Sunday, March 16, 2014

Flicker Nesting Update

Watch this video of my flickers at their nest box.



This pair of flickers appears to have adopted this nest box as their home. First you will see the male drumming on the roof. Later the female appears from within the box. I believe the male drumming on the roof is announcing his territory. The flickers moving into this nest box would not have been possible if I didn't trap starling.  Starlings are an introduced species that competes with flickers for nest sites.  For more information on starling control go to http://www.kansasnativeplants.com/yard_birds_europeanstarling.php

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Starling Trapping Update

I had to share my exciting news on my starling trapping regimen.

Today I caught 13 starlings.  1 in a nest box trap, 1 in a single catch trap, and 11 in my funnel trap.  The funnel trap is amazing.  The starlings walk right in.  My grand total for the year is 79 starlings. 

The flickers are quite happy, eating suet and not being bothered by the starlings.  I really think they will have a chance at successful nesting in my yard this year.  A female is still spending time in her box almost daily.  The starlings have not chased her away. But now I see why our woodpeckers have such a difficult time competing with starlings.  A pair of woodpeckers might be able to keep one starling at bay, but when the starling population is so great, they don’t have much of a chance.


Northern Flickers are widespread and common, but numbers decreased by almost 1.5 percent per year between 1966 and 2010, resulting in a cumulative decline of 46 percent, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey.


See more information about trapping starlings at http://www.kansasnativeplants.com/yard_birds_europeanstarling.php (scroll to the bottom to see the amazing funnel trap)

Monday, February 24, 2014

Starling Control

This is the beginning to my second season of controlling starlings in my yard.  I've put up woodpecker nest boxes for both flickers and red bellied woodpeckers.  Starlings are a real problem for our native woodpeckers.  The starlings often usurp the newly excavated homes of some of our native woodpeckers.  I'm using both nest box traps and a repeating sparrow trap to eliminate these invasive non-native birds from my yard. In the last 5 days I've caught 23 starlings in my yard.  There is no way our native birds can compete with so many of them.  Learn more about starlings and the control methods I am using at Starling Control

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bluebird Nestbox Update

On Sunday I accidentally caught a bluebird in my nestbox trap. He squawked up a storm. I really didn't think it was a bluebird making that sound. I was a bit worried it may have been the mate of the pair in the garden. Today I checked their box and both parents were present when I opened the box. I was surprised to find 6 eggs in the nest. That seems like a lot of mouths to feed. We will see how many hatch.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bluebird Nestbox

I have four nestboxes in my yard. The one in the garden has a bluebird nest with 5 eggs in it. This is the first time in many years that bluebirds were able to nest in my yard. The problem every year is house sparrows chase them away or take over the house. This year I bought a house trap to catch the house sparrows. Finally success with the bluebirds. House traps can be found at Van Ert Traps.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dusky Skipper Visits Garden

There was a dusky skipper laying eggs on my Canada Milkvetch plants. I knew this was a host plant for them, but had never seen them laying eggs on it.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Ohio Buckeye is blooming


My Ohio Buckeye is only 3 feet tall but it has a bloom on it.