How do I keep birds from nesting in my newspaper tube?

When I went out to get the Sunday paper, I found the tubes littered with very small bird dung and wads of dried grass. Yes, it seems that a bird or birds has a plan to nest in there. I have a large size Step 2 mailbox with two paper tubes built in. The tubes are about a meter off the ground, which in a block with several cats, is a dangerous place to raise a clutch of chicks. Besides the cat hazard, there’s the paper guy shoving a newspaper in at 5:00 am every day.

I get along fine with birds. I feed them, and I mean them no harm. Dagnaggit, though, I need that paper tube every day. Today, I’m going to brush some fur out of my cat’s bed to put in the tubes; maybe that will do it. There is no shortage of nesting places around here, and I didn’t put up that cute plastic duplex for the birds. I bet the little fella has really impressed his girlfriend. :rolleyes:

Give them an alternative. Put up birdhouses.

To keep them out of your box, try sticking a picture of an owl’s face in the back of the box.

Give the paper dude(tte) advanced notice that you’re going to do so, and put a rubber snake inside the tube. Birds have a problem with snakes eating their eggs…

I went out with a fistful of cat fur a little while ago. I tossed half in each tube, after pulling out the latest dried grass and twigs. I looked closely, and I saw a paper-nest wasp calmly building a 10 room cottage. I draw the line at wasps, especially the paper kind; they have a quick temper. I came back with the wasp spray.

As I look out the window, I see sparrows doing courtship dances on my neighbor’s chimney. They’re trying to find a way inside the chimney cap. Feathery lust is in the air.

Swallow houses. They eat lots of mosquitoes, so I’d encourage them to build somewhere.

Yesterday evening, I went out after the thunderstorm to walk my dog. All the cat fur was gone from the tubes. The wind might have blown it away, but there wasn’t any fur on the ground anywhere.

For the folks who suggested I put up birdhouses, I already have four birdhouses in the back yard, all occupied by English Sparrows. Six feet above those, on the same pole, is a bat house with no bats.

I’ve argued (in my book and elsewhere) that gargoyles were scary faces put on downspouts to prevent birds from nesting in them. The critical feature is a pair of huge staring eyes. Putting a picture of an owl (or simply two eyes) in the back as Danalan suggests might do it, but it’s dark back there. Put a pair of eyes up front. They don’t have to block the entrace to the tube – you can put one on each side on the outside, but they should both be visible as you look into the tube. Keep them big and round and dark, like a gargoyle seen from the front.

How about these inside?

Forget the cat fur. Install a cat. :slight_smile:

But yes, wasps cross the line from amusing to serious.

umm…am I the only one who thought: "Why not just put a “door flap” on the tube?

like a piece of old window screen? with a bit of duct tape on the the top and one side

Better still, put the Rubber Snake in the box without telling the deliveryperson! :smiley: Cheap laffs! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Seriously, just hang a light piece of cloth over the opening, held in place with duck tape. Birdy will not land.