Recently, we carefully removed last year's bluebird nest from a 20 year old Schwegler birdhouse to show you in the video below. While the nest cup was made from soft dry grasses, we were surprised to see it resting on a 2" foundation of hundreds of 1½" fruit stems, perhaps from our crabapple trees. A perfect insulation and drainage material – springy too.
Bluebird nest of dry grass, on a foundation of crabapple fruit stems
Both sexes feed their young
Dad's in charge of clean-up patrol and removing poop packages
Bluebirds in July
How to clean a Schwegler Birdhouse
Late February is the ideal time to clean out your birdhouses. Old nests should be removed in case they harbor harmful mites. And new ones should be ready in place for the male Bluebird scouts, when they're looking for nest sites in March.
Anna's Hummingbirds at our Jewel Box Feeder
View "Nature's Jewels" up close.
Mason Bees at Work
Mason Bee Houses attract these friendly American bees to your garden - though they won't give you honey, they won't ever chase or sting you either. They do a great job pollinating orchards and gardens, especially since they are active in colder temperatures and their hairy bodies carry more of the pollen that fertilizes your blossoms. Grow a big colony in just a few seasons. They're fun to watch.
It's really easy to attach our Mason Bee Houses to a wooden building, - up under the eaves, where it's sheltered and dry.
Buy a roll of Plastic Hanger Tape from the Plumbing Supplies department of a hardware store or home center. It's used to support PVC drain pipes in basements and crawl spaces. It comes with pre-punched nail holes every half inch or so.
Wrap a length around the body of your Bee House until two sets of nail holes overlap. Cut the tape.
Hammer a flat headed nail through the overlapping holes and all the way into the wood until tape is firmly held.
Then slide the Bee House about half way into the snug loop.
Always install Bee Houses where they will be protected from direct rain, which would damage the Masons' mud work.
Up close under the eaves of a shed, garage or porch is a perfect location.