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Heart ForNature

Chenault Bridge Road, Danville, KY 40422, USA


So, here’s what I need help with:
We are making Nest Tubes out of PVC Pipes, but I want it to be a good quality Nest Tube that helps fledglings leave the nest. On All About Birdhouses, on Features of a Good Nest Box, it says to help fledglings leave the nest, you can cut grooves into the box to create a “ladder” with “rungs,” or you can staple hardware cloth to the sides. Problem? The staples won’t go through a PVC Pipe, and we can’t reach a saw inside to cut the ladders, because the pipe is to small in diameter.
Any Ideas?


Nests in boxes

Any Ideas?

7 responses to “Any Ideas?”

  1. Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

    Hi, fledgling ladders are most important for fledglings that have shorter legs, such as Tree Swallows. While we recommend adding them to boxes to be safe, nest tubes aren’t easily scored, and monitors have experiences high return-rates even without creating a fledgling ladder inside. You may have already seen this, but we recommend taking a look at the constuction plans for chickadee nest tubes here. Scroll down for the the plans and notes.

  2. HeartForNature says:

    Thank you. And yes, we used the chickadee nest tube blueprint from All About Birdhouses, but we didn’t find a 10’ long PVC Pipe that was also 4” in diameter, so instead, we bought two PVC Pipes, (both 4” diameter, 5’ tall), and an extra connector piece. Turns out we didn’t need the extra connector. For two reasons: 1: chickadees will nest as low as 4’ above ground, and 2: a photo submission gave us the idea to make 12 nest tubes hanging from trees instead of make two nest tubes standing up strait. Can U believe it? 12 nest tubes!!! (If it were up to me, U wouldn’t be able to walk 10’ on our yard without a feeder, nest, nest box, or nest tube in sight. That’s how much I love birds!!! 💗💗💗 😊 🥴) Since we were already making twelve, I decided, ‘why don’t we make them for different species?’ Because the chickadee nest box was supposed to be 5 1/2” wide and long, using The Lab’s Right Bird, Right House tool, I figured out which birds in our area can nest in 5 1/2” wide and long nest boxes. Bewick’s Wrens, Brown-Headed Nuthatches, Carolina Chickadees, Eastern Bluebirds, House Wrens, Prothonotary Warblers, Tufted Titmice, White-Breasted Nuthatches, and Tree Swallows can. I made at lest 2 boxes for every species. (Some tubes were manufactured to suit multiple different specie’s tastes. Example: bluebirds and swallows like the same type of nest box.) But I need to know how to make a fledgling ladder for Tree Swallows. Thx!

  3. HeartForNature says:

    And sorry for how long that comment was, lol! 🥴🥴🥴

  4. Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

    No problem!
    Unfortunately, these tubes have not been shown to attract other species – the other species you mentioned generally prefer the wooden boxes. We don’t recommend attempting to attract Tree Swallows precisely because creating a fledgling ladder is near impossible in a PVC tube. Additionally, these tubes work better for chickadees because they can be placed in a cool forest. Plastic tubes placed out in the open to attract species that prefer those habitats, and in hot sun, might not be as successful, especially if there isn’t proper ventilation. Mounting the tubes on poles also ensures that you can attach predator guards below the boxes, and give the birds a more stable place to build a nest.

    This all being said, you can certainly try to attract other species to these tubes, but I am not sure if you’ll have much success – each of the plans in our Right Bird, Right House tool show the nest box plan that is most likely to attract that target species based on the latest research. If you do get other species nesting in the tubes however, we encourage you to let us know, and report the nests to our NestWatch data entry portal.

  5. HeartForNature says:

    Thank you. That is helpful. Although in the blueprint it said it was successful for chickadees AND Bluebirds…?

  6. HeartForNature says:

    I will monitor all nests that I find don’t worry! 😉 if you can’t tell already, I’m totally obsessed with birds…😊🥴

  7. Texas Bird Family says:

    I love birds too!

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