+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: How to keep snakes away from bird nest???

  1. Link to Post #1
    United States Moderator Sarah Rainsong's Avatar
    Join Date
    22nd January 2020
    Location
    Hi y'all!
    Language
    English
    Posts
    457
    Thanks
    7,742
    Thanked 3,910 times in 454 posts

    Default How to keep snakes away from bird nest???

    This might not be the best place for this, but I have a quick question! I have a cardinal that has 3 fuzzy babies in a honeysuckle shrub.

    I walked outside and the daddy was chasing off a black racer. Is there anything I can do to keep the snake away? If I lay chicken wire flat on the ground around the shrub, will that work? It will the snake just go over it?

    I've been watching this nest since the mama laid eggs, and I'd like to see the babies grow up and fly off.

    I've been tossing dog poop around the bush to hopefully discourage predators. I think it's working for the cats, but obviously not for snakes.

    Suggestions?
    The world is changed... I feel it in the water... I feel it in the earth... I smell it in the air...
    Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.

  2. The Following 17 Users Say Thank You to Sarah Rainsong For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (25th April 2020), Billy (25th April 2020), cursichella1 (26th April 2020), Denise/Dizi (25th April 2020), Geophyz (25th April 2020), Ioneo (26th April 2020), Ken (25th April 2020), O Donna (26th April 2020), palehorse (1st September 2020), RunningDeer (25th April 2020), Sadieblue (25th April 2020), silvanelf (25th April 2020), Sophocles (26th April 2020), Terry777 (26th April 2020), toppy (26th April 2020), Victoria (26th April 2020), wondering (25th April 2020)

  3. Link to Post #2
    Canada Avalon Member Ernie Nemeth's Avatar
    Join Date
    25th January 2011
    Location
    Toronto
    Age
    62
    Posts
    4,171
    Thanks
    17,283
    Thanked 24,501 times in 3,917 posts

    Default Re: How to keep snakes away from bird nest???

    Try bird netting wrapped around shrub under the nest, according to google...

  4. The Following 11 Users Say Thank You to Ernie Nemeth For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (25th April 2020), Billy (25th April 2020), Denise/Dizi (25th April 2020), Geophyz (25th April 2020), O Donna (26th April 2020), RunningDeer (25th April 2020), Sadieblue (25th April 2020), Sarah Rainsong (25th April 2020), Sophocles (26th April 2020), toppy (26th April 2020), wondering (25th April 2020)

  5. Link to Post #3
    United States Moderator Ken's Avatar
    Join Date
    6th February 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    430
    Thanks
    14,538
    Thanked 3,952 times in 428 posts

    Default Re: How to keep snakes away from bird nest???

    Quote Posted by rainsong (here)
    This might not be the best place for this, but I have a quick question! I have a cardinal that has 3 fuzzy babies in a honeysuckle shrub.

    I walked outside and the daddy was chasing off a black racer. Is there anything I can do to keep the snake away? If I lay chicken wire flat on the ground around the shrub, will that work? It will the snake just go over it?

    I've been watching this nest since the mama laid eggs, and I'd like to see the babies grow up and fly off.

    I've been tossing dog poop around the bush to hopefully discourage predators. I think it's working for the cats, but obviously not for snakes.

    Suggestions?
    Hey rainsong!

    This information Iím going to share with you is for next time around. I worked on avian research projects for many years and there are some things you can do when observing nests to minimize the likelihood that they will become fodder for some other animal.

    And Iím not saying the snake found the nest because you led them to it! Snakes are very good at finding nests with or without a humanís help, their lives often depend upon it.

    In our research, we often were searching for nests of the species we were studying, and then, once found, monitoring the nests every few days. Then, when the chicks were old enough, we would band them (little rings around their ankles) with one aluminum, and often several others of various colors for identifying them later through binoculars. Then we would place them back in the nest where they would continue being cared for by their parents.

    It was cool seeing a little nestling that you banded a previous year, returning to raise a nest of their own young in a subsequent year. Mind you, this meant they had flown south to the Caribbean, Central or South America for the winter, and then made the return trip to breed.

    Anyway, rules that we always kept in mind were:

    1. When you go to check on a nest, never walk straight to it and back on the same path which creates a dead-end scent trail of you leading right to the nest. Instead, walk a big circular path, only stopping briefly at the nest, and then continue along your way, not turning around and walking back the same way you came.

    2. When you check the nest, donít stand there and stare at it, predators (squirrels, jays, crows, ravens, hawks, other mammals, etc.) are almost ALWAYS watching what you are doing whether you see them or not. When you leave, they may then go check on what you were so interested in. Predators will learn how to watch humans, or follow their scent trail, to find a nest.

    3. Try not to leave your scent on the greenery at the nest site because predators can find the nest that way too. BTW, not many birds have much of a sense of smell. Vultures are one of the exceptions, which makes sense, because they are able to find dead rotting animals that way (in addition to their very keen vision).

    4. Never leave a marker of some kind to help you find the nest again. Predators learn that the markers will lead them to a nest.

    Not sure how the netting will work. It may work or it may not. Unfortunately, the ruckus caused by the cardinal defending its nest may have alerted other predators.

    In any case, watching a nest can be a lot of fun! Itís also normal for a nest to be raided by a predator of some kind. Some nests make it and some donít. Thatís just the way nature works.
    Last edited by Ken; 25th April 2020 at 23:45.
    "Love is the only engine of survival.." Leonard Cohen

  6. The Following 17 Users Say Thank You to Ken For This Post:

    Anka (20th June 2020), Bill Ryan (25th April 2020), Billy (25th April 2020), Constance (26th April 2020), Denise/Dizi (25th April 2020), Ernie Nemeth (26th April 2020), Franny (25th April 2020), Geophyz (25th April 2020), O Donna (26th April 2020), RunningDeer (25th April 2020), Sadieblue (25th April 2020), Sarah Rainsong (25th April 2020), silvanelf (25th April 2020), Sophocles (26th April 2020), toppy (26th April 2020), Victoria (26th April 2020), wondering (25th April 2020)

  7. Link to Post #4
    United States Moderator Sarah Rainsong's Avatar
    Join Date
    22nd January 2020
    Location
    Hi y'all!
    Language
    English
    Posts
    457
    Thanks
    7,742
    Thanked 3,910 times in 454 posts

    Default Re: How to keep snakes away from bird nest???

    Quote Posted by Ken (here)
    Quote Posted by rainsong (here)
    This might not be the best place for this, but I have a quick question! I have a cardinal that has 3 fuzzy babies in a honeysuckle shrub.

    I walked outside and the daddy was chasing off a black racer. Is there anything I can do to keep the snake away? If I lay chicken wire flat on the ground around the shrub, will that work? It will the snake just go over it?

    I've been watching this nest since the mama laid eggs, and I'd like to see the babies grow up and fly off.

    I've been tossing dog poop around the bush to hopefully discourage predators. I think it's working for the cats, but obviously not for snakes.

    Suggestions?
    Hey rainsong!

    This information Iím going to share with you is for next time around. I worked on avian research projects for many years and there are some things you can do when observing nests to minimize the likelihood that they will become fodder for some other animal.

    And Iím not saying the snake found the nest because you led them to it! Snakes are very good at finding nests with or without a humanís help, their lives often depend upon it.

    In our research, we often were searching for nests of the species we were studying, and then, once found, monitoring the nests every few days. Then, when the chicks were old enough, we would band them (little rings around their ankles) with one aluminum, and often several others of various colors for identifying them later through binoculars. Then we would place them back in the nest where they would continue being cared for by their parents.

    It was cool seeing a little nestling that you banded a previous year, returning to raise a nest of their own young in a subsequent year. Mind you, this meant they had flown south to the Caribbean, Central or South America for the winter, and then made the return trip to breed.

    Anyway, rules that we always kept in mind were:

    1. When you go to check on a nest, never walk straight to it and back on the same path which creates a dead-end scent trail of you leading right to the nest. Instead, walk a big circular path, only stopping briefly at the nest, and then continue along your way, not turning around and walking back the same way you came.

    2. When you check the nest, donít stand there and stare at it, predators (squirrels, jays, crows, ravens, hawks, other mammals, etc.) are almost ALWAYS watching what you are doing whether you see them or not. When you leave, they may then go check on what you were so interested in. Predators will learn how to watch humans, or follow their scent trail, to find a nest.

    3. Try not to leave your scent on the greenery at the nest site because predators can find the nest that way too. BTW, not many birds have much of a sense of smell. Vultures are one of the exceptions, which makes sense, because they are able to find dead rotting animals that way (in addition to their very keen vision.

    4. Never leave a marker of some kind to help you find the nest again. Predators learn that the markers will lead them to a nest.

    Not sure how the netting will work. It may work or it may not. Unfortunately, the ruckus caused by the cardinal defending its nest may have alerted other predators.

    In any case, watching a nest can be a lot of fun! Itís also normal for a nest to be raided by a predator of some kind. Some nests make it and some donít. Thatís just the way nature works.
    Thank you so much for your wonderful advice! I've apparently broken several rules, LOL. #1 & #2 definitely, probably #3, too. I went to the same spot every day and kinda peered over to check on things.

    I'm going to see what I can do with some chicken wire and bird netting. If the babies don't make it, you're right, it's just nature. But the nest won't be there next year. The honeysuckle bush is invasive, and it's coming down along with several other invasive plants (getting lots of great medicine as I go!) as I try to deal with this crazy, over-run yard of mine.

    But I have bookmarked your post so I can be sure to follow the rules next time something like this happens.
    The world is changed... I feel it in the water... I feel it in the earth... I smell it in the air...
    Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.

  8. The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to Sarah Rainsong For This Post:

    Anka (20th June 2020), Bill Ryan (25th April 2020), Geophyz (25th April 2020), Ken (25th April 2020), O Donna (26th April 2020), RunningDeer (25th April 2020), Sadieblue (25th April 2020), silvanelf (25th April 2020), Sophocles (26th April 2020), toppy (26th April 2020)

  9. Link to Post #5
    United States Avalon Member
    Join Date
    24th August 2018
    Age
    73
    Posts
    168
    Thanks
    19,658
    Thanked 1,522 times in 165 posts

    Default Re: How to keep snakes away from bird nest???

    This is just a suggestion, you may try putting mothballs around the bush, I once put mothballs around
    my veggie garden to keep rabbits out, and for the most part, it really did work.

    Edit to say....I am most sure a cat would not eat the mothballs, not sure about
    a dog, as my dog will try anything, even plastic if she can find any.

  10. The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Sadieblue For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (25th April 2020), Ken (25th April 2020), O Donna (26th April 2020), Sarah Rainsong (26th April 2020), Sophocles (26th April 2020), toppy (26th April 2020), Victoria (26th April 2020), wondering (25th April 2020)

  11. Link to Post #6
    United States Avalon Guide: Here to help
     
    Ron Mauer Sr's Avatar
    Join Date
    5th January 2011
    Location
    Virginia
    Age
    77
    Posts
    2,059
    Thanks
    12,911
    Thanked 16,500 times in 1,997 posts

    Default Re: How to keep snakes away from bird nest???

    Deer netting on the ground will snag the snake's scales as it crosses. Then you will have a captured snake to deal with.

  12. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Ron Mauer Sr For This Post:

    Ken (26th April 2020), O Donna (26th April 2020), Sadieblue (26th April 2020), Sophocles (26th April 2020), toppy (26th April 2020), Victoria (26th April 2020)

  13. Link to Post #7
    United States Moderator Sarah Rainsong's Avatar
    Join Date
    22nd January 2020
    Location
    Hi y'all!
    Language
    English
    Posts
    457
    Thanks
    7,742
    Thanked 3,910 times in 454 posts

    Default Re: How to keep snakes away from bird nest???

    Quote Posted by Sadieblue (here)
    This is just a suggestion, you may try putting mothballs around the bush, I once put mothballs around
    my veggie garden to keep rabbits out, and for the most part, it really did work.

    Edit to say....I am most sure a cat would not eat the mothballs, not sure about
    a dog, as my dog will try anything, even plastic if she can find any.
    Thanks, as terrible as it might sound, I'd rather the snake catch the birds than to put it mothballs, I'm trying to help the land heal and I think the mothballs would be counterproductive to that.
    The world is changed... I feel it in the water... I feel it in the earth... I smell it in the air...
    Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.

  14. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Sarah Rainsong For This Post:

    Anka (20th June 2020), Ken (26th April 2020), O Donna (26th April 2020), Sadieblue (26th April 2020), Sophocles (26th April 2020), toppy (26th April 2020), Victoria (26th April 2020)

  15. Link to Post #8
    United States Moderator Sarah Rainsong's Avatar
    Join Date
    22nd January 2020
    Location
    Hi y'all!
    Language
    English
    Posts
    457
    Thanks
    7,742
    Thanked 3,910 times in 454 posts

    Default Re: How to keep snakes away from bird nest???

    Quote Posted by Ron Mauer Sr (here)
    Deer netting on the ground will snag the snake's scales as it crosses. Then you will have a captured snake to deal with.
    I did see that somewhere, (after Ernie suggested it, I googled to find out more info) and that was actually a little incentive to use it

    My 12yr old desperately wants a pet snake, so I would let him detangle and free it. Of course we wouldn't keep a wild animal as a pet! But maybe it would be a small consolidation for not actually getting one... which we're not doing anytime soon

    And in case anyone is worried, no, I wouldn't let him handle a venomous one, either, I would call a professional in that case, though I haven't seen any venomous ones here and I'm assuming it would be the black racer if one were to get caught.
    The world is changed... I feel it in the water... I feel it in the earth... I smell it in the air...
    Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.

  16. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Sarah Rainsong For This Post:

    O Donna (26th April 2020), Sophocles (26th April 2020), toppy (26th April 2020), Victoria (26th April 2020)

  17. Link to Post #9
    United States Avalon Member cursichella1's Avatar
    Join Date
    8th April 2013
    Location
    California
    Posts
    764
    Thanks
    8,930
    Thanked 3,415 times in 688 posts

    Default Re: How to keep snakes away from bird nest???

    When I lived in L.A. we would make a one foot wide "moat" of sharp-ish crushed stone (granite?) gravel wherever we didn't want rattlesnakes to go. Maybe do two feet around the base of the tree?
    cursichella1


    Qui tacet consentit

  18. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to cursichella1 For This Post:

    Sarah Rainsong (26th April 2020), toppy (26th April 2020)

  19. Link to Post #10
    Avalon Member Terry777's Avatar
    Join Date
    20th April 2020
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    36
    Thanked 154 times in 30 posts

    Default Re: How to keep snakes away from bird nest???

    The problem I have with all my bird boxes are Acorn Woodpeckers. I have a dozen bird boxes on metal poles attached to my back fence, which I take down every year and clean out, for Swallows, Blue Birds, etc. Last year Acorn Woodpeckers drilled a hole in a nearby power pole, and built a nest, and then filled all my nesting bird boxes with acorns, which I dumped out when I cleaned the boxes. Now the Acorn Woodpeckers are enlarging all the holes in the bird boxes, ruining them for the other birds.

    I'm tempted to put a piece of metal on the openings, sandwiched between two pieces of wood. I'd have to wait until next year because the Swallows are nesting now.

    I like the Swallows because they eat up all the mosquitos. The Blue Birds eat a lot of bugs also.

  20. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Terry777 For This Post:

    Anka (1st September 2020), Sarah Rainsong (26th April 2020)

  21. Link to Post #11
    Thailand Avalon Member palehorse's Avatar
    Join Date
    13th April 2020
    Location
    Thailand
    Language
    English
    Age
    42
    Posts
    243
    Thanks
    1,903
    Thanked 1,192 times in 221 posts

    Default Re: How to keep snakes away from bird nest???

    Quote Posted by Sarah Rainsong (here)
    This might not be the best place for this, but I have a quick question! I have a cardinal that has 3 fuzzy babies in a honeysuckle shrub.

    I walked outside and the daddy was chasing off a black racer. Is there anything I can do to keep the snake away? If I lay chicken wire flat on the ground around the shrub, will that work? It will the snake just go over it?

    I've been watching this nest since the mama laid eggs, and I'd like to see the babies grow up and fly off.

    I've been tossing dog poop around the bush to hopefully discourage predators. I think it's working for the cats, but obviously not for snakes.

    Suggestions?
    there is glue traps, you place it close to the bushes and see if it works, also it will probably catch other small animals. The glue is really sticky, wear gloves if you decide to go that way.
    --
    A chaos to the sense, a Kosmos to the reason.

  22. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to palehorse For This Post:

    Anka (1st September 2020), Sarah Rainsong (1st September 2020)

  23. Link to Post #12
    United States Avalon Guide: Here to help
     
    Ron Mauer Sr's Avatar
    Join Date
    5th January 2011
    Location
    Virginia
    Age
    77
    Posts
    2,059
    Thanks
    12,911
    Thanked 16,500 times in 1,997 posts

    Default Re: How to keep snakes away from bird nest???

    The easy fix is to lay deer netting on the ground between the birds and the snake. The snake scales will catch on fine netting. Then you can decide what to do about the snake's future. Maybe put it in a 5 gallon bucket with a lid and relocate.

  24. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Ron Mauer Sr For This Post:

    palehorse (2nd September 2020), Sarah Rainsong (1st September 2020)

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts