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Spring Cleaning is for the Birds

March 22nd, 2010

We do all we can for our little feathered friends, trying to make them at home here at Chiot’s Run and that includes feeding them all winter long and putting up birdhouses all over the garden. This is the time of year when you need to clean out all those little birdhouses, and get them ready for the new chicks.

Mr Chiots is also going to be fixing up the little condemned birdhouse that the wrens just loved last summer. It needs a new floor, good thing we have a bunch of scrap wood in the garage, perhaps a nice new cedar floor.

I took all the wren houses down and cleaned them out. We also have a bluebird box in a side garden, it didn’t get used last year, but I still checked it to make sure it didn’t need cleaned. The bird houses we have attached to the back of the garage also got a good cleaning, we had some black capped chickadees nest in them last summer.

Cleaning out the birdhouses is an educational experience. You can see how different kinds of birds build different nests. The wrens build tiny little nests out of lots of twigs. They filled up the houses with extra twigs to make their nests a specific size. The chickadees used lots of moss and other soft items from around the garden, even a bunch of dryer lint and wool rug fuzz from the vaccuum cleaner that I put in the compost pile.

Look how cute this little nest is. This is just about actual size. This past summer I could hear the little wrens chirping away in this box.

Do you put up birdhouses to attract birds to your gardens?

17 Comments to “Spring Cleaning is for the Birds”
  1. Jen R. ( on March 22, 2010 at 5:57 am

    I have not yet put up bird houses, but my husband and I were considering building bird and bat houses this year.
    .-= Jen R. (´s last blog ..Health Challenge # 7 =-.

    Reply to Jen R. ('s comment

    • Susy on March 22, 2010 at 9:10 am

      We have a bat house, but no bats have moved in yet, sometimes it takes a few years. We may need to move it for them to a higher location.

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  2. MAYBELLINE on March 22, 2010 at 8:50 am

    I don’t need to put up any real estate. The birds find there own comfortable digs.
    .-= MAYBELLINE´s last blog ..War Is Hell =-.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

    • Susy on March 22, 2010 at 9:09 am

      I put up houses specifically to attract wrens, who prefer man-made houses. They’re wonderful little birds to eat garden pests, especially cabbage loopers. A big bonus is their lovely songs.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • MAYBELLINE on March 22, 2010 at 11:46 pm

        You sold me on the idea if they eat cabbage bugs.
        .-= MAYBELLINE´s last blog ..War Is Hell =-.

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  3. Mrs. Mac on March 22, 2010 at 9:25 am

    We have one birdhouse designed for bluebirds. Last spring it became home to black capped chickadee family and we enjoyed their antics.
    .-= Mrs. Mac´s last blog ..Fresh Horseradish =-.

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    • Susy on March 22, 2010 at 9:36 am

      We too have a bluebird house, but no one moved in last year. I think I need to move the location. I have seen a few bluebirds here and there, but none eve living here.

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  4. Amy on March 22, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Yes….and bat houses…..

    Reply to Amy's comment

  5. Michelle on March 22, 2010 at 10:47 am

    No…not yet anyway! These little houses and nests are amazing…I think I’ll ask my husband nicely to construct a few for me!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Crazy! =-.

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  6. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on March 22, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Yes, we have 6 at the moment, and I’m planning on 2 more this year. I love having them in the yard. We did some spring birdhouse cleaning yesterday too!
    .-= Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary´s last blog ..Crustless Pepperoni Pizza =-.

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  7. Ashley on March 22, 2010 at 11:27 am

    I acquired a couple bluebird houses with my new home and cleaned them out a week ago. I already saw some beautiful birds checking them out and I thought “that’s right! move in please!” The house was vacant for over a year before we moved in and when I was cleaning the bird houses I noticed the previous tenants were wasps.

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  8. Morgan G on March 22, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    What clever little architects birds are! We don’t put up any houses for them, but we do put out feeders. I’ve been thinking about it, but our neighbors to our left and right have cats – I don’t want to be ringing the dinner bell for them.
    .-= Morgan G´s last blog ..What’s in the Bag? =-.

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  9. Tommy on March 22, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I like the birds around the garden, too, but how do you keep them from pecking away at fruit and other veggies? I’m trying to find a balance with them, but last year I felt like I was fighting the birds to stay away from the fruits and veggies!

    Reply to Tommy's comment

    • Susy on March 22, 2010 at 5:49 pm

      We don’t get too many of the kinds of birds that do that. Wrens seem to prefer bugs. Our main food snatchers are deer and chipmunks. We do cover our strawberries with floating row covers, the white ones (we used to use netting but we had a bird get stuck in it so that was the end of that).

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  10. Meredith on March 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    We have no birdhouses, but lots of woods all around us, and so we still have plenty of birds. If I ever have children, though, I’ll definitely put one up now that I see how educational the spring cleaning can be. That nest is too cute, so tiny and intricate. :)

    You’ve reminded me to get the hummingbird feeders ready!
    .-= Meredith´s last blog ..fluffy =-.

    Reply to Meredith's comment

    • Susy on March 22, 2010 at 5:50 pm

      Yes, I just got out my hummingbird feeders yesterday. I put one out with a little bit of nectar in it just in case. Usually we don’t get hummers back in the gardens here till mid-April. I usually spot them looking in the windows at me and then put out the feeders, this year I’m ready early. I’ll keep changing the nectar every few days to keep it fresh for when they do come back.

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  11. Miranda on March 22, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    I tried i tried! my miter saw/ circular saw/ ineptitude with saws = failed attempt. Sad me. The supplies are so cheap, and the plans so easy. I wanted to build my little wrens and chickadees plenty of houses from scrap wood, but sadly i couldn’t get those corners precise.

    one day. at least they have some nice trees and bushes about.
    .-= Miranda´s last blog ..Results are IN! =-.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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