Now that the first clutches of nesters have fledged, many wild birds are heading into their second round of raising more chicks.

This is the time to clean out nesting boxes, especially bluebird houses.

Bluebirds will continue to build one nest on top of the other, which means the nest is higher in the box and closer to the opening. Not a good situation.

The higher the nest is in the box, the easier it is for predators to reach in.

Don’t use any chemicals to clean out your boxes. Just remove the old nests and wipe them out. Your tenants will thank you for it with another chance to view nature’s wonder.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Not many casual birders know that it is illegal to move or disturb an active bird’s nest. (There are exceptions, but I don’t want to encourage destruction of any nest so, I’m not telling).

The federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, passed in 1918, makes it illegal to disturb or move a nest that is occupied by birds or eggs. Other laws like the Endangered Species Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act have their protections too.

Instead of breaking the law, monitor your property for nests in the early stages of being built and remove them promptly.

Some birds are tenacious and will start building over again. You’ll need to keep ahead of their efforts. They’ll eventually pick another spot.

Check spots like under gutters, overhangs, flowerpots, or decks where a bird might take up residence.

Just remember, once they’re active birds have squatters’ rights and should be allowed to raise their young in peace.