Attracting Birds, Bird Watching, Nesting  |  March 30, 2020

REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR FAVORITE CAVITY-NESTING BIRDS

© NestWatch / The Cornell Lab of Ornithology / https://nestwatch.org/learn/all-about-birdhouses/dealing-with-predators/

Species Nesting Habitat Box Height Hole Size Minimum Spacing
American Kestrel Pastures, fields, meadows, or orchards with mowed or grazed vegetation; place boxes on lone trees in fields, on trees along edges of woodlots, and on farm buildings. Facing south or east 10-30 feet 3″ diameter 1/2 mile
Ash-throated Flycatcher Chaparral, mesquite thickets, oak scrub, dry plains spotted with trees or cacti, deserts, and open deciduous and riparian woodlands 3-20 feet 1 3/4″ round 200 feet
Barn Owl Prefers open areas like fields, deserts and marshes which are in close proximity to hollow trees, cliffs, riverbanks, or man-made structures, including barns, bridges and other accessible sites, and which support healthy rodent populations 8-25 feet 3 3/4″ x 4 1/2″ elliptical 100 feet
Black-capped Chickadee Forests, woodlots, and yards with mature hardwood trees, forest edges, meadows; area should receive 40-60% sunlight, hole should face away from prevailing wind; 1″ wood shavings can be placed in box 5-15 feet 1 1/8″ round 650 feet
Brown-headed Nuthatch Open stands of pine-hardwood forests, clearings scattered with dead trees, forest edges, burned areas, cypress swamps 5-10 feet 1″ round 1 box per 6 acres
Carolina Chickadee Forests, woodlots, and yards with mature hardwood trees, forest edges, meadows; area should receive 40-60% sunlight, hole should face away from prevailing wind. Unlike other chickadees, Carolina Chickadee does not do much excavating, so wood chips are not necessary. 4-15 feet 1 1/8″ round 30 feet
Carolina Wren Forests with thick underbrush, forest edges, woodland clearings, open forests, shrub lands, suburban gardens, parks, backyards; near trees or tall shrubs 3-6 feet 1 1/2″ round, or 2 1/2″ x 5″ slot 330 feet
Chestnut-backed Chickadee Coniferous forests, mixed deciduous-coniferous forests, forest edges, woodlands, thickets, burned areas, often near streams; hole should face away from prevailing wind; 1″ wood shavings can be placed in box 5-15 feet 1 1/8″ round 160 feet
Common Goldeneye Breeding habitat is limited to aquatic areas with dead trees, in boreal, deciduous, aspen and montane woods; favor calm, large, clear lakes without much vegetation or fish. Please several inches of wood shavings in the box in early spring. 6-30 feet 3 1/4″ high x 4 1/4″ wide 2/3 mile
Eastern Bluebird Open field or lawn; orchards; open, rural country with scattered trees and low or sparse ground cover; entrance hole should face open field, preferring east, north, south, and then west-facing directions 3-6 feet 1 1/2″ diameter (round), or 2 1/4″ high x 1 3/8″ wide (oval) 300 feet
Eastern Screech-Owl Forests, parks, woodland clearings, forest edges, wooded stream edges, under a tree limb. Add 2″-3″ of wood shavings 10-30 feet 3″ round 100 feet
European Starling Habitat generalists, nesting in areas ranging from rural and agricultural to suburban and urban areas, but they avoid heavily wooded, mountainous, and arid regions providing nest boxes is discouraged for this species in the U.S. can squeeze through holes with 1 9/16″ diameter 5 feet
Great Crested Flycatcher Deciduous or mixed deciduous-coniferous forests, forest edges, woodlots, orchards, parks, on post or tree at forest edge 3-20 feet 1 3/4″ round 1 box per 6 acres
Hooded Merganser Quiet, shallow, clear water pools surrounded by or near the edge of deciduous woods: small forest pools, ponds, swamps; add 3″ of wood shavings; add ladder under inside of entrance hole for young to climb out 6-25 feet 3″ high by 4″ wide horizontal oval 100 feet
House Sparrow Agricultural, suburban, and urban areas; tend to avoid woodlands, forests, grasslands, and deserts providing nest boxes is discouraged for this species in the U.S. can fit through holes with 1 1/4″ diameter variable
House Wren Variety of habitats, farmland, openings, open forests, forest edges, shrub lands, suburban gardens, parks, backyards; near trees or tall shrubs 5-10 feet 1″ round 100 feet
Mountain Bluebird Open field or lawn; orchards; open, rural country with scattered trees and low or sparse ground cover; will also use deciduous and coniferous forest edges; entrance hole should face open field, preferring east, north, south, and then west-facing directions 4-6 feet 1 9/16″ diameter 300 feet
Mountain Chickadee Coniferous forests, forest edges, woodland clearings; hole should face away from prevailing wind; 1″ wood shavings can be placed in box 5-15 feet 1 1/8″ round 1 box per 10 acres
Northern Flicker Pastures, groves, woodlots, orchards, fields, meadows, woodland clearings, forest edges, urban parks, on pole or tree at forest edge or along fence rows bordering crop fields; south or east facing; box should be completely filled with wood chips or shavings 6-12 feet 2 1/2″ round 330 feet
Prothonotary Warbler Lowland hardwood forests subject to flooding, stagnant water, swamps, ponds, marshes, streams, flooded river valleys, wet bottomlands; box should be over or near water 4-12 feet 1 1/4″ round 235 feet
Purple Martin Broad open areas (meadows, fields, farmland, swamps, ponds, lakes, rivers) with unobstructed space for foraging on flying insects; there should be no trees or buildings within 40 feet of the martin pole in any direction; houses should be painted white 10-15 feet 2 1/8″ round or 3″ wide x 1 3/16″ high crescent 10 feet
Red-breasted Nuthatch Mixed coniferous-deciduous forests, shrub lands, swamps, farmlands, suburban parks; hole should face away from prevailing wind; 1″ wood shavings can be placed in box 5-15 feet 1 1/4″ round 150 feet
Tree Swallow Open fields near water, expansive open areas, marshes, meadows, wooded swamps; on a post in open areas near tree or fence, east facing 5-6 feet 1 3/8″ round 35 feet
Tufted Titmouse Deciduous forest, thick timber stands, woodland clearings, forest edges, woodlots, riparian and mesquite habitats; hole should face away from prevailing wind 5-15 feet 1 1/4″ round 580 feet
Violet-green Swallow Open or broken deciduous or mixed deciduous-coniferous forests, wooded canyons, edges of dense forest 9-15 feet 1 3/8″ round 30 feet
Western Bluebird open field or lawn; orchards; open, rural country with scattered trees and low or sparse ground cover; will also use deciduous and coniferous forest edges; entrance hole should face open field, preferring east, north, south, and then west-facing directions 4-6 feet 1 1/2″ diameter 215 feet
Western Screech-Owl Lower elevations, forests, parks, woodland clearings, forest edges, deserts, wooded stream edges, under a tree limb, south or east facing. Add 2″-3″ of wood shavings 10-30 feet 3″ round 1,000 feet
White-breasted Nuthatch Deciduous woodlands, mature forests, woodlots, near open areas, forest edges, orchards, often near water; hole should face away from prevailing wind; 1″ wood shavings can be placed in box 5-20 feet 1 1/4″ round 1,040 feet
Wood Duck Forested wetlands or near marshes, swamps, and beaver ponds; boxes can be installed on posts or poles in water, at least 3 feet above the high water mark, facing south or west. If installing on land, choose a site within 100 feet of water with no branches near the entrance hole and with a predator guard. Place 4 inches of wood shaving in box floor. Box should have fledgling ladder inside entrance hole to enable young to climb out. 6-30 feet 4″ wide, 3″ high 600 feet

Attracting Birds, Purple Martins  |  March 25, 2020

Tips for Attracting Purple Martins

Purple Martins (Progne subis) are the largest of the swallow family who have been known to even be seen on radar as large groups take flight. Martins east of the Rocky Mountains solely dependent on human-provided housing. Martins started using gourds originally provided by Native Americans as housing dating back to the colonial times. They have shown an affinity to nesting in natural gourds, man-made gourds, and aluminum houses.

Martins will return to the same breeding site year after year so if you have lost your Martins there is a good reason why. Make sure you control House Sparrows and European Starling populations in and around your colony. Like many birds, the Purple Martin does have a relatively short time you may enjoy their song each year so preparation is paramount in having a successful season.

 

View Purple Martin Tips Brochure

Uncategorized  |  

Birdseed Ornaments Recipe by Linda Wolf

What you’ll need:

4 Cups Birdseed for Songbirds
¾ Cup Coarse Whole Wheat Flour
1 Packet Unflavored Gelatin
½ Cup Hot Water
4 Tablespoons Corn Syrup

Directions:

  1. Combine dry ingredients above in a large bowl and after the water is hot (I microwave for 1 minute), add the corn syrup to dissolve in the hot water. Pour the hot water/corn syrup
    mixture over the dry ingredients and blend well to incorporate the wet to the dry ingredients.
  2. Having prepared the work surface with wax or parchment paper, get your favorite cookie cutter shape and spray the inside with non-stick baking spray. Laying the cookie-cutter flat on the prepared surface, press the above mixture into the cookie cutter and overpack getting it as full as you can. I take something that is flat and continue to press leaving a flat surface on the cookie cutter.
  3. Taking a chopstick or a drinking straw, put near the top of the cookie-cutter, pressing through to the bottom but leave it in the mold. Carefully lift the cookie cutter up and away from the chopstick or straw and repeat the same process for the next ornament.
  4. Remove the chopstick or the straw after 15 minutes and don’t disturb the ornament until the next day. I turn them over once leaving them to dry another 24 hours. I then dry them in a dehydrator or an oven that is on the lowest setting for at least 15-30 minutes to ensure the ornament is dry and to eliminate any mold forming.

 

Informative  |  

Origami Flapping Bird

Summer activity around the feeding station is like watching an animated movie. Adults fly down with their young for lessons in getting food and water, flitting from one antic juvenile to the next in a rapid-fire exhibition of maneuvers. Now you can experience the frenzy with your own bird. Using the diagrams and instructions below, turn a simple piece of paper into a complex pattern of folds for flapping.

Origami Flapping Bird Instructions

Attracting Birds, Bird Watching, Bluebirds  |  

The Bluebirder’s Ten Commandments

THE BLUEBIRDER’S TEN COMMANDMENTS

I. Place houses at least 300 feet apart, because bluebirds are territorial.

II. Keep the bluebird houses in open habitat. It’s the environment they prefer.

III. Control the House Sparrow, or it will eliminate the bluebird and Tree Swallow.

IV. Add a second bluebird house 21 feet (7 paces) from the first house, at every 300-foot setting. This will allow the valuable Tree Swallow to also nest on your bluebird trail.

V. Control the most threatening parasite, the blowfly larva.

If you don’t, you may end up fledging very few, if any, baby birds. Change their nests when babies are from seven to 10-days old (only one change per brood needed.)

VI. Attach a predator guard to your bluebird houses. This will protect the bluebirds from predators and other enemies.

VII. Avoid handling the bluebird and/or Tree Swallow young after they are 14 days or older. They may fledge prematurely, which could cause their death.

VIII. Monitor your bluebird trail at least once every week.

IX. Remove the old bluebird and/or Tree Swallow nests on your first nest check after the young have fledged.

X. Keep accurate field records. This is the first step toward achieving greater success on your bluebird trail.

© 1995 Andrew M. Troyer – Bring Back the Bluebirds

 

Uncategorized  |  

Nest Identification

There are several species of cavity-nesting birds that will nest in martin housing. Examining the eggs and nesting material can offer clues as to which species is residing in your martin housing. Nests of non-native species should be removed. For information on managing native species visit www.purplemartin.org

Nest Identification Worksheet

Attracting Birds, Bird Houses and Nesting  |  March 21, 2020

Bluebird Seminar Deal$

Thanks for joining Bird Man Mel for his Bluebirds and Tree Swallows Seminar! As promised, when you mention this seminar you can take 10% off your purchase! Offer good through  3/28/2020 in-store at Songbird Station. We are offering curb-side pick up so give us a call at 573-446-5941 or send us a message on Facebook and we will be happy to have your order ready! We are currently allowing a maximum capacity of 10 people for in-store shopping.

 

Products and specials from the seminar:

Click Here to View Songbird Essentials product specials.

Click Here to View Additional Specials

Are you looking for an online shopping experience?

Visit www.SongbirdEssentials.com or www.GoldCrestDistributing.com

Are you not located in Central Missouri?

We highly encourage you to visit YOUR local Birding Store. Give our main office a call at 888-985-2473 and our customer service team will be thrilled to help you find the best birding retailer in your area.

Attracting Birds, Bird Houses and Nesting, Bird Species, Bird Watching, Bluebirds, Informative  |  

GIVEAWAY #2 – Recycled Plastic Ultimate Bluebird House

GIVEAWAY!
We are giving away a Recycled Plastic Ultimate Bluebird House. Not a local? No problem, you can still enter to win and we will ship it to you! 
The last day to enter this contest is April 1st at 1:00 p.m. CST. Winner will be drawn on Facebook live April 2nd.
 
To Enter:
Like us on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/SongbirdStationMO
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