Richard and Diane Van Vleck Personal Pages
The Home Habitat

Artificial Hunting Perches for Bluebirds and other species

Barn swallows perching on a twine bean trellis

Barn swallows take advantage of garden perches even though they hunt mainly in flight.

A high perch near the kestrel tower Tree swallows on a perch switch used to record owl visits at night A kestrel hunting from an artificial perch
A high perch beside the kestrel tower was often used by the male and by both for passing prey to the female. The perch has been removed since a nearby power line serves the same purpose. At nest boxes where no other nearby perch is available, an artificial perch would be much appreciated. A pair of tree swallows on the perch switch used to record owl visits at night. The owl's weight closed a switch wired to a homemade event recorder with a second pen that marked each minute. Luckily, modern video equipment has replaced all of that. A kestrel hunting from a tall perch located in a meadow. The perch pole is mounted on a large iron wheel so it can be tilted on its side and rolled to a new location, much as portable fencing is used to rotate grazing plots. Observing where the kestrels hover hunt is a good indication of where to position the perch.

An artificial perch at the creek blind
an artificial perch at the creek
This perch is simply clamped to a metal fence post. The creek bank has no shortage of natural perches, but not always where I want one.
Artificial perch in barn yard
tufted titmouse chickadee
tufted titmouse Eastern kingbird
Eastern bluebird house wren
Eastern kingbird turkey vulture
common grackle
gray catbird house wren
downy woodpecker American robin
white throated sparrow Northern cardinal
tree swallow black vulture
bluebird at feeding perch Mockingbird on iron wheel
A jar lid with drainage holes nailed to a 2x2 makes a quick and free calcium or meal worm feeding perch. The wheel of this hay rake provides a convenient perch for this nesting mockingbird waiting to feed its young.
butchering tripod used as perch for birds Mockingbird on water pump
A hog butchering tripod can be moved wherever needed, especially if you don't wire a skull on top. A mockingbird perches on a conveniently located pump while waiting for the photographer to leave before approaching the nest.

2022 update - Return of the barn owls
2021 Chimney Swift tower success!!!
2020 Barn Swallow nesting
Barn swallow nest cups
2019 Barn Swallows and Black Rat Snakes

2018 - The Barnyard Balance of Nature Goes Awry
Black rat snakes vs barn swallows, Northern flickers, kestrels and others

2018 Purple Martin preference for clam shells
2017 - Return of the Monarchs!
2017 Purple Martin prey photos
2010 - 2016 Northern flicker nestings
2014 house wren gourd use
2014 - A dramatic loss of many types of insects
2019-2020 Purple Martin nesting
2014 barn owl nesting - prey study
A new barn swallow shelter for 2013
2010 barn owl nesting
2010 Update
2016-2017 Kestrel nestings
Starling traps
Using blinds in the home habitat
Providing perches for birds
Providing snags for wildlife
The ugly young maple
2001 - 2013 nest cams
Use of tomato cages as hunting perches by insectivorous song birds
Vultures, beetles and the resurrection of life

Species of interest in our yard - photos and articles
barn owl American kestrel purple martin barn swallow Eastern bluebird
tufted titmouse Eastern phoebe yellow shafted flicker tree swallow chimney swift
house wren big brown bat Carolina wren brown thrasher catbird
Willow flycatcher
cedar waxwing Northern mockingbird
Blue-gray gnatcatcher
turkey vulture
Yellow warbler Acadian flycatcher

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© 1993, 2014, Richard Van Vleck, American Artifacts