July 1 , 2011

SUBJECT: Attempting to Save Eastern Bluebird Chicks from the Heat

Mississippi Kite

I am out of my mind. I will readily admit it. But when temperatures are to easily exceed 100°F today, I thought I would attempt to save 5-day-old baby bluebirds from what would more than likely be there demise. When temperatures get to 107°F, Eastern Bluebird chicks will probably perish. Since the forecast is calling for a high of 103°F , temperatures inside of the nest box could very easily exceed their limit.

Mississippi Kite

So...what to do?

Using an old styrofoam® cooler, I cut it into pieces to help reflect the suns heat and insulate the box. Now it certainly doesn't look pretty, but if it serves its purpose, then I have done my job to keep these 5 little 5-day-olds from cooking.

Mom Bluebird was a bit hesitant at first, but that only lasted 10 seconds or so before she hopped in the box. Both parents have been mighty flexible with the modifications to the house.

So adding to my list of things to do for Eastern Bluebird nest boxes:

1. Mount on pole with squirrel guard to prevent predators from stealing chicks. (This works flawlessly.)

2. Add vent to top of box.

3. Use thicker wood to help insulate box from extreme temperatures.

4. Paint bluebird houses white to help reflect heat.

4. Use ice packs on roof if serious, life-threatening heat occurs.

Of course, I'm not sure if all this will work or not. You can watch a live feed of the nest box to see how things turn out. Keep your fingers crossed!

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-- Alan Stankevitz




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All photographs © 2002-2007, Alan Stankevitz

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