Back in April (I can’t believe it has been that long) I posted about the PVC pipe Bluebird boxes I designed and Robert and I created. The concept of using 4″ PVC isn’t new to the Bluebird nest box scene, but the ones that are currently available commercially are designed with thin wall PVC (plastic plumbing pipes) so that it can be hung on a couple of screws and squeezed together to remove from the the top to view inside the “box.” I purchased one called a Gilbertson model, but I found it challenging to squeeze it off the screws. That version has received criticism for having poor insulation, due to the thin wall pipe that is used. I decided to use the thick (Standard) wall PVC and to also use PVC “inside pipe drain” fittings for the top and bottom of the house, in order to provide ventilation and longevity (since the commercial options use a wooden based that, like other wooden boxes will age and wear out over time.) The top of our model is covered with a large wood board fitted on an angle, to prevent rain from getting in the box while allowing it to ventilate through the pipe drain fitting. The bottom is fitted with a thick piece of vinyl tile with the corners cut on an angle to allow for small air vents. The piece of vinyl tile can be popped out and replaced if it becomes soiled or damaged, and it won’t absorb urine or fall prey to insect damage.
Within a day, I saw Tree Swallows checking out the boxes. More recently, I have watched a couple of Bluebird couples also take advantage of the modern boxes. It appears that both pairs are taking food to chicks at this time.
Here are some images of our new boxes and the tenants they have attracted.
The fist one, is a centrally located box between Sham’s Paddock and Jaye’s Pasture.
Same box, a couple day later, the male has a creepy-crawly that I think he may be delivering to chicks. Then the female arrives and enters the nest.
The box on the East side of the property that replaced the wooden box #15 (because the mice kept taking it over) also have a Bluebird couple.
Weather and business / work have kept me away for a few days, so I can’t wait to get out and see how these couples are doing. I’m just so happy that the PVC boxes have been well received. I’ve purchased four or five different models of wooden houses over the past few years. Some are constructed better than others, but they all age in the sun and weather. I hope these new boxes will provide more security and last longer for our avian tenants!