I went out on the bluebird trail this morning. It was cool, cloudy and somewhat damp. I took a guess at how many layers I needed to keep me snug. My mission: to close the entry holes in the bluebird nest boxes on my routes against any undesirable winter intruders – animals that might use them for shelter and then claim squatters’ rights come spring. I encountered four walkers on the trail. They each must have wondered why a woman with binoculars hanging around her neck was carrying a big roll of duct tape and a pair of scissors. At each stop I was careful to stand to the side and rear of the bird nest box before removing the front cover. That’s routine during breeding season to assure a nesting bird does not become startled and fly into the monitor. Now that breeding season is over, there’s still the possibility of some other occupant, like a mouse, “flying” into an unsuspecting monitor. As I have found, mice can jump very long distances. But, no mice today. At each of the twenty boxes on the bluebird route, I placed a strip of duct tape over the entry hole on the inside of the cover. Happy to have the chore done and happy to have guessed that two layers under my parka was just right to keep me comfortable, I paused to snap a few photos for you. Oh, and those are strips of caulk below the inside of the bird box opening. They’re a help to the birds and fledglings when they exit.
I hope you’ll be warm and snug in your house this winter.