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Bluebirds/Is it safe to move an occupied bluebird house?


My neighbor and I are both having quite a few trees removed in 6 days.  We have a bluebird house on one of the big pine trees in our backyard to be removed.  I would like to delay the tree removal but my neighbor probably would be against it.  I didn't realize there were babies in the house until last week when I heard them.  Not sure when they hatched.  If they have not left the house on the day the tree is to be removed, would it be safe to move the house to another big pine tree that is about 25 feet behind the one the house in on now (facing same direction)?  Do you feel the mother would easily find it?

Tha babies fledge (leave the box) about 19 days after hatching so the timing may be OK. If not it is a real risk to move an occupied box, especially when at the worst thay will be close to fledging. Any disturbance will usually make the young leave too soon as they will see it as a predator attack. If they were younger you could put the box on a pole close to where it is now, but it sounds like the situation is beyond this.

And regarding the box on a tree, it does work but we recommend against this or any wooden structure as cats, raccoons, snakes, etc. are climbers. Also when the young do leave the nest should be removed immediately (just scrape it out with a putty knife) as they never go back, and an empty box encourages more nesting by the same pair or others.

And if you will send your mailing address to me at I will send you my free Bluebird book which will make you an expert. 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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