ALL OF THESE ARE BLUEBIRD PREDATORS !
Predator Guard Construction
Harry Krueger Snake Trap plans
PREDATOR BAFFLES: Easy, Inexpensive and Effective
Ron Kingston 8″ by 24″ stovepipe baffle
Every pole supporting a bird house should have a predator baffle on it. Otherwise, pole-climbing predators, such as snakes, raccoons or squirrels can make an easy meal of your birds, their eggs, or their young nestlings. Below are plans for making an effective baffle.
Materials needed: hardware cloth (1/4″ mesh), machine screws with nuts, hanger iron (2 - 7″ strips, duct tape and a section of galvanized stovepipe (24″ long by 8″ in diameter), sheet metal screws. Lowe’s or Home Depot have these stovepipes and caps to fit. Approximate cost: $5.
With tin snips, cut the hardware cloth into a circle 9″ in diameter. Place it over the stovepipe, bending the edges down so that it will fit snugly into the pipe, about an inch down from the top. Close any gaps between the hardware cloth and the stovepipe, so snakes can’t squeeze through. Next, use tin snips to cut three tabs in the top of the stovepipe. Bend these over the hardware cloth. Cut a small hole in the middle of the cloth to allow the assemble to slip over the mounting pipe. Use small sheet metal screws to fasten the hardware cloth to the stovepipe tabs.
Bolt the two strips of hanger iron securely on either side of the mounting pipe and bend them to support the hardware cloth. Duct tape wrapped around the pole helps hold the hanger iron in place. Slip the assembled baffle over the hanger iron bracket, and mount the baffle at least four feet off the ground. The baffle should wobble which further discourages climbing predators.
You can spray paint your new predator guard baffle black, brown, etc —– or just permit the silver color to weather. Now your nest box is protected and it will give you years of enjoyment.
Using Monofilament Fishing Line to Deter House Sparrows
By Joan Watroba
Many people have been experimenting with this method using the diagram below with very good results. I have been using it with much success on my bluebird trails for the past 6 years. It was originally used on a 12 nest box trail that had many house sparrows attempting to use the nest boxes. After I installed the line, the house sparrows stopped using the nest boxes, yet the native songbird species like the bluebirds, tree swallows, tufted titmice, black-capped chickadees and house wrens adapted to it with ease and successfully fledged their young.
Why this method may work – Bluebirds and many other cavity-nesting birds are insect eaters and they have keen eyesight. House sparrows are mostly seed eaters and their eyesight may not be able to see the line; they may be spooked if they hit the line which may cause them to avoid the box. The few times that house sparrows have built a nest in a nest box with the line installed, they did not try to re-nest after the initial removal of their nests and eggs. This method may be effective to reduce repeated nesting attempts of house sparrows.
- Use 6 lb. test, clear or lightly-tinted monofilament fishing line
- Best to install the line before the house sparrows start using the nest box
and become bonded to it
- Replace the line when it becomes brittle and discard the old line
- The line should protude in front of the nest box at an angle, so that from the
side view, there is a space of a least 2 inches between the line and the front
of the nest box
- Place 2 screws on the front of the nest box roof and 2 screws on the bottom
front of the nest box spaced about 1 3/4″ inches apart. (The goal is to have
the line run as close to the sides of the entrance hole without covering it.
- Tie the line to the top left screw or screw eye, then bring it down and wind
around the lower left screw, then wind around the lower right screw, then
bring it up to the top right screw and leave about 1″ of line that can then
be wound around and fastened tightly to the top right screw.
- To monitor top or front-opening boxes, reverse the installation instructions
and then “re-install” the line after checking the box. For side-opening nest
boxes, there is no need to remove the line to monitor the box.
- Check the line during each trail visit to make sure that it is secured tightly