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Elizabeth and Malcolm's Bluetit Pages
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Greatbluehopefuls nest box 2013-2018 - Kildare,Ireland
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ELLE



Joined: 15 May 2015
Posts: 739
Location: East Yorkshire

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still hoping for you Gbh Fingers crossed Pray After Paul’s late nest, who knows!?
I’m sure you will keep us updated

Elle
Xx
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Greatbluehopeful



Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 562
Location: Ireland

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all, still reading all your updates.

I'm on today because I am having some serious trouble from a local Sparrow Hawk...he's been swooping into the garden over the past few days.

Just saw him take a Bluetit this very second....I'm so gutted and upset. The bluetits partner is calling and calling....I'm heartbroken. Crying or Very sad

What do we do? We try to help out and feed the birds, but then its like shooting fish in a barrell. Leaving them exposed and vulnerable. I'm sick to the stomach.

I'm going to take the feeders away...but is that the answer though?

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Greatbluehopeful
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blueeyedchick



Joined: 15 Mar 2013
Posts: 1299
Location: LEICESTERSHIRE

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No GBH don't take the feeders away. This is awful I know I had a cat take down a BT last year thankfully it wasn't Poppy, but it was someone else's bird. Sparrow Hawks have to eat as well they have young to feed and they take what they can sadly.
So we cannot and should not control nature we must accept it and move on.
However, I do feel for you and hope now he/she has moved on.

Kathy x Sad
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SueP



Joined: 08 May 2008
Posts: 1939
Location: Ferndown, Dorset.

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh GBH I feel your pain. We try so hard to help these birds but in doing so maybe encourage other bigger birds into our gardens. I guess it happens in nature all the time but we just don't observe it elsewhere. When it happens on our patch we feel responsible. I guess you have to think of how many birds you have helped to survive with your feeding of them. So sorry, know how you must feel.
Sue
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Greatbluehopeful



Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 562
Location: Ireland

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I've reduced the feeders down to just two, and moved them to a different spot...I think where I had them by my kitchen window was too closed in and no scope for escape from three sides.

My dilemma is that where I had the feeders originally was perfect...as there was foliage and plenty of escape routes, but now thats where my new cedar box is so I don't want it to be a busy place for next year.

I also now have an injured male chaffinch in my garden - I assume a casualty of this mornings hawk attack. He's in deep shock and just wants to sleep. He has allowed me come right up beside him. I've left him some sunflower hearts and water...which he's been pecking away at.

I've been keeping an eye on him as he is on the ground but I've to go to work now, but I fear he'll be taken by the cats....

My heart is just broken here. Crying or Very sad

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Greatbluehopeful
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WildlifePaul



Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 1756
Location: Liverpool

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GBH,
Try hanging baskets in a dome around your feeders, I did this on mine to stop the pigeons hanging on and eatting all the food but we have 2 sparrow hawks in the area female and male and having this they fly at the hanging baskets and fail to catch the birds they hit the cage and the birds fly out the other side or below and the sparrow hawk is sat there looking disappointed.

Haven't had one bird killed since having my feeders like this, I have witnessed the both sparrow hawks trying but failing many times.
Here's a link to the hanging baskets you need two to put around one feeder like a dome (£1.50 each) if you have wilko store near you can do "click and collect" for free they will deliver them into store for you.
http://www.wilko.com/hanging-baskets+brackets/wilko-hanging-basket-black-35cm/invt/0070679
If you don't have a wilkos by you check your garden centre only suggesting wilko's because they are half the price to the ones in my local garden centre.

Here's a picture of my feeders and what looks like on feeders really does help, If you can imagine a sparrow hawk flying into that it hits it and birds have all different angles to fly out. works a treat here.

Homemade cage feeder
Homemade cage feeder
Poster: WildlifePaul, viewed 36 Time(s)

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Greatbluehopeful



Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 562
Location: Ireland

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Paul...that is extremely helpful and a very proactive approach to the problem.

I will definitely look into this and get it set up as soon as is possible.

I am so, so guilty and sad today because that Bluetit was taken so easily from my window feeder. Plucked like a ripe berry!! Crying or Very sad

There is a nest somewhere today without a parent.

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Greatbluehopeful
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WildlifePaul



Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 1756
Location: Liverpool

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just cut a little square out top of the baskets with some wire / metal cutters, where the lid to your feeder can pop through like I have done, Makes it easier to refill your feeders as you cable tie to two hanging baskets together to make a dome as you can see.

The hanging baskets work better with the bigger size feeders, I think my feeders are around 30cm/35cm around that mark, If you have smaller feeders something like this may be more ideal for you.
https://www.selections.com/squirrel-guard-cage-for-bird-feeders-by-chapelwood.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6cft5qeZ2wIVSrDtCh1giQasEAQYAiABEgLYTPD_BwE

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Greatbluehopeful



Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 562
Location: Ireland

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi everyone!!! Yes, still alive!!!

Just popping in as its rooster prospecting season over at mine!!!

I had loads of interest in the Aldi box (yes, that damn box is still up - still haven't sourced another cedar plank) But, I've had several visits inside these past few days....by what looks like a trio of blue tits? How is that?

I know this as I've the camera facing the box....one goes inside while the other two loiter about the outside...strange carry on? Could they be siblings perhaps?

And I had a great tit take a viewing of the new Cedar box from the entrance....

As yet, not one bird has entered that new Cedar box....I wonder is it too dark as there is no windows? That couldn't be it surely? Theres no windows in nature!!!! Razz

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Greatbluehopeful
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WildlifePaul



Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 1756
Location: Liverpool

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trust them to be checking the aldi box out after everything Laughing Roll on the floor laughing
I don't think darkest will be an issue, That is how it is in the wild for them in holes in tree's etc.
Could work in your favour having box without windows and box with them, Gives the birds a choice.
Because believe me nesting season they check out every hole, Start of the year I always see the same pair of blue tits checking out all my boxes going from one to another, So they do check everywhere.

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Greatbluehopeful



Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 562
Location: Ireland

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah you just answered my question!! lol!!!

Yes, I was kind of thinking that...nature doesn't have windows.

I might open it up though and do a bit of clean as there is some bugs on the base and a spider has taken up residence.

Oh and the irony of the more frequent visits to the Aldi box is not lost on me....now I'm wondering should I leave it alone and not switch it out at all!! Gah!!! At wits end

Or.......now heres an experiment....maybe I'll switch the two around before bothering to make a new one????? Thinking

See if they go into the Cedar one, where the Aldi box is placed...?

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Greatbluehopeful
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WildlifePaul



Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 1756
Location: Liverpool

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd make a new one anyway GBH,
You've had no success in so many years with Aldi box.
Swapping around at this time won't do no harm but if you swap now make sure you keep them in the same place so the birds can get used to them from now until march when nest building begins.
Maybe get the hubby to make a new one and add two little windows or something have one with windows and one without them.
I'd put the two new boxes one on your wall and one in "no mans land" at back garden, You could always just buy a cheap camera and put aldi box up at the side of the house or lower down the house wall by the bins where you said you had nest building few years back.
See my garden is small its not big at all its standard on a normal street and I have 8 boxes up 3 across the front wall of the house 3 across he back wall one in tree at back garden and one on the fence BTO, RSPB etc all say in there books my boxes would be classed as "to close" to eachother but back in 2016 on the front wall my house I had 2 blue tit nests and a sparrow all along the same wall who didn't bother eachother like 15 foot part all of them, This was a rare thing because my male blue tit at time had 3 females on the go 2 in front one in the back so thats what stopped fighting with the blue tits he was in control all boxes and all females but it happened the sparrow wasn't interested in the blue tits they are to laid back to even take notice, So I have always kept it box overload and its worked well for me. In spring I see blue tits going from box to box checking them before she picks one so having the choice for them is great if they don't like one you have something else they will be checking.
I honestly do think the box your hubby made as a real shot because its really good box, Just get him to make you another one maybe add two little windows to that one and it gives them the choice.

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Greatbluehopeful



Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 562
Location: Ireland

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Paul.....you are right. That stupid Aldi box....why can't I just give it up!!!??? Rolling Eyes I did throw the other one I had out so thats a start.

I have rang around and I have actually found someone who will give me another bit of Western Red cedar as an 'off cut'. So I'm delighted....Its the 20mm thickness that I want, but that seems to be in very short supply here for some reason....they have Western Red cedar alright, but the thickness is always wrong. Either too thick or too thin!

( Laughing And I will put the stupid Aldi box on the side where the bins are...sure, you never know!!! Rolling Eyes Or maybe i'll just make another new box if I get enough wood!)

Oh, and the other thing I may do differently this year, is that I don't think I'll put food out....toying with that idea, in order to make it a more quiet garden.

I often think there is way too much 'bird traffic' in the garden....and after the sparrow hawk fiasco.... maybe that was putting them off too? Time will tell...I know I won't last with that...it feels too cruel!! Wink

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Greatbluehopeful
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WildlifePaul



Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 1756
Location: Liverpool

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats great GBH,
You'll have to post some pictures when the second box is complete!
Really wishing you best of luck for the Spring, You deserve a nest after all your efforts.

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Greatbluehopeful



Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 562
Location: Ireland

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a mill....Well, I'll never be accused of being a quitter anyway, thats for sure!!!

I'm looking into some LED lighting now instead of putting in the windows...maybe that's the answer. They'll see whats inside in case they are scared to go in but they'll still feel secure? (and it will improve my camera viewing pleasure) so everyone wins!

Ok, over and out...If I do get my hands on some cedar will certainly update you with the photo footage.

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