Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Janitorial Duties

This handsome American Robin is looking for sumac seeds.

He will be lucky to find anything worthwhile on this decimated shrub.

In this, the last week of March, I'm getting anxious to inspect and clean out all of my bird boxes. In coming weeks, Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows will be returning and looking for suitable cavities to nest in. Putting on my janitor hat, these little apartments must be made ready for their inspection and approval.

The Eastern Screech Owls have now abandoned the two boxes they used over winter for roosting and for caching prey. Their preferred nesting location remains a mystery but is far enough away that I no longer hear their calls at night. I wish them success in raising their babies, wherever they are. Since the owls have not chosen the boxes for brooding, I'm adding entrance reducers to exclude European Starlings, which can be somewhat messy. Each autumn, the larger entrances are reopened and the welcome mat is back out for my favourite little nocturnal friends.

A pair of White-breasted Nuthatches considered this box for nesting.

Also, a pair of House Sparrows showed more than passing interest.

European Starlings had claimed ownership of this box.

Spring inspection and alteration in progress.

Sorry Mr. Starling, I've changed the locks. Landlady privilege.

A mouse started this nest in the Fall but never moved in.

A typical House Wren nest -- chock-a-block with twigs and peppered with spider egg sacs.

9 comments:

  1. Do you clean them out every year, take out all the old twigs, feathers and moss? And leave a shelf at the top like a verandah? What lovely homes, we have starling boxes, and a great delight when we see 2 of them staring to take dry grass and twigs in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As always, Jean, I do appreciate your comments -- my first blogger visit on each post. Thank you loyal friend! Yes, I do clean and inspect the boxes at least once and sometimes several times a year. I maintain about two dozen assorted nesting boxes on my property. I love to watch returning migrants excitedly assess each little dwelling's potential.

      Delete
  2. OOps, spelling error as it vanished. Should be " Starting" not " staring"...At least that is what I hope it should be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. The typo-graphical error is a slippery thing and sly. You can search until you're dizzy but it somehow will get by. (I read that somewhere in the long ago.)

      Delete
  3. What a nice landlady you are. Right now I have squabbling over nest boxes and sadly the Bluebirds will lose out once more to the English Sparrows. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel sorry for your bluebirds, Patti! Those darn English House sparrows are bullies and thugs when it comes to competing for best boxes with our native songbirds. Bummer!

      Delete
  4. So much interesting activity going on at your house. Wonderful photos!
    Have a good weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I guess March came in like a wet lion and went out like one. Horrible mix of weather we had here all week with weak snow squalls today. I just love your house cleaning...what a conscientious landlady you are! The traffic at my feeders has picked up...chickadees, nuthatches, mourning doves and two ravens who scare everything away. Plus a couple of red squirrels and a grey squirrel. I have heard and sighted two cardinals. Loads of tracks on the property. Always something interesting around and about on our walks. I am following a Barred Owl live cam on youtube. Hope all is good down your way.

    ReplyDelete
  6. One of my fav things is watching the birds. I love to watch them feed, fly to tree to tree and to bathe in the creek next to the house. Great pics.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm always glad to hear from you and appreciate the time you take to comment.