There are certain visitors to our bluebird boxes that we don’t mind having and others that we do not want.

House sparrow nests and wasp nests should be removed from boxes as soon as they are noticed.

Chickadees and wrens (both Carolina and house) are welcomed guests.

Two other visitors may be seen in our bird boxes and they aren’t a problem. White-footed mice and gray treefrogs.

White-footed mice are climbers and often build their nests in abandoned bird nests and bird boxes. They are timid mice and generally avoid humans. They have been domesticated, though, and together with the house mouse are used as laboratory mice. Domesticated white-footed mice make friendly pets.

Gray treefrogs are frequently seen in bird boxes, occasionally with nesting bluebirds or chickadees. The frogs and birds do not bother each other.

We once had a momma white-footed mouse with babies sharing a box with a gray treefrog. They reminded me of the old folk song “Frog Went a-Courting.” Remember the lines? “Frog went a-courtin’, and he did ride, uh-huh — – — Well, he rode up to Miss Mousey’s door, uh-huh — – — Said, ‘Miss Mousey, will you marry me?’ uh-huh.” Our momma mouse was too busy with her young’uns to pay attention to the treefrog.

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E-mail lindsey.chastain@skiatookjournal.com

Managing Editor

Lindsey is the managing editor for the Skiatook Journal. She holds an M.A in English from the University of Central Oklahoma. Prior to the start of her news career in 2011, Renuard was a professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma.