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Bluebirds/Cleaning a birdhouse after a black snake has been in it


A black snake went into one of our birdhouses several years ago.  Since then I have seen birds looking into it but never building a nest in it. I've cleaned it with a mild bleach/water solution and letting it dry out but still no more nesters.  What else can I try?

Birds can't smell but they seem to remember attacks. I have heard that Purple Martins won't use a house after owl attacks.

The best thing to do is to move the box. Also it is beat to have several boxes as you will always lose some. Use neighbor's property or along the road to your home. They should be at least 100 yards apert (a football feild) as they are very territorial. One in front and one in back of your home willalso work so they can't see each other.

The road suggestion works well, even high speed ones as cars stir up and knock down insects and there are fewer predators. And regarding snakes, use poles that you can put snake and predator guards on.

If you will send your mailing address to me at I will send you my free Bluebird book that covers all of this and a lot more. Good luck! Bluebird Bob Walshaw.


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Bluebird Bob Walshaw


Questions about setting up and monitoring Eastern Bluebird houses. This includes where and how to put up houses, trouble shooting, fighting predators, especially the killer house sparrows and helping other small cavity nesters such as Chickadees, Titmice, Carolina Wrens, etc. Send mailing address to me at for a free 20 page Bluebird book.


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