by George Kaye
In the next few weeks, birds such as Bluebirds and Chickadees will be building nests. You probably have recently seen birds checking out your nestboxes. A little later, house wrens will be building their unique stick nests, and tree swallows will be nesting.
Make sure you clean out your nestboxes. Also, put up new ones asap. Some of you may have heard me recommend buying the excellent nestboxes at the SECU credit union. Unfortunately, it is true that you have to be a credit union member to buy them. So if you are a member or know a member, get one of these great $10 boxes. Otherwise, Lowes or Ace Hardware usually have some. Just make sure it has a little door that you can open to check inside.
I finally have installed all but 3 of the 40 predator guards on the nestboxes. Thanks again to Don Fisher and the Highlands Audubon for giving me the funds to buy the guards. I am now up to 100 nestboxes around Macon County. I am glad to have Will, a graduate student from Western Caroliina, using the boxes at Tessentee, Cowee and Gibson Bottoms for his Masters Thesis on chickadees. That will give me more time to keep tabs on my other boxes.
Please check out the 4 new boxes near the Salali Lane parking lot of the Greenway that the 4H kids built and helped put up. They are decorated by the kids, and have the 4H logo on them. We also put up 2 more boxes at the County Extension office on Thomas Heights Rd.
I’m looking forward to April to see if the Chimney Swifts find and use the 2 towers and if the Purple Martins find the condos and gourds that have been put up. Don’t forget to look underneath the bridges to see the Cliff Swallows building their mud nests.
I’m hoping for a birdy population increase!
Thanks to a generous grant from Don Fischer and another one from the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society, I am able to place 36 predator guards on nestboxes in Macon County. Don is an expert plant and bird guy who has shared his knowledge with us on bird and plant walks in the area. These predator guards are attached to the poles holding up the nestboxes to prevent snakes, racoons, possums and cats from climbing up into the boxes and destroying nestlings.
Thanks, George, for all that you do to support and protect our feathered neighbors.–sf