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applestar
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

That’s a fun spot for birdwatching, Gary350 :D


Here’s my skill level for a home made birdfeeder :>

Image

...it has drainage holes but I think I will make them bigger, and maybe if I can, push a piece of window screen to lay at the bottom so the seeds are raised above the bottle-bottom ridges.
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Gary350
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

applestar wrote:That’s a fun spot for birdwatching, Gary350 :D


Here’s my skill level for a home made birdfeeder :>

Image

...it has drainage holes but I think I will make them bigger, and maybe if I can, push a piece of window screen to lay at the bottom so the seeds are raised above the bottle-bottom ridges.
I like your bird feeder, I want 1 too. Hard to see but it looks like you cut several door holes in the soft drink bottle. Plastic bowl is the rain cover. Great idea. What is the red thing? Is that some type wire thing I see inside?

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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

Thanks! The red thing is a plastic lid from a large herb/spice jar with the flip-tops removed. The wire is securing it to the dowel (actually a shortened bamboo chopstick) which provides perch for little birds brave enough to hop inside the holes cut in the side. I also tried cutting slits and was going to heat soften and pull them open into sort of lips, but had to abort.

I think you could also weld/solder the plastic lid on to the opening cut in the bottle maybe, but I can’t take the burning plastic fumes at all, so had to try other options.
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

More new bird feeders.

6 hummingbird feeders makes from small mason jars. Drill a small hole in the center of the lid then paint flowers on the lid. These do not hang upside and drip all the liquid out. I don't see hummingbirds this time of the year. YouTube videos show about 30 birds buzzing around this type feeder.

The other feeder is made from a soft drink bottle and a grocery store cake plastic cake cover. Birds have been looking at these very close for several days, I have not seen bird eating from it yet.

Sun is coming out today & more rain tomorrow. We already had 3 weeks of rain and 9 more weeks of rain to come.
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

They’ll get used to it. Image

This is a poor quality photo taken with my iPhone from the upstairs window through the screen, etc. but maybe you can see the pair of House Finches. Earlier, there was one that had sidled along the chopstick to go inside and was hanging nearly upside down to pick up the seeds. :D

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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

The Audubon Society says to face your bird houses away from the prevailing wind because birds don't like air blowing in their hole.

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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

digitS' wrote:... We have California Quail here at home this winter. That's unusual and kind of fun but they are ALWAYS in the distant garden. I don't know if I would really want to encourage them as a garden companion, however. ...
The at-home quail have been doing fairly well this winter. One has apparently been lost out of the original 9 but it seems so likely that they would have trouble with cats.

We don't have a cat but it has been snowing quite often the last few weeks, and I know --- when I go outside this morning that I will find cat tracks in my yard.

I haven't seen the nextdoor neighbor's calico in about 2 months. I'm afraid to ask her about her cat. We are only about 30 yards from a busy arterial. Anyway, it isn't her cat leaving tracks and it doesn't really matter because it's impossible for this yard or any other to be cat-free in this neighborhood.

Come spring, the quail just cannot be nesting here. In nearly 25 years, I have almost never even seen them within about 500 yards of my home. At that distance, they are often around. It's probably 3 acres of grass and small trees. To the south there are businesses with large parking lots. It can't be a very good place for a cat. ... altho I've seen raccoons. And, I am waiting for the turkeys to show up ...

Gary, you could start a thread on what birds are worst for the gardener :wink: . The turkeys weren't around often enough to cause any noticeable harm the season they showed up in the distant garden but the pheasants all but moved into my salad garden one year!

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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

Today, there was a Carolina Wren inside that soda bottle feeder, which House Finches were clustered around on various perches waiting their turn. :lol:

Other birds that are frequent recent visitors are Mourning Doves, Cardinals, Juncos, White Throated Sparrows and Song Sparrows who stay on the ground waiting for oily seed eaters like Chickadees, Tufted Titmouses/(mice?), and White-breasted Nuthatches, occasional Red bellied and Downy Woodpeckers, as well as the House Finches to flick unwanted seeds out/down in search of their favorites. Squirrels attack the feeders too and drop a bunch on the ground in the process for the ground feeders.

I put a lot of white safflower seeds in the mix, which nobody but the Cardinals particularly want, so there are two pairs of Cardinals that come around — females seem to not mind pecking around on the ground together, but the males tend to posture in the trees above and occasionally swoop each other.

I did see Starlings and Red-winged Blackbirds the other day. Maybe they have come back early because of the warm spell.
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

I just saw a Cedar Waxwing! :-()
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

Image

Picture of my bird feeder.

applestar, that is great on the Cedar Waxwing. Speaking about Red-winged Blackbirds, there has been a big flock of them here about 50 I would guess. They like to hang out in my orchard and come visit the feeder.
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

The birds I have coming to the feeder are: E Sparrow, Magpie, Eu Dove, Starling, Red-winged Blackbird, Junco, House Finch
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

I haven't seen a Red-winged Blackbird in months!

I haven't seen a Starling in weeks! That's pretty much okay ...

Waxwings. Once in awhile, Bohemian Waxwings show up here in the winter. It's apparently too far south for them to be nesting here. That's kinda like the Snowy Owl that we see around in the winter. The Cedar Waxwing takes up residence during the summer. Does anyone see Bohemians this winter? They put on quite the show :) .

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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

Oooh I have to study this. Do Bohemians Visit this area? The one I saw had the crest — I had to look really hard to see if it could possibly be an oddball colored Titmouse. Then I noticed it had the red wing bar and yellow-tipped tailfeathers.
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

Ooh ooh! I think you are correct! It must have been a Bohemian Waxwing! The Cedar Waxwing colors couldn’t have looked “almost” like a Titmouse. Thank you, digit’S :-()
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

Well, I wasn't "trying" to be correct about anything, AppleStar :D .

It looks as though we might see either species at this time of year. Although, neither of us would be likely to see the Bohemian unless it was winter. Honestly, I don't remember seeing a Cedar in the winter but here is Cornell saying that I might.

Of course, they are also saying that the Cedars are spreading their population aaaalll the way down into Central America during the winter! So as both species migrate south, the range of the two species overlap. They are separated at nesting, fairly well.

Their size is partly how the Bohemians are more showy birds. They also show up around here in flocks. I guess it isn't surprising that the Cedars aren't inclined to travel in flocks when I have seen them during the summer. Not a great deal of difference in appearance ...

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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

ISFP "The Artist"

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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

"I looked up bird names everyone suggested, those are some of the birds I see in our yard that I never knew there names."

Do you have a field guide? Look for the field guide to the birds in your area.
Hey, good job on the bird houses. Hope you get some takers.

Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America is a good one.
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

I love all the birds but crows. So i welcome them all O:)

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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

LGrammer wrote:I love all the birds but crows. So i welcome them all O:)
I live in an urban area and it's not the crows, but the pigeons we pretty much can't stand. Nothing but rats with wings is how we look at them.

I once had a neighbor who had several bird feeders on her property and once the pigeons found out where the food was------in about 15 minutes------they congregated in her yard and on every roost they could set their feet around and crapped on everything. It took a while, but she finally got the hint and removed the feeders-----problem solved.

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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

Squirrel chewed through/off the herb shaker top, so now it looks like a round porthole — yeah I meant it to look that way :lol:
Sparrows and finches find it a handy access. I even saw a male cardinal in there the other day... but he flew away when I had just managed to fit the telephoto lense on my iPhone.... :roll:
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

I saw a pair of robins days ago and miles and miles from my house. (But, they were north of the place :wink: .)

I'm out and about as much as usual and often find a few robins in the winter months. Not this year ... however, there was a robin just a few hundred yards from my home, yesterday! And, after a brief time away - the California quail were back in my yard.

I wonder what the birds will think of the return of the snow this morning ... The weather service promises warmer and sunnier days once we get thru this stormy weekend.

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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

...I wasn’t going to share this because it’s not a very good photo, but I saw a robin, too, to my complete surprise. Because the normal “rule” in this area is the Snowbirds (Juncos) fly south here to spend the winter just as Robin’s fly further south for the winter, and just about when you see the Juncos for the last time in spring, the Robins start streaming back.

Well, it’s not time yet! There are Junco’s all over the place still. In fact, during the snowstorm that resulted in the pictured accumulation, Junco’s were the ONLY birds very busy raiding the bird feeders, even hanging ones that only have short perches — I thought juncos were ground-feeders and only came to platform feeders.

This Robin was looking so pathetic all fluffed up and cold! Obviously a male, so maybe an advance scout? While I watched, he sat huddled and fluffed up, trying to stay warm, then eventually gave up and hopped down and ...again to my surprise... creeped under a fallen and snow covered fencing where I suppose there was a nice cozy shelter.
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

I heard a Robin singing this morning. Didn't see the bird. Lessee, coming to the bird feeder: Magpie, Junco, RW Blackbird, E Sparrow. For a time we had a lot of the House Finches, but they are MIA.
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

Birds do not like the factory made hanging feeders they swing is the wind and swing when birds land on them.

I built a new bird feeder to replace the one that was the most popular in the center of the picture. It was a 6"x8" wooden pan that filled up with water every time it rained then seed sprouted and weeds grew in the feeder. I tried several things to make the water drain but seeds kept stopping up the drains. I built a new feeder with a very large over hanging roof to keep out rain. This is the most popular feeder now. I have been watching birds this morning they come and go just as fast as they can get a seed then fly away. There are, 4 titmouse, 2 chickadees, 2 red birds, 2 blue jays, & some sparrows.
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

It has rained hard ON & OFF all day so I built another bird house to match our little vintage camper trailer. It might be too late for birds to live in it this year just have to put it in a tree and see what happens. This is the easiest bird house I ever built it only has 2 pieces of wood 3/4" thick 5.5" x 6" with a 1.25" diameter hole for the door. The corner radius were traced around an green bean can with a pencil. The door hole cut out becomes the trailer tire. Wrap the 2 boards with a thin sheet of aluminum 5.5" wide 22" long attach it with 1" paneling nails. Drill a 3/8" hole from a peg so bird has a place to set. Then paint it with your favor colors & vintage trailer design. Looks like I forgot to paint the blue strips across the front of the bird house I will do that when it stops raining. I forgot to put a hand full of soft pine needles inside the bird house to help the bird get started building a nest.
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

That is so CUTE!! I hope an adventurous couple discover it and move right in. :wink:
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

I feed the birds year round. On the feeder I feed millet, cracked corn, and sunflower, then hang one of those suet feeders on a tree limb. I put a handful of dry catfood on the feeder for the Magpies. Though I do hear a crow now and then, they don't seem interested in coming to my feeders. I get Eu Doves and Starlings, both miserable implants, but I guess if you are going to feed birds, you take what comes?
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

This morning I spent a long time setting in the yard watching the birds while drinking my coffee and eating breakfast. It took about 20 minutes for birds to get comfortable with me being there. Once birds started coming to the bird feeders they all started coming. Blue Jays came first then the red birds, then the titmouse, then the chickadee, then sparrows, then birds small as chickadee that look like sparrows not sure what those are called. Wow birds were coming fast soon as 1 bird was gone another one arrived in a flash it was a non stop stream of about 15 birds until seeds were gone. The little titmouse and chickadee came 2 at a time while larger birds often come 1 at a time. The little birds like the swinging feeders landing area is too small for larger birds land. Birds are so funny to watch red birds land on the bottom ring of the tomato cages they tilt their head to 1 side to use 1 eye to inspect a tomato plant then tilt their head the other way to use the other eye to inspect a tomato plant. Red birds go from cage to cage inspecting each tomato plant 1 by 1. There were 2 red birds inspecting tomato plants when 2 more red birds arrived. Mocking birds walk under the tomato plants looking up a the leaves they also walk in the potato patch looking at the leaves. Birds have no interest in, onions, garlic or herbs I guess there is no free lunch there. Wrens are chirping their lungs out I keep hearing them but so far I have not seen any wrens. Some bird houses show signs of bird activity but so far I am not seeing birds going in & out. Soon as eggs hatch there will be babies to feed there will be birds coming and going all day from the houses. Yesterday was the 1st day I have seen Robins, I have not seen any doves yet. The 2 squirrel families had babies a few weeks ago 8 baby squirrels sure are cute to watch. Little birds are too fast to get a pictures they fly down get a seed then they are gone is a flash. Larger birds stay 5 to 10 seconds and they are gone. First pic you can see the Blue Jay setting on the fence above the flower pot, not picture blue jay is in the feeder. I am only 20 ft from the feeder I should have zoomed the camera lens in closer, oh well maybe next time. If you click the picture it gets larger, if you click it again it gets large enough to see the bird.
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Gary350
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

There is a new visitor coming to the bird feeder it is a Mountain Blue Bird. Yesterday it came and stayed about 45 seconds an I did not have my camera. I will keep trying to get a photo in the mean time here is an online pic of a Mountain Blue Bird. The birds seem to be getting use to me watching them every morning they start coming a few minutes after I arrive to watch them. Chickadees are not as fast now I have gotten some pictures.
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

I moved this feeder by the gate arch trellis and the birds love it — primarily House Finches like the male in this photo alternating with Cardinals. Even cardinals squeeze inside the bottle to eat.

When I start hearing the sound of seeds and shells being kicked against the side of the bottle, I know it’s time to refill — I’m Guessing it’s the finches that does this — but It might be sparrows since I’m not sure if finches are actually ground feeders that do the back-and-forth shuffle to dig for food.

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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

It's interesting to me how the bird population changes through the years I have been in one current garden.

House finches used to be so common. They seemed to disappear in recent years ... only to reappear, this year! I looked at the range map in Cornell's All About Birds (link) and discovered that I'm at the northern edge of their range.

That isn't the only bird species with a varying population. Some years, there are more American Goldfinches than you can shake a stick at ;). I think it helps that there are so few English Sparrows laying claim to every yard in that neighborhood.

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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

The "Sibley Guide to Birds" is a great book.
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

I'm growing a few birdhouse gourd vines in my GH. Already been watching videos on how to turn the gourds into bird houses. Chickadees and Red Breasted Nuthatches are what I want to attract more of.

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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

We are seeing a lot more birds in the yard and garden than we have in the past. There are birds in several of the 40 bird houses. The mocking bird sings non stop from sun rise to dark every day. Red bird, blue bird, indigo bunting, wrens, are in the garden all day. Wrens have moved into one of the blue bird houses. Tit mouse, red bird, chickadee, are at the bird feeder early morning and evening. Squirrels are nesting in the largest bird houses. Doves pick up fallen seeds from the feeder. The elusive Red Head wood pecker hammers in the trees. Robins are eating in the grass. The past 4 days Blue Jays have been very loud squawking and flying from tree to tree all day I think babies are out of the nest. Sparrows stay busy coming and going from several bird houses.

Bird video. https://www.facebook.com/acrobolix/vide ... 055170361/
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

You have a larger variety of birds than we have here. Most of the birds here are aliens and threaten native habitat so they are considered more pests. Mynahs do eat lawn worms and insects. Sharma are beautiful and was a deliberate import many years ago and they eat insects but also fruit. The cattle egret was imported by the plantation to manage field pests and rodents. The plantations are mostly gone now but the birds will occasionally swoop down after I weed whack the grass and weeds. There are a variety of society finches and released pets and they are mostly seed eaters. The mejiro is a small but aggressive bird that will attack cats and other birds are afraid of it. They like to hollow out ripe papaya. Bulbuls are universal pests to everybody. They eat fruit and seeds and reproduce prolifically. They will leave nothing but caps on a Hawaiian pepper. I don't mind the doves, they do eat the seeds from my pots so I have to cover the trays, but they don't go after fruit. I have a few volunteer plants in my yard like bitter melon, and papaya that are planted by the birds. We also have cardinals, there aren't as many of them, but like the doves, they go after seeds and fruit.
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

3 new bird houses facing EAST. When we lived n town bird house facing east had birds others did not. I found a picture of bird house apartment complex. LOL
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

Ha! I wouldn’t have been too surprised if you had said the bird apartment tree/complex was YOUR creation and is occupying your front yard. :lol:
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Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

applestar wrote:Ha! I wouldn’t have been too surprised if you had said the bird apartment tree/complex was YOUR creation and is occupying your front yard. :lol:
I wanted to do something like that bird apartment complex to my tree but did not have enough free wood to build 100 bird houses and did not want to spend a week or 2 building them. I put several bird houses around my tree like steps so cats can get to the top easy. First 3 pictures gray color cat is on top sleeping. I did not notice any birds living in these houses this summer but end of summer 3 houses have nests inside. I assume anytime we were setting on the patio birds stayed away until we were gone that is why they were never seen. It is not often I set still more than 15 minutes I am on the go all the time. Even if my back is hurting I only need to set for 2 minutes until pain is gone then I can go another 10 minutes before I set for another 2 minutes.
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Gary350
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

Year after year birds get more friendly. Does anyone know if the same birds return to bird feeders year after year?

I notice a month ago birds seem more friendly. Birds come to the feeder 20 ft away from me they are very quick to come get food and be gone is less than 1 second.

Last week birds were coming to the feeder 20 ft away and staying longer 2 to 5 seconds. Then started coming to the feeder that is 10 ft away long enough to get 1 seed then be gone.

This morning I am setting in a different location 6 ft from 1 feeder & 10 ft from another feeder & 12 ft from the other feeder, birds are coming for food and don't seem to care I am setting closer. There are 4 birds at 1 feeder, 2 at the feeder near me, and 3 at the other feeder, several birds of feeder roof waiting their turn. Even the chick-a-de and Red birds and Blue jays are coming. I was so funny this morning several birds came to the feeder 6 ft away look right at me and sing. Blue jay did a whistle song at the bird feeder looking right at me, I was hearing that same song up in the trees yesterday and wonder which bird is doing that. Mocking bird sings several songs last summer this bird would never stop singing. Red head wood pecker came to bird feeder too I did not know they eat sun flower seeds. Chick-a-de comes stays long enough to eat 8 or 9 seeds. Titmouse is even coming to feeder 6 ft away but only staying long enough to get 1 seed then fly up into the trees with it.

It is fun to watch about 10 birds so close up. This is the first year birds have let me be this close to them. When I lived at the other house a Wren use to land 3 ft away on the table that I was setting at look right at me then sing over & over for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. I always felt like that bird was trying to tell me something.

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TomatoNut95
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Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 3:11 pm
Location: Texas Zone 8

Re: Bird Houses, what birds do you want in your garden?

There are three birds species around here that I HATE. Wrens, Phoboes and Cowbirds. Wrens and Phoboes are total pests and Cowbirds are evil and destroy other birds eggs.

I would love to attract more doves, 'cause they're sweet and adorable birds. Is there such thing as a dove box? Will doves nest in boxes?

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