This nestbox is installed on a utility pole in the town where my bluebird trail is.  It is at a local school.  I have permission to monitor it.  PLEASE NOTE:  I am not recommending this method as a replacement for installing nestboxes the proper way that is safe for the nesting birds.  When a native bird chooses it, I add this pronged out Noel Guard and see what happens.  I always wait until the egg clutch is completed, do my count of the eggs, puff in some organic diatomaceous earth inside the nest, close up the box, and then add this Noel Guard held sturdy by washers and screws.  I cannot open the box after installation, unfortunately, since it’s a front-opening nestbox, hinging at the top and the observation door swings up.   What I do after is surveillance on the box for bird activity, mark my binder notes, and count the days.   This is a video I shot of the male bluebird investigating their nest about 5 minutes after installing the Noel Guard.  I have done these four times in the past two years in various locations where nestboxes are on fences, wood posts, utility poles — without any predator guards — and with permissions from the homeowners (in this case, the school staff).   I do tell them the proper way to install the boxes to deter predators (on a conduit with a stovepipe wobbling 8″ Ron Kingston stovepipe guard under the nestbox) and add a Noel Guard, like this, pronged out (helps deter the snakes better).  The ending of the story to this video is the male and female bluebird accepted the guard within the hour of it being added, she continued incubating her clutch, and the young finally fledged this July.   I removed the Noel Guard today.  See photos below.  I would prefer to add these guards on nestboxes where I am not free to change the setups for the safety of the nesting birds.   SOMETHING to deter predators is better than none!    However, I did do this where I could not change the nestbox installation and conducted my 2-times a week monitoring, surveillance, and note taking.   The video was shot on June 19, 2015.  Bluebirds had not occupied this nestbox before this nesting season.  I hope you enjoy a moment watching Mr. Bluebird figure out his nest is OK and all is well, so you can tell Mrs. Bluebird to go back to her clutch of eggs.   She was watching him do the check while she perched nearby on the chainlink fence.     I reiterate:   I DO NOT recommend nesting boxes installed unprotected on tree trunks, fences, wood posts, utility poles, and on the sidings of buildings…ever.  This recommendation comes from all bluebird societies, affiliates of the North American Bluebird Society.  This is have learned from them.


Without Noel GuardNestbox with Pronged Noel GuardFledging YoungBluebirds FledgedNoel Guard RemovedRemoved-Dissected Nest

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