Ask a Question forum: Birdhouse location: risk to chicks and my plants

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Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Jun 17, 2014 6:51 AM CST
This birdhouse is on a shelf near my entry. A wren has been popping in/out to feed her chicks. Last night my pots were overturned by a cat try to get them. Can I move the birdhouse to a near by tree to protect all?
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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jun 17, 2014 7:20 AM CST
I don't see why not. Sounds like kitty is going to get them anyway, so you have nothing to lose. I nailed a cardboard box higher up into a tree last summer and moved 2 babies into it that the neighbor's cat was after. The mama went right back to caring for them. The cat ended up getting them anyway though Sad
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jun 17, 2014 8:05 AM CST
Cats are hunters and they also climb trees. It's a sad but true fact that birds have a difficult time in life. I don't know what the answer is in regards to keeping the baby wrens safe. I wonder if sprinkling hot pepper flakes around would deter the kitty? Or maybe plant catnip on the other side of the house would attract the cat to that location rather than the birdhouse? I don't know if the cat can reach inside the entry holes of the birdhouse to get to the babies but once those baby wrens are to a size that they are venturing out to perch outside of the house, they will definitely be in danger of becoming a meal or toy for the cat.

This site: http://birding.about.com/od/birdhouses/a/Mounting-A-Bird-Hou... lists the ideal height for a Wren house at 6' to 10' so I wonder if you could mount it to a post in the yard? It might keep neighborhood or feral cats at bay but snakes can still slither up the post.

At our old house we had two of those purple martin condos that Carolina Wrens used every year for nesting. My husband mounted them on poles in the backyard about 6' high. We had lots of feral cats in the neighborhood and they could not get to the birdhouses but a large black snake got the babies one year. Sad
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Jun 17, 2014 8:55 AM CST
@canadanna, is the second photo the tree where you want to relocate the birdhouse? I think it's too close to the ground.
I agree with plantladylin that the birdhouse should be 6 - 10 feet from the ground, and since you seem to have a problem cat, placing the nest about 10 feet high on a pole should keep the birds and your plants fairly safe from the cat.

Rolling on the floor laughing I really wanted to say you should move the cat. Rolling on the floor laughing
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jun 17, 2014 8:58 AM CST
If you wrapped a pole with barbed wire, snakes could not get up that?
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Jun 17, 2014 10:37 AM CST
But ... barbed wire could be detrimental to little fledgling birdies ... sometimes they fall from their perches before learning to fly. It would be so sad to have one fall onto the barbed wire. Snakes are a part of nature and I guess they have to eat too ... it's a shame though that they dine on bird eggs and helpless little baby birds. Crying

Northern Mockingbirds are notorious for building their nests fairly low in the shrubbery. There was a nest with eggs in my next door neighbors yard a couple of months ago. We were anxiously awaiting the hatch but after a few weeks I hadn't noticed any sign of babies peeping so I went over and took a photo. Looks like something punctured the eggs ... possibly a snake since there had been a large black snake around her house.
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A few years ago we had two baby Carolina Wrens leave the nest before they could fly. They fluttered and fell to the ground and would climb the chain-link fence and hang on while the adults went back and forth feeding them. I was so concerned that a predator would get them during the night ... one finally found his wings and took off to the trees the next day but the other little one hung out for a few days before it finally learned what it's wings were for! Smiling It would climb up the fence as far as it could get and then be stuck beneath the top bar ... then it would flutter to the ground, walk around a bit and flutter to a nearby shrub. The parents stayed busy back and forth feeding that one for a few days until it finally got some air beneath it's wings and took off up into the tree!
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I sure hope the neighborhood cat doesn't get your baby wrens before they take flight. Lovey dubby

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jun 17, 2014 11:06 AM CST
What a cool birdhouse! Did you make it?

Would it sufficiently inconvenience the cats if you moved the plants and put a muck tub full of water under the little house?
Porkpal
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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flaflwrgrl
Jun 17, 2014 11:10 AM CST
If you put a tub full of water, then when the babies fledge, they could end up smack in the tub of water & drown.

Move the plants? Would it still be where the cat could climb to them?
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Jun 17, 2014 1:59 PM CST
Anna, could you wrap some fencing around the birds house? Maybe some chicken wire with holes big enough for the birds to go through but not the cat.
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jun 17, 2014 3:11 PM CST
I like Jay's idea, make a cat cage around the birdhouse, far enough away that the cat won't be able to reach the house with foreclaws. You might have to come by with a water bottle a few times per day if the cat parks himself there.

Depending on how motivated the cat is, using some chicken wire as "tanglefoot" a few inches above the ground might discourage him from even climbing the plant.

Or make a tent of chicken wire around the plant. I think it would be too flimsy to let the cat climb it, and I don't think cats like getting their paws entangled. If it came tumbling down on top of the cat a few times, he might give up.



Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Jun 17, 2014 4:28 PM CST
@Horntoad seems to have the best and probably easiest answer to the problem. I agree
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Jun 17, 2014 9:17 PM CST
Love the suggestions. Thank you! The second picture is actually a picture of the bird...have to look really close.
Hope this story has a happy ending.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Jun 17, 2014 9:23 PM CST
Oh, I see the bird. She looks kind of gray colored in the photo - I was looking for a brown bird.
Guess I will get my eyeglasses checked now.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Jun 17, 2014 9:24 PM CST
I had some chicken wire which I placed around the shelving. Maybe I will modify it but I think it should keep the cat away
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Jun 17, 2014 9:25 PM CST
Haha! I knew I took a picture of it and I had trouble seeing it too
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Jun 18, 2014 4:47 AM CST
Oh yehhhh, I see it now too. I was also looking for brown. Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Jun 19, 2014 7:05 AM CST
I raised the house and have netting around the shelf...so far so good
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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Jun 19, 2014 8:12 AM CST
Thumbs up
Keep us posted Anna.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jun 19, 2014 11:59 AM CST
Good luck!
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Jun 19, 2014 6:03 PM CST
The bird looks very happy. Good job!!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"

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