Hanging boxes are very popular out west. Bluebirder Linda Violett has enjoyed great success with them.
I don’t love hanging boxes, for a variety of reasons. The main problem is monitoring. If they are high up, you need a ladder (it’s suprising how many accidents happen on ladders), or a special lifter, and it can be awkward. In some areas, climbing predators or snakes would be a serious problem. But they can save money on materials (no need for a pole), and prevent vandalism (if they are beyond reach.)
Here are a few tips on using them:
- When monitoring, tip the box backwards so the eggs don’t fall out
- Watch parents feeding – if 7-10 minutes still inside – dipping head in
- Make sure the hook is tight so raccoons can’t lift it off
- If raccoons do find it, move it. You may have more raccoons in trees than out in the open.
- Hinge at the top to prevent early fledging, also hinge one side for cleaning
- Put a predator baffle on top of box
- if raccoons find it, move it?
- Hang the box 5 feet down from limb
Somewhere over the rainbow
– from “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” lyrics by E.Y. Harburg