even train them to eat on your hands. :shock: :grin: It is soooooooo much fun.
taxidermy lady
Posts: 2989
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:21 am
Location: IL/Ellis Grove
Martin Colony History: Started trying to attract purple martins in 2012! It's finally happened in 2017! 5 years!!! ASY male and SY female came May 1st, fledged 5 babies!

If you are seeing them you could put some out! If their not around they'll get wet and nasty unless a robin or other birdie finds them!
Jose from Florida just put them in a small cup attached to the top of his box! I don't think he soaked them! He had beautiful pictures of them!!
Good luck!!!
Sharon from southern Illinois
Kyler
Posts: 893
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:15 pm
Location: Colby, Kansas
Martin Colony History: PMCA Member - Project MartinWatch - Enlarged Compartments - SREH - S&S Control - Mite Control - Predator Guards - Heat Control ( Vents and Insulation ) - Supplemental Feeding -

Manage 8 Colonies that consist of 250 Cavities in Colby Kansas.

Offer 78 Cavities Main Site
Offer 12 Cavities Golf Course
Offer 30 Cavities Grandpa’s Public Site
Offer 28 Cavities Grandpa’s Site
Offer 12 Cavities Homeowners Site
Offer 48 Cavities Homeowners Site
Offer 6 Cavities Home Site
Offer 36 Cavties Homeowners Site

I will for sure try now! Also do you order your mealworms or do have a local stairs you buy them at? Because we don't have a stairs that sells them! So I will have to order them! But we do have the dried ones here! Like I said I don't know when they leave! They might not even leave!! :grin:

Kyler,
Purple Martin Landlords of Northwest KS
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC9HDLGlbCmSYcSExIySwUQA

2013 & 2015 - 0 Pair -
2014 - 1 Pair - 4 Eggs - 3 Hatched - 3 Fledged -
2016 - 5 Pair - 27 Eggs - 24 Hatched - 13 Fledged -
2017 - 18 Pair - 102 Eggs - 78 Hatched - 69 Fledged -
2018 - 22 Pair - 115 Eggs - 92 Hatched - 86 Fledged -
2019 - 28 Pair - 144 Eggs - 131 Hatched - 125 Fledged -
2020 - 40 Pair - 190 Eggs - 133 Hatched - 111 Fledged So Far - (Bad Year! To Many Single SY Males)
Kyler
Posts: 893
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:15 pm
Location: Colby, Kansas
Martin Colony History: PMCA Member - Project MartinWatch - Enlarged Compartments - SREH - S&S Control - Mite Control - Predator Guards - Heat Control ( Vents and Insulation ) - Supplemental Feeding -

Manage 8 Colonies that consist of 250 Cavities in Colby Kansas.

Offer 78 Cavities Main Site
Offer 12 Cavities Golf Course
Offer 30 Cavities Grandpa’s Public Site
Offer 28 Cavities Grandpa’s Site
Offer 12 Cavities Homeowners Site
Offer 48 Cavities Homeowners Site
Offer 6 Cavities Home Site
Offer 36 Cavties Homeowners Site

Sharon,
I haven't seen one this year so I don't think they are around! I will just have to see I will keep you posted!
Purple Martin Landlords of Northwest KS
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC9HDLGlbCmSYcSExIySwUQA

2013 & 2015 - 0 Pair -
2014 - 1 Pair - 4 Eggs - 3 Hatched - 3 Fledged -
2016 - 5 Pair - 27 Eggs - 24 Hatched - 13 Fledged -
2017 - 18 Pair - 102 Eggs - 78 Hatched - 69 Fledged -
2018 - 22 Pair - 115 Eggs - 92 Hatched - 86 Fledged -
2019 - 28 Pair - 144 Eggs - 131 Hatched - 125 Fledged -
2020 - 40 Pair - 190 Eggs - 133 Hatched - 111 Fledged So Far - (Bad Year! To Many Single SY Males)
taxidermy lady
Posts: 2989
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:21 am
Location: IL/Ellis Grove
Martin Colony History: Started trying to attract purple martins in 2012! It's finally happened in 2017! 5 years!!! ASY male and SY female came May 1st, fledged 5 babies!

Yeah I would wait until you see one around the box!! Keep those sparrows away! :)
Sharon from southern Illinois
marcus
Posts: 314
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 10:21 pm
Location: Fairland OK
Martin Colony History: Mom n Dad had a plastic 12 unit martin house with some martins as long as I can remember. In 2013 they had 1 pair. I don't think they fledged any. I then started learning how to take care of martins and in 2014 we took that house down and put up a Troyer 18 gourd rack. We had 7 pair with 28 fledged.That summer I built a T-14 (I was only 12). I was also given 4 natural gourds that I hung beneath the T-14. In 2015, we had 23 pair although only 22 pair fledged young. They fledged 88 young. In 2016, we had 36 pair, 210 eggs, 163 hatched, 149 fledge!! One pair fledged 2 broods. In 2017, I had 36 pair with 35 fledging young. They laid 204 eggs, hatched 155, and fledged 152.

I ordered mine but I try to raise them. This spring I ran out because I was feeding martins and bluebirds and my next culture wasn't growing right. I ordered 1000 mighty mealys and used them up fast. I will continue to feed the bluebirds as soon as my culture has big ones.
Kyler
Posts: 893
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:15 pm
Location: Colby, Kansas
Martin Colony History: PMCA Member - Project MartinWatch - Enlarged Compartments - SREH - S&S Control - Mite Control - Predator Guards - Heat Control ( Vents and Insulation ) - Supplemental Feeding -

Manage 8 Colonies that consist of 250 Cavities in Colby Kansas.

Offer 78 Cavities Main Site
Offer 12 Cavities Golf Course
Offer 30 Cavities Grandpa’s Public Site
Offer 28 Cavities Grandpa’s Site
Offer 12 Cavities Homeowners Site
Offer 48 Cavities Homeowners Site
Offer 6 Cavities Home Site
Offer 36 Cavties Homeowners Site

Sharon,
Thanks! If I see them I will post some pictures! Do you have any boxes up for them?

Kyler,
Purple Martin Landlords of Northwest KS
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC9HDLGlbCmSYcSExIySwUQA

2013 & 2015 - 0 Pair -
2014 - 1 Pair - 4 Eggs - 3 Hatched - 3 Fledged -
2016 - 5 Pair - 27 Eggs - 24 Hatched - 13 Fledged -
2017 - 18 Pair - 102 Eggs - 78 Hatched - 69 Fledged -
2018 - 22 Pair - 115 Eggs - 92 Hatched - 86 Fledged -
2019 - 28 Pair - 144 Eggs - 131 Hatched - 125 Fledged -
2020 - 40 Pair - 190 Eggs - 133 Hatched - 111 Fledged So Far - (Bad Year! To Many Single SY Males)
Kyler
Posts: 893
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:15 pm
Location: Colby, Kansas
Martin Colony History: PMCA Member - Project MartinWatch - Enlarged Compartments - SREH - S&S Control - Mite Control - Predator Guards - Heat Control ( Vents and Insulation ) - Supplemental Feeding -

Manage 8 Colonies that consist of 250 Cavities in Colby Kansas.

Offer 78 Cavities Main Site
Offer 12 Cavities Golf Course
Offer 30 Cavities Grandpa’s Public Site
Offer 28 Cavities Grandpa’s Site
Offer 12 Cavities Homeowners Site
Offer 48 Cavities Homeowners Site
Offer 6 Cavities Home Site
Offer 36 Cavties Homeowners Site

Marcus,
You will have to give me some tips on raising my own! If I start to do that!

Kyler,
Purple Martin Landlords of Northwest KS
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC9HDLGlbCmSYcSExIySwUQA

2013 & 2015 - 0 Pair -
2014 - 1 Pair - 4 Eggs - 3 Hatched - 3 Fledged -
2016 - 5 Pair - 27 Eggs - 24 Hatched - 13 Fledged -
2017 - 18 Pair - 102 Eggs - 78 Hatched - 69 Fledged -
2018 - 22 Pair - 115 Eggs - 92 Hatched - 86 Fledged -
2019 - 28 Pair - 144 Eggs - 131 Hatched - 125 Fledged -
2020 - 40 Pair - 190 Eggs - 133 Hatched - 111 Fledged So Far - (Bad Year! To Many Single SY Males)
marcus
Posts: 314
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 10:21 pm
Location: Fairland OK
Martin Colony History: Mom n Dad had a plastic 12 unit martin house with some martins as long as I can remember. In 2013 they had 1 pair. I don't think they fledged any. I then started learning how to take care of martins and in 2014 we took that house down and put up a Troyer 18 gourd rack. We had 7 pair with 28 fledged.That summer I built a T-14 (I was only 12). I was also given 4 natural gourds that I hung beneath the T-14. In 2015, we had 23 pair although only 22 pair fledged young. They fledged 88 young. In 2016, we had 36 pair, 210 eggs, 163 hatched, 149 fledge!! One pair fledged 2 broods. In 2017, I had 36 pair with 35 fledging young. They laid 204 eggs, hatched 155, and fledged 152.

I recommend you getting the book Bring Back The Bluebirds Even On Your Hands written by Andrew Troyer. It tells you everything about bluebirds.
mcampbell65
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:49 pm
Location: Centerville, Indiana
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 nesting pair, 4 fledged
2015 - 0
2014 - 0
2013 - 2 nesting pairs, 10 fledged

Kyler,

I have studied, photographed, and kept a Bluebird trail off and on for years. This year, the pair in my yard are on their second brood. The four young should fledge in 3-4 days. I have a pair that have nested in a box up the road. The female is incubating 5 eggs. When I lived in Missouri, I had them starting nests in to early-mid July; those attempts were not as successful as the earlier attempts, but several would make it each year... I have never provided additional food. The key things that I have found to be successful is what I am finding as a "new" Martin landlord: Box placement and Keeping away House Sparrows. On placement: Face the box to the East or NE (significant selection of boxes in a study I did back in the early 90's), place them away from barns and in an open orchard, pasture, etc House Sparrows- They will take over a box if given the opportunity. I have had them kill the babies on more than one occasion; even with practicing active control measures.

Sorry if I rambled on... could share lots of pics, but probably not the right place for them. Attached is one picture of the male that resides on my property... Good luck!
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taxidermy lady
Posts: 2989
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:21 am
Location: IL/Ellis Grove
Martin Colony History: Started trying to attract purple martins in 2012! It's finally happened in 2017! 5 years!!! ASY male and SY female came May 1st, fledged 5 babies!

Last year I raised 2 broods. No problem getting them! Their always here!
I was told no BB's or TS's until I get martins! So I took the boxes down! But will put them back up when I get martins! :)
Sharon from southern Illinois
lynnh
Posts: 390
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:07 am
Location: Iowa, New Sharon

Hey Kyler,if you have the cages installed at this time that may be the problem,seems i have read somewhere to leave them off untill they nest and have eggs. I do have a few pair of blues around the property here but ive never used the wire gaurds,just the pole guards.
2007 2 pair 8 fledged
2008 4 pair 18 fledged
2009 21 pair 87 fledged
2010 44 pair 174 fledged
2011 68 pair 244 fledged
2012 82 pair 364 fledged
2013 82 pair 359 fledged
2014 86 pair 415 fledged
2015 101 pair 427 fledged
Kyler
Posts: 893
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:15 pm
Location: Colby, Kansas
Martin Colony History: PMCA Member - Project MartinWatch - Enlarged Compartments - SREH - S&S Control - Mite Control - Predator Guards - Heat Control ( Vents and Insulation ) - Supplemental Feeding -

Manage 8 Colonies that consist of 250 Cavities in Colby Kansas.

Offer 78 Cavities Main Site
Offer 12 Cavities Golf Course
Offer 30 Cavities Grandpa’s Public Site
Offer 28 Cavities Grandpa’s Site
Offer 12 Cavities Homeowners Site
Offer 48 Cavities Homeowners Site
Offer 6 Cavities Home Site
Offer 36 Cavties Homeowners Site

Mcampbell65,
I have a total of three boxes I built! One is facing E and another is N and the last one is facing SW! They are all in a open area that is alway cut really short! Also thanks a lot!!

Sharon,
Well hopefully you have them next year! I can't wait to here that you have them all over! Good luck!

Lynnh,
Thanks I might take them off of a couple of the boxes and just see what happens!

Kyler,
Purple Martin Landlords of Northwest KS
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC9HDLGlbCmSYcSExIySwUQA

2013 & 2015 - 0 Pair -
2014 - 1 Pair - 4 Eggs - 3 Hatched - 3 Fledged -
2016 - 5 Pair - 27 Eggs - 24 Hatched - 13 Fledged -
2017 - 18 Pair - 102 Eggs - 78 Hatched - 69 Fledged -
2018 - 22 Pair - 115 Eggs - 92 Hatched - 86 Fledged -
2019 - 28 Pair - 144 Eggs - 131 Hatched - 125 Fledged -
2020 - 40 Pair - 190 Eggs - 133 Hatched - 111 Fledged So Far - (Bad Year! To Many Single SY Males)
mcampbell65
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:49 pm
Location: Centerville, Indiana
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 nesting pair, 4 fledged
2015 - 0
2014 - 0
2013 - 2 nesting pairs, 10 fledged

Sounds like you are doing the right things. So, if you have a good population, then there may be sufficient existing nest cavities. But, don't give up, they are rather easy to attract. I have some babies that fledge in 3-4 days :grin: Best of luck, Mark
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Kyler
Posts: 893
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:15 pm
Location: Colby, Kansas
Martin Colony History: PMCA Member - Project MartinWatch - Enlarged Compartments - SREH - S&S Control - Mite Control - Predator Guards - Heat Control ( Vents and Insulation ) - Supplemental Feeding -

Manage 8 Colonies that consist of 250 Cavities in Colby Kansas.

Offer 78 Cavities Main Site
Offer 12 Cavities Golf Course
Offer 30 Cavities Grandpa’s Public Site
Offer 28 Cavities Grandpa’s Site
Offer 12 Cavities Homeowners Site
Offer 48 Cavities Homeowners Site
Offer 6 Cavities Home Site
Offer 36 Cavties Homeowners Site

Mark,
Did you build your boxes or did you buy them? Also what should be the inside diamensions for a box? And that's really cool I hope I have something like that in my boxes one of these days!!

Kyler,
Purple Martin Landlords of Northwest KS
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC9HDLGlbCmSYcSExIySwUQA

2013 & 2015 - 0 Pair -
2014 - 1 Pair - 4 Eggs - 3 Hatched - 3 Fledged -
2016 - 5 Pair - 27 Eggs - 24 Hatched - 13 Fledged -
2017 - 18 Pair - 102 Eggs - 78 Hatched - 69 Fledged -
2018 - 22 Pair - 115 Eggs - 92 Hatched - 86 Fledged -
2019 - 28 Pair - 144 Eggs - 131 Hatched - 125 Fledged -
2020 - 40 Pair - 190 Eggs - 133 Hatched - 111 Fledged So Far - (Bad Year! To Many Single SY Males)
mcampbell65
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:49 pm
Location: Centerville, Indiana
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 nesting pair, 4 fledged
2015 - 0
2014 - 0
2013 - 2 nesting pairs, 10 fledged

Kyler wrote:Mark,
Did you build your boxes or did you buy them? Also what should be the inside diamensions for a box? And that's really cool I hope I have something like that in my boxes one of these days!!

Kyler,

Kyler,

I build all of mine. I use 1"x6"x8 foot cedar when the local Menards or Lowes has a lumber sale. I use a modified version of the box at this link: http://www.birdwatching-bliss.com/suppo ... -plans.pdf I use 12" for the back (versus 13 1/2"), 8" for the front & sides (vs 9"), 7" for the roof (vs 7 1/2"), and 4" for the floor. I can get two houses from one board by trimming the dimensions. I also design mine for top opening instead of side opening. I use exterior wood screws to assemble the parts. For the ones on my property, I use hinges on top, and hooks on the side. But, the ones on the trails to keep costs down, I just nail a block of wood above the roof to hold the roof on, and drill two holes through the roof into the sides and put in two large nails to keep the to secure (you just hand remove the nails from the roof and slide off the roof to do nest checks). Attached are a couple pics of the boxes I finished last month; nothing fancy, but fully functional and Bluebird tested! :grin:

Regards,

Mark
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