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We have quite a few nest boxes on our place and a Spring ritual is to go around with a ladder and various tools and clean them out. Some people like to do this in the Fall. We think birds might like to roost in the boxes during the winter so the old nesting material may provide them a little extra warmth during the cold season. Most of the feathers in the nests are ones from ducks and geese that we ate during the previous winter. When the swallows are flying and gathering material for their nests, we toss the feathers into the air and they swoop down to catch them and take them to the boxes!

Spring is the time to clean out nest boxes

Spring is the time to clean out nest boxes

 

Sadly, some birds don’t make it out of the nest.Spring is the time to clean out nest boxes

 

Wasps in the boxes will discourage nesting.Spring is the time to clean out nest boxes

 

This nesting bird found a Northern Flicker feather to add to its nest.Spring is the time to clean out nest boxes

 

Swallow nest – Tree or Violet-green?Spring is the time to clean out nest boxes

 

Some baling twine from the straw we used to mulch our garden.Spring is the time to clean out nest boxes

 

Tiny House Wrens like to fill boxes with sticks before they build a tiny nest on top. They will also simply fill boxes with sticks to keep other birds from using them. If we see them doing this with several boxes, we try to clean the sticks out so that swallows and bluebirds can also use the boxes.Spring is the time to clean out nest boxes

 

A House Wren nest.

Spring is the time to clean out nest boxes

 

Here is a House Wren nest on top of a bluebird nest. Both nests looked sucessful.Spring is the time to clean out nest boxes

 

The bluebird nest.

Spring is the time to clean out nest boxes

 

Spring is the time to clean out nest boxes

2 Comments

  1. Great photo documentary, Teri!

  2. Very nice documentation. We have 14 nest boxes at and around our house. Virtually all of them had some sort of nest activity last year. Wasps and dead birds discouraged success, but most of them fledged something!


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