Date: 4/2/21 12:53 am
From: Kent Martin <kjmluthier...>
Subject: Re: [birders] The search is on! (very long)
I recently retired a box - built from plans found online back in 2012 -
which featured a pyramid-shaped cap overhanging the box by about 3" on
both the sides and front, with both box and cap covered by sheet metal.
It hung on a large oak tree, with the trunk being the only means of
approach by 4 legged critters. Our neighborhood is infested with
squirrels, but they never got into the box. The only issue I had was
when Pine squirrels tried to chew through the bottom of the box, which
was not covered with sheet metal. I also had to discourage starlings
from nesting in it several times.

The searching wood ducks that prompted this project never returned, but
screech owls successfully raised 2 broods in the box, and roosted there
in several other years. Last summer a storm damaged the tree, and it was
taken down. The box was showing some wear at that point, so I built
another, using the same design, but scaled down a bit. It is again
occupied by a screech owl.

I can't locate the plans or pictures of the box at the moment, but am
still searching.


On 4/1/2021 7:26 AM, Fred Kaluza wrote:
> When mounting boxes to trees, how do you guys keep squirrels out?
>  Even if I baffle the trunk of a supporting tree, branch overlap in
> the canopy is enough to invite intruders from above.  I’ve got scads
> of squirrels around here.
>
> >From Fred’s IPhone
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Susan Horvath <shorvath...>
> *Sent:* Wednesday, March 31, 2021 11:16:58 PM
> *To:* John Farmer <ajf-jlf...>; Birders UM
> <birders...>
> *Cc:* Susan Horvath <shorvath...>
> *Subject:* Re: [birders] The search is on! (very long)
> We have 4 screech/woodduck boxes 15' or so up trees... 25 years or so.
> Last year was first time all boxes were in use by wood ducks. Also the
> first time we managed to see a fledge.  Our first sighting this year,
> March 25:  2 pair flew in together... with a 3rd pair right behind!
> There's got to be some site fidelity going on... and maybe they're an
> extended family. We've known for years that egg-dumping happens.
> Clutch sizes are just too large.  We added Blink cameras a couple
> years ago.... and managed to catch 2 females incubating side by side
> in one of the boxes!
>
> On Tue, Mar 30, 2021 at 10:53 AM John Farmer <ajf-jlf...>
> wrote:
> >
> > Here along the Saline River near Milan, MI, the trees are alive this
> morning with multiple Wood Duck pairs in search of nesting spots. 
> What is interesting today is that whereas the housing search usually
> starts as a trickle and then slowly grows to a flood over the course
> of a week or two, this year's search has begun en masse, as if a
> ribbon has been cut or a starting gun fired.  Anne and I have counted
> at least four different pair spread out among the trees over the
> 100-yard length of the river's loop behind the house.
> >
> >
> >
> > As I write, a hen has just left her partner perched precariously
> against the off-plumb trunk of a hackberry not thirty feet from my
> study window.  During the three minutes it took to write that last
> sentence - with many visual digressions to follow the changing scene -
> she moved to at least a half dozen different branches in different
> trees while he has moved once, each small flight by both not more than
> 20 feet at a time, sometimes higher, sometimes lower in the trees, at
> least once back to the starting tree, but all within sight of a half
> dozen natural tree cavities and three of the four tree-mounted nest
> boxes I maintain on the river bank immediately behind our house.
> >
> >
> >
> > And now, that pair had dropped to the river's surface to catch a
> breath after their uneasy stands on perches hardly designed for ducks'
> feet, and another pair has taken their place as the frenzied game goes on.
> >
> >
> >
> > Just minutes later, that pair, too, returned to the river and began
> a slow paddle upstream together.  It appears that the nesting urge has
> abated for today, as attested by the apparent total withdrawal of
> woodies from the area now.  And by the low flight of a pair of
> Mallards back upstream after their first of several stops to check for
> the single cob of corn and handful of loose kernels that I leave on
> the bank daily for all comers.
> >
> >
> >
> > Those comers at this time of year include - in addition to the
> Mallards - a pair of Canadas, a pair of Hoodies , sometimes with a
> second male tagging along to create a triangle (but with none at all
> interested in the corn, of course), and up to five Woodie hens and
> usually a few wannabe, but still unmated drakes.
> >
> >
> >
> > A quick check of my daily records shows that our anatine (my new
> word for the day!) visitors for the year have been as follows:
> >
> > January - Mallards (19 days) and Wood Ducks (3 days)
> > February - (the river was frozen over for the entire month until the
> break-up on the 28th) we still had Mallard drop-ins on four Feb days!
> > March - Mallards (22 days beginning on 3/1), Woodies (17 days,
> beginning 3/6), Hoodies (10 days, beginning 3/1), Canada Geese (5
> days, starting 3/9), and [Great Blue Heron also non-consumers of the
> corn and non-anatine birds! (3 days starting 3/20]
> >
> >
> >
> > As we consider what may account for this morning's unusually robust
> search by the Woodies for nesting cavities, we're wondering if another
> sector of the wild community that has entertained us all winter at and
> around our feeders may have prompted the full-on assault.
> >
> >
> >
> > The diurnal diners at our feeding station just beyond the back of
> the house include not only the expected array of birds, but also a
> full range of sciurid cousins.  Just yesterday we had Fox, Red, Gray
> and Black (both color phases of the Gray) Squirrels and Eastern
> Chipmunk.  The two larger squirrel species - Fox and Gray - often
> raise their first broods of the season in the duck boxes, and we can't
> help but consider that those non-avian competitors may be affecting
> the Wood Ducks' united front.  We have noted that at least two of our
> four duck boxes have been seeing squirrel activity lately.
> >
> >
> >
> > Might today's unusual mass search for nesting space be the wildlife
> equivalent of a fair-housing demonstration?  Or, at least an indicator
> that there is an acute need for more birthing centers!
> >
> >
> >
> > I'm heading out to fill the feeders and should also check the duck
> boxes.  But that's another story…
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Birders is a service of the Great Lakes Commission. Visit us at
> www.glc.org <http://www.glc.org>
> > ---
> > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
> Groups "Birders" group.
> > To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it,
> send an email to birders+<unsubscribe...>
> > To view this discussion on the web visit
> https://groups.google.com/a/great-lakes.net/d/msgid/birders/000001d72574%2465d15290%243173f7b0%<24...>
> <https://groups.google.com/a/great-lakes.net/d/msgid/birders/000001d72574%2465d15290%243173f7b0%<24...>.
>
> --
> Birders is a service of the Great Lakes Commission. Visit us at
> www.glc.org <http://www.glc.org>
> ---
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
> Groups "Birders" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send
> an email to birders+<unsubscribe...>
> To view this discussion on the web visit
> https://groups.google.com/a/great-lakes.net/d/msgid/birders/CAMrXOUbAb%<3DLX_bpS4MY7kbmr7XtWqAtqS7WG4muspSEXWDvNog...>
> <https://groups.google.com/a/great-lakes.net/d/msgid/birders/CAMrXOUbAb%<3DLX_bpS4MY7kbmr7XtWqAtqS7WG4muspSEXWDvNog...>.
> --
> Birders is a service of the Great Lakes Commission. Visit us at
> www.glc.org
> ---
> You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
> Groups "Birders" group.
> To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send
> an email to birders+<unsubscribe...>
> <mailto:birders+<unsubscribe...>.
> To view this discussion on the web visit
> https://groups.google.com/a/great-lakes.net/d/msgid/birders/<DM6PR14MB23644DA8A340E2FCC25B335AF97B9...>
> <https://groups.google.com/a/great-lakes.net/d/msgid/birders/<DM6PR14MB23644DA8A340E2FCC25B335AF97B9...>?utm_medium=email&utm_source=footer>.

--
Birders is a service of the Great Lakes Commission. Visit us at www.glc.org
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Birders" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to birders+<unsubscribe...>
To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/a/great-lakes.net/d/msgid/birders/<393ba1a0-a999-8473-bf04-fc2d40d7ebfc...>

 
Join us on Facebook!