Pageland, SC, United States
Our eastern bluebird,Melody ,has finished laying and is now starting to incubate! She’s so trusting. Every time I go outside we make eye contact. I just tell her sweet nothings or gently sing to her as I walk by. She’s very calm.
Sadly,I found a big black snake in her house last night. He had already eaten her and her four eggs. Several blue birds have successfully occupied this house. Several fledglings and never an incident. I was just devastated. Any advice on how to ensure this never happens again? This box is five feet up on a pine tree. No predator guard. Look at the photo for hole size. Any advice is appreciated.
I am so sorry to read the news about the loss of your blue bird family. I would be devastated too. Did you see the snake eat the adult? I’d think that the mom would have time to fly away.
It was just bad luck for this bluebird family. Good fortune for the snake. Perhaps this will not happen again for many seasons. It has been a successful nest box for so many bluebirds. We can celebrate that and hope the next nesting attempt does not meet the same fate.
You know, I think that a metal cone guard with a thin edge just might deter a snake. I’d give one a try.
Rest assured with the knowledge that you have helped build the bluebird population with your nest box.
I’m so warmed by your message to me regarding Melody and her eggs. It just really encouraged me. I sincerely thank you.
I did not see the snake eat her. However,I did kill him. And afterwards,I cut open his belly thinking I just might be able to catch it in time and save something. Wether it be mama,or eggs…..she was in his belly along with every egg. I was so mad at him and so hurt.
I was so surprised only because in the four years I’ve lived here,this house has been there. And so many bluebirds have nested. Only bluebirds have ever used this house. My wrens build their nests in the weirdest places in my yard. Even though there are several different houses to choose from. I’m so glad they’re here though. I do know it’s always a possibility,but I’ve been fortunate thus far.
And you’re right,for that,I’m truly grateful! I did read up on the different types of guards and it’s definitely worth trying. Especially after this.
That is the most honorable compliment anyone could’ve given me during such a sad time. You have lifted my spirits and given me something to look forward to. I cannot wait for the next family!
God bless you,Donna dear,
My Dear Glory,
I have not had a chance to answer you till now. Sorry for the late reply.
I am very sure that a cone tree guard will protect any future bird families from possible predators like that snake. So glad to hear that you will give one a try. Perhaps it is mounted already.
I know how bonded you were to Melody and her family. I understand. I too get very attached to wildlife that I’m watching and hoping to protect. And I can understand why you felt a need to kill the snake. I, however, would not have killed that snake knowing that native snakes are an important part of a healthy Eco-system. The snake was just trying to live too.
I am a naturalist with a degree in environmental studies. One of my favorite programs is showing snakes and talking about their critical importance to the balance of our environments. Many folks I talk to are afraid of snakes and/or they hate them. I tell them that this is OK and natural. But, I also tell they why they should respect snakes and not harm them. By the end of my program, the participants understand this and some will even touch the snake I’m holding.
The only time I would kill a snake or any wildlife, is when the species is overpopulated and it is not native to an area. I would do this with a heavy heart, however, because all animals are innocent. Any “problem” they might be causing is because humans have disturbed the balance of Nature in one way or another.
I compliment you for your honesty, and for taking action to make a difference with the wildlife that shares your environment.
May you witness many more blue bird families in that secure nest box!
Your Fellow Nature Lover!