July 15, 2024

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Mouse House?

With winter coming along I figured I would get a jump on cleaning out the nest boxes I built last spring. Since I was late building and hanging them I didn’t have any high hopes of attracting any nesting birds. Out of the 12 I put out  only 4 had evidence of nests in them, birds nests that is. There happened to be four other boxes that had mice take up residence and they didn’t look like they were leaving anytime soon.  To be totally honest, over all these years I had never cleaned out any of the old nest boxes I had around the property. Its not that I never wanted to, I just got busy every year and never got to it.  The first box  I got to had a little bit of Milkweed seeds in it.  Right away I knew a mouse had been in the box at one time. How did I know that? Well buy the time the Milkweed pods open up and release all their fluffy seeds the birds are well past nesting. The thing I didn’t know was that the mouse was still in there. Reaching in I pulled out a handful of cottony seeds and twigs which was fine it was just the mouse hanging by the tail that scared the hell out of me. I never liked mice!!

I do find it amazing how well the mice had insulated the boxes. There were literally thousands of fluffy milkweed seeds packed into the boxes. I have no clue what the r-value would be but it looked pretty cozy. I’m sure they could have survived the coldest Adirondack winter.  As a cold hearted landlord I did evict the first three rodents from their winter digs but I let the fourth one stay.  Why? I have no idea, I guess I figured it was useless to try and keep the boxes clean and empty until next Spring. If he’s still there come March when I make my rounds I guarantee he’ll be out on his a$$.  After all it’s a bluebird house not a mouse house.


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