"Snakes be Gone"

by Angela

My five baby birds are dead! My front porch light has become a favorite nesting place for a determined Mom and Dad bird (species unknown).

I tried to discourage them from nesting again by taking down their last nest, as I almost lost their last babies to a snake.

Unfortunately, I exit the garage mostly and they rebuilt a new nest with 5 more eggs before I notice them flying around the front porch again.

I do not like killing anything, even down to a spider in my house.

But I knew the snakes would be back.

I put moth balls and Snake Be Gone all around the porch area hoping to keep the snakes away.

However, to my horror, I sit here tonight truly upset after finding a large black snake on my porch and no babies.

In my anger, I started to kill the snake, but it got away and I let it go.

I found this site and wanted to tell my story hoping others will not make this mistake.

I just watched them yesterday, with their cute little heads reaching out as Mommy and Daddy bird took care of them.

I was looking forward to showing them to my 5-year-old nephew on his next visit.

Momma bird had reached the point, I guess from the first nesting, that when I come around to water the flowers, she would just watch me.

I would talk to her and she would just turn her head and listen and Daddy bird would hang out in the tree next to the house.

Sometimes at night, I would go out on the porch and just sit there with Momma bird. I will miss the babies, it seems so unfair. Even if it is nature's way.

My question to anyone that can help is this.

What truly will keep the snakes away? I am afraid they may rebuild and I will have the same problem again.

If so, I want to do what I can to protect them without interfering.

Is there some kind of razer/wire I could put on the porch that would keep the snake from coming across the porch? I would appreciate any help, Thanks!

Administrator says:
Try bird netting under the nest. Use a big wad of it loosely gathered together where the snake crawls up.

Snakes will get trapped in the netting and you can cut them out and take the snake away to set it free.

Usually netting is used around poles that Bluebird or Purple Martin houses are attached to.

You'll have to get creative in your case.

The two most likely bird species to nest above a porch light fixture are Robins and House Finches.

You can learn about them here:
Robin Habits

House Finch Nesting and Feeding Habits

Bird Netting at Amazon

snake netting to keep snakes away from bird houses

Bird Netting Around Purple Martin Pole to Trap Snakes

Comments for "Snakes be Gone"

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 12, 2023
Snake Capture
by: Anonymous

If they're in a box---be sure that there's a baffle on the pole, about 6" down from the box.

And I agree with the netting. I have it bunched on the ground like the photo posted and then loosely tied to the pole upward maybe 3 feet.

If a snake tries to go up the pole it will become entangled in the netting. Then you (or someone) have the job of untangling it and releasing it far away.

Be sure the nest isn't too close to a tree or wall....anything that assists the predator in climbing.

Even if on your porch....wads of bird netting....like the picture.

Jun 12, 2023
Regarding the Scat Mat Mentioned Below
by: Gene

Looks like it may be helpful with raccoons and opossums but looks like a ladder for snakes. I would think any hungry animal or snake could get by it if it really wanted to. But, it's up to the individual. Thank you.

Jun 12, 2023
Cat Scat Mat
by: Katharine in SC

Look for Cat Scat Mat on Amazon (Homrgarden makes them). I wrap the mats around my trees just below the birdhouses.

The mats have stiff plastic projectiles that prevent snakes and other predators (my sweet kitty) from climbing the trees and getting to the birds. The mats are VERY effective.

Be sure to buy zip ties to help secure the mats together.

Also, you will need the "U" shaped nails to attach the mats to the trees. The mats do not need to be replaced from year to year.

May 09, 2023
Do What You Have To With the Snakes
by: Kathy

Don't feel guilty about the snake that ate your baby birds. We have a lot of copperheads, and we both have autoimmune issues.

Those bites could be deadly for us. We used to give black snakes a pass, thinking they ate mice. No. They eat our frogs and baby birds.

Worse, it turns out that copperheads are "social" snakes, and share dens with black snakes, corn snakes, and rat snakes. They love hibernating together!

They probably sit around and brag about their hunting skills.

Don't waste your feelings for snakes. All they want are the innocent little creatures.

Jun 08, 2021
Kim in Georgia
by: Gene

That's the way to protect your Bluebirds from snakes. Yes, you do need to cut them out to free them but you'll save the blues and the Purple Martins too.

Jun 08, 2021
Snakes Georgia
by: Kim

We had a snake in a bluebird house. I only had a squirrel baffle so no good.

Without time to get a wobbling baffle (if these truly work) I zip tied bird netting to the lower part of the pole.

This will kill a snake if you are not able to see your BB House and monitor every day. Black snakes are good. We got one!

The snake didn't make it up the pole. My Hub was able to save the snake using scissors to cut him out of the netting.

He said it took about a half hour though. He released it way down the road.

Bird Houses should be out in an open area - no fences or trees to climb and reach the bird house. Good luck.

Apr 04, 2021
Tomato cage bluebird nest barrier
by: Anonymous

I clipped open rings of a tomato cage large enough to encircle the tree.

I slipped cage around the tree with the large opening down making a kind of skirt around the tree.

I covered the outside of the tomato cage with bunches of plastic netting, twist tying it to the cage to keep the interior 'open' and free of the netting.

The legs of the tomato cage, the pcs that normally stick into the ground are taped to the tree with electrical tape so the top 'mouth' of the tomato cage is shut.

I don't know if my barrier will work, but if a snake crawls up the tree, he can enter the tomato 'skirt' but can't exit it at the top. Nor will he get entangled in the net.

Jul 21, 2020
Solar repellent
by: Anonymous

I have a bush behind my house and there is little nest with 2 baby birds, I've been watching mom bird make the nest with dad bird.

Two days ago, I saw a black snake and the birds where defending their nest and babies so I sprayed the snake and managed to scare the snake away.

I've been so worried that I bought a dollar repellent and placed it under the bush, but I'm concerned it could affect the birds as well.

Has engine used the solar repellent? Do you know if it's safe for birds? Btw it's 10 pm and neither mom or dad bird are in the nest... is this normal?

I'm just so concerned about the little birds. Thank you so much for any advice you may have :)

Jul 13, 2020
Snake Prevention for Bluebird House
by: Anonymous

We had bluebirds nest in our house back in May. A 4' garter snake got in (despite our metal baffle and metal pole), probably ate one (from looks of belly), but we got the snake out (did not kill it) and 3 of the babies fledged.

We now have a new family and want to do whatever we can not to have a repeat performance. We will try filling the small space between the pole and baffle.

We have purchased a second, larger baffle which we may install above the smaller one.

I have heard about putting mothballs at the base of the pole, that snakes hate the smell. Has anyone tried that?

Jun 28, 2020
by: TLC

Security camera yesterday we turned it to view the adorable babies behind the outside speaker under the roof.

4 babies, enjoyed a full day and evening watching them! Approximately 11pm a predator came, it's all captured on our camera!

This AM early around 6 am the ring was going off, I thought oh mom must be feeding them, NO it was a snake.

We jumped out of bed and immediately climbed the ladder! Sadly the snake already ate at least 1 cause it had a bulge (small snake 18 inches) the other babies no Where to be found.

They didn't look like they were ready to fly , but maybe scared enough to try? Knocked snake out and chose to kill it.

Heartbreaking watching the mom and dad on camera trying and not able to help and then returning later to empty nest very confused and sad.

Need a real way to keep them gone. Just got done placing garlic, vinegar, onions, clove, and cinnamon around the yard.

Jun 17, 2020
Use Snake Guards rather Than Netting
by: Weiler Woods for Wildlife

Please don't recommend bird netting to keep snakes out. The snake gets tangled in the netting and often dies or you can't untangle to netting around the snake.

Killing the snake just removes an important animal from your ecosystem.

Last year we lost 5 baby bluebirds just as they were about to fledge to our resident black snake so we researched the best way to keep snakes out.

This is what we found works.

Place your nest box on a pole away from trees & bushes. Then use a snake guard such as a cone (we use a double cone) below the nestbox.

Just make sure the cone is big enough so the snake or other predator can't get around it.

Relax and watch your babies grow. We just had 5 fledge and have 5 more eggs ready to hatch.

Administrator Says
Unfortunately, some snakes can get through the inside of the baffle between the pole and baffle.

A small snake can easily eat eggs and hatchlings.

Jun 04, 2020
Tack strips
by: Anonymous

I could not find bird netting readily available at my local stores. As I thought about what other common item I could use, I remembered that carpet tack strips are stocked at Home Depot (maybe other stores as well).

They have dozens of small sharp tacks in them, which the snakes can't navigate. I attached them to the bird pole with zip ties (tape will work as well).

This is less unsightly than a wad of netting, and eliminates the need to extract live snakes from the netting.

You can also spray paint the strips to match your pole.

May 31, 2020
Duct tape
by: Karen

Get some small thin pieces of wood—like small pieces of paneling—maybe 4"x8".

Wrap them in duct tape sticky side out and place next to the wall or wherever the snake is crawling up onto the porch.

He'll get stuck on it. What you do with him after that is your choice.

I lost too many baby birds to worry about the snake anymore. Good luck!

May 31, 2020
Fishing Line
by: Shellie

So glad to have found this page. I'm battling black snakes too. I had Barn Swallows build a nest in our covered porch, them woke up one morning to find a snake in the nest.

We knocked him out with one baby left. Put the baby back in and it took 2 days for it to recover.

I had to leave (our Lake house) before he fledged so not sure if he made it. Kill the snake because I was so mad!

We installed fishing line criss-crossing the top of the porch to keep the birds out and it worked. We did that on our boat dock years ago.

Now this week, a black snake crawled up a flimsy butterfly bush to sit inside a bluebird box.

This box was empty, babies recently (I think, I don't live there) left. Had to cut down my B. Bush. :(

Wish I could add pictures, but can't seem to figure out how.

May 29, 2020
Baby Robins gone
by: Anonymous

I had a nest of baby robins in a rhododendron bush beside our deck. I watched momma constantly through the incubation period.

She became used to me and would just watch me as I filled my watering can up and I'd talk to her. 3 of the four eggs just hatched out.

At about 10:00 last night, a black snake was in the nest and had devoured 2 of the chicks.

I sprayed the snake with the hose to get it out of the bush. I managed to chase it away.

I found some snake repellent I got last year, sprinkled a bunch around the bush and around a bluebird nest box I have.

That stuff apparently does not work as the 3rd chick was gone this morning. I’m heartbroken. Poor momma was so distraught.

I'm all for respecting wildlife, I don't even kill spiders, but all I can say, this guy has got to go. I think relocation is not an option.

Apr 30, 2020
Baby bird protector
by: Anonymous

To make a long story short… I found a black snake in a finch nest. The eggs are gone and so are the birds. I did kill the black snake!

It made me so very angry that I came up with this to protect another nest in a Japanese maple tree.

This is a piece of fabric with thumbtacks or pushpins Placed very close together for several rows. Then wrap this fabric around the trunk of a tree with the spikes sticking out word.

This should deter any snake from crawling up the spiky truck.

I then wrapped a piece of Duck tape around the trunk below the guard and another piece with the sticky side facing out.

It has been a week since our last snake spotting and since I put the guard on the tree. Current nest is doing great! Snake free so far!

Good luck to you and all the baby birds and nests!
Tried to Include photo

Apr 17, 2020
Bird Netting for Snake Prevention Example
by: Gene

Here is an example of the bird netting being used around a pole with purple martin gourds hanging above. This is just zip tied to the pole. You can get as elaborate as you like.

snake netting to keep snakes away from bird houses

Bird Netting Around Purple Martin Pole to Trap Snakes

Apr 17, 2020
Inquiry about Bird Netting
by: R&B

Does anyone have photos of what this recommended "bird netting" looks like, and perhaps how it should be installed on a nesting box pole?

We haven't had the problem yet of snakes actually getting into our nesting boxes, but just this week for the first time, there was a garden snake looming close by.

I only noticed it because of the "dive-bombing" activity I saw--several species of birds helping each other drive a snake away.

My feeders have the raccoon/squirrel baffles made by Wild Birds Unlimited on their same pole systems.

They look like a hollowed out cylindrical tube (with a "ceiling" just large enough for the pole that covers the top of it), suspended on the pole (it's on their website, if you're curious enough to look).

Works GREAT for squirrels and raccoons. Would that be enough of a deterrent for snakes? I know they can coil around different diameters/shapes.

Thanks for any advice.

Jan 12, 2020
Old Farmers
by: Anonymous

I have always lived in the woods and never killed a black snake even after my sister found one in my hen house devouring a baby duck.

I was moving a black snake when my neighbor, an old wise farmer, was delivering hay to my barn. He told me that he killed a black snake when he was sixteen and it had eggs and baby chicks inside.

He has killed every black snake he has come across since then and only one time found a mouse inside.

Every other snake victim was an egg or bird. There are lots of snakes in my area.

Depending on the females size she can lay up to thirty eggs at once, far outnumbering the eggs that a bird lays.

Jan 02, 2020
by: Annie

House Martin swallows nesting on my deck lost 2 babies to horrific winds a week ago. Brave mom and dad did it all again and I was really proud of them for persevering.

Earlier today I heard them going mad and investigated and found a highly venomous boomslang in the nest.

I hit it with a broomstick, it fell onto the deck.k and I pushed it off. The damage was done and my heart is broken....such brave parents.

I hate and am petrified of snakes but if there is a next time,it will die, fine or not! Don't talk to me about the conservation of snakes...they are horrid and more and more humans are dying from snake bites too.

Ironically my dogs lie on the deck on most days so I am grateful, but revenge will be sweet!

Nov 05, 2019
Bird Netting Works
by: DeeDee

It is a constant battle to protect my baby bluebirds. Years ago we lived in the woods and had a bluebird house on top of a wooden pole.

Of course the black snakes loved this and dined on our babies.

I read about bird netting and bought some. I created kind of a large bunched up tu-tu about midway up the pole.

My husband and I wound up cutting out 4 or 5 blacksnakes over a two year period. We didn't kill them, but took them back out to the woods.

We had lots of baby birds after that. Fast forward to now we live in a cluster home community and trying to keep a bluebird house going.

First problem I've had is raccoons, so got the stove pipe baffle with a cone baffle on top of it.

Next problem was House Wrens (a blight on bluebirds). They get in and peck the bluebird eggs, or if there's babies, they pull them out and drop them far from the nest. Horrible creatures!

So, I got a wren guard and it worked well until the snake managed to get past my baffle and got the baby birds!

NOW, I'm going back to the bird netting and will put it bunched up at the top of the stovepipe baffle, and trailing down it.

My birdhouse looks like a war zone with all these contraptions on it! But, the bluebirds keep coming and looking to nest there. Don't give up!!!

Keep coming up with creative ways to deter the predators, and DON'T kill the black and rat snakes!

They keep down rodents and will kill a copperhead. Thank you for starting this site. There are great suggestions here.

Jun 17, 2019
Robin babies gone
by: Angry in CT

We have a wreath on our front door. Every year there is a nest. Our Frenchie was acting weird so I followed her to the front yard.

A black snake had climbed our front door and was in the process of eating its 2nd of 3 baby Robins. The 3rd was dead in the nest. I was so angry.

I hit the snake with a broom until it fell out of nest and my son took the snake into the woods...alive unfortunately. This is the first time this has happened.

I just ordered a Robin nesting box and a squirrel baffle. I plan on mounting box on a pole with the baffle attached. I hope it works.

Although my son would not like it, I think if our Frenchie or Cane Corso find a snake...they can have at it.

Apr 30, 2019
Robin vs Bluebirds
by: Anonymous

This year, the Blues have been back; however, a Robin has decided that the whole back yard is her's.

When they get near the nesting box, she dive-bombs them and they leave. Same with the Blue's feeder, I have dried mealworms in it. They come to feed, and Ms. Robin will hit the feeder (it is wire-caged for Blues only to enter).

They have given up for this early nesting and I don't find that the Robin ever built in my yard. She may be in an adjoining yard.

Perhaps after her hatch fledges, the blues will manage a late hatch.

Apr 29, 2019
by: Gene

Always attach bird houses to post and add a baffle and netting to deter raccoons and snakes.

Apr 29, 2019
Snake in the birdhouse
by: Anonymous

This was not a good anniversary. Came home from work to find a huge rat snake in the bird house mom and daddy finch had babies in.

Used the waterhose on jet to keep it in the box until the hubby got home. Now wanting to have my revenge. This will be one dead snake. We like the good ones but this one is going to be gone.

Apr 09, 2019
Hardware cloth
by: Anonymous

If you rest a piece of hardware cloth (4x4 or bigger) on top of your snake baffle that will keep the snakes out of the nests. This has worked for years for me. And it doesn’t hurt the snakes. Good luck!

Aug 05, 2018
Response to Joan
by: Anonymous

Joan, good for you. If it works, it's the best. The pair moved to a new box in the back yard, raised a clutch of 4 that fledged. Right now they're feeding (with my mealworm help) another hatch of 4. So they have done well, in spite of losing their first family. No more snakes, either.

Aug 05, 2018
Netting works
by: Joan

I put a double layered net skirt, over an upside down plastic flower pot, around the pole under the bluebird box. Found a black snake all caught up in it and the birds all " a twitter ".

Jun 24, 2018
Babies are gone
by: Anonymous

The same thing just happened to me. I had taken my hanging pot down last week that had a nest and three eggs in it due to a storm.

I never even thought about snakes! I sat it on the deck railing beside my back door. I have been enjoying watching the newly hatched babies and taking pics.

Tonight I went out and bent over to plug in my deck lights and a huge snake fell off the railing almost on top of my foot!

It was quite a shock! Babies are gone. I'm heartbroken.

Jun 10, 2018
by: Anonymous

Gene, because of the territorial nature of the Blues, and my limit on space, I have a box at the front of the house (not close to my house) and another in back yard, several feet from my feeding station.

The snake incident was at the round-hole box in the front yard.

The Blues wait for me each morning to come out with their worms. They are so funny. I'm not even back inside and they're in the feeder.

I took down the death box and bought a new one, and took the mounting bracket off the old and put on the new one. The old box will be destroyed and not put up again.

I will wait until this hatch has fledged (and I feel confident of success) and then put up the new box in the back, and move the slot house to the front. They can then rebuild at whichever one they like.

However, the same pair definitely did rebuild in the box in the back yard, and she's incubating 5 eggs this round. Hatch should be sometime this week of June 18.

The front box has the round hole, the box in the back (where they rebuilt) is the slot hole across the top of the front. They love that entry.

Jun 10, 2018
by: Gene

That pair may not return but another pair will use the site. The original pair is aware there are predators in the area. It's not the birdhouse, it's the area.

Jun 09, 2018
by: Anonymous

Has anyone tried hanging a slinky from the bottom of the birdhouse and around the pole?

I read somewhere that would keep the snakes out of the bluebird house. I have done it, but the bluebird family has not come back...probably too traumatized.

I read somewhere that they won't go back to the same box and I may have to get a new box. Any experience with slinky's or bluebirds renesting after tragedy?

Jun 01, 2018
by: Gene

Either, above will help those that get by your baffle. Below will catch any that try.

Since you have to cut the netting to remove the snake, placing it above is probably less work.

Jun 01, 2018
Bird Netting
by: Anonymous

Administrator. When adding bird netting to a metal pole, do you put it above the baffle or below the baffle?

May 31, 2018
Purple Martins
by: Gene

I've been hosting Martins for over 10 years. 15 pair this season.

Check out the PMCA forum I use both a baffle and bird/deer netting to prevent snakes and raccoons from getting to the nest.

Spend some time searching the forum and ask questions there. They are good folks.

Snakes can cause Purple Martins to abandon sites and those specific birds will not return.

May 30, 2018
After snakes eat babies will birds mate and move back in?
by: VicD

Moved from Massachusetts to South Carolina 2 years ago. Despite the Heat/Humidity and adjustment to food changes (restaurants, etc) we LOVE it here.

We moved to a small town in northern SC (pop 2,700) and live on 1.29 acres surrounded by fields / country.

As we were new to the area and the country, we quickly realized that controlling pests (mainly insects) was a priority.

Bought a bat house, bought a purple martin house and 15' pole. Finally installed them both in early spring being very attentive to the instructions of when to put up the purple martin house.

SOOOOO excited when we saw some action and then the martin's were here! Well, our excitement turned to shock just a few days ago when we were sitting in our screened in porch and saw a 6' rat snake slithering up the pole.

My husband shot it dead THEN 45 MINUTES LATER another one slithering up the pole. Hubby shot that one as well.

Now I'm all over Google researching inexpensive, yet attractive ways to keep those nasty bastards away from our birds.

Probably going to buy a baffle. ANYWAY, my question is this....once the babies are gobbled up by snakes, do the parents move out until next spring?

Is there anything I should do to bring the birds back?

May 25, 2018
protect your own
by: Anonymous

I lost all 6 baby barn swallows to a rat snake today as I rescued 4 baby kittens infested with fleas.

I killed the fleas with joy and the snake with revenge. Some critters need management and often times depredation. There are many critters that need termination on your own land.

I protect my daughter from threats and kill black widows (9) in the last year, as well as wasps and what ever else needed. Farmers, fisherman, settlers, herders and lots of other gathers have to kill to protect their property.

I am all for nature and them doing their job else where but not on/in my home. In SC it is illegal to relocate non game animals/ nuisance wildlife. Euthanasia is the rule.

The only other option is to let it go on your land. All kinds of animals kill to defend as well as eat. Ever see a big animal see a snake and stomp the crap out of it, they know too. Read Genesis.

Stomp the head and protect your outdoor friends who eat 1000 mosquitoes a day. Less the snake huggers get bit on their own property and let the mosquito finish his drink of their blood and don't smack him and flick him off cause nature is taking its course.

Thanks for the anti-snake tips.

May 25, 2018
Baby bluebirds
by: Anonymous

I had five baby bluebirds in a nest that I have been watching for 13 days. Today I noticed a snake peeking its head out.

I ran to the box and got the snake out. He had eaten two and one looks dead. The other two survived.

Does anyone know if we should take the dead one out or will the mommy and daddy bird take care of it. I didn't want the parents to abandon the two living ones.

May 21, 2018
by: Gene

Try wrapping bird/deer netting around the post. Sold in big box stores like Home Depot. Google it for more information. You will need to monitor to cut snakes out when they are caught.

May 20, 2018
Six (6) Blue bird babies gone
by: MarilynAnonymous

I can understand. There were six babies a week old in my Bluebird house. Parents were so proud and so diligent. I had just started putting out live mealworms to help with feeding such a large brood. I checked the box every day.

Today, I walk up, and see a snake's head. I opened the box, went and got a tool and raked it out. Obviously, it had fed on all six Bluebird babies, and was coiled up in the box. It was not a blacksnake, and I have no idea what kind it was.

With a yard rake, raked it away from the house, then got an empty cat-litter bucket with lid, and one neighbor man held down the head with the rake, while another picked it up and put in the bucket and I clamped on the lid. Then I took it over a mile away into a wilderness park area and released it.

It can go find voles, mice or rabbits....OR provide a nice meal for a HAWK. This was a big snake. So, I'm on this site, wondering how do I prevent this....I had a baffle on the pole, but it didn't seem to stop this snake.

The baffle is still there. f they re-nest in one of the two boxes I have up, I have to come up with a way to stop snakes from getting to the box. Last year, it was the Sparrows...this year the snake.

And my yard is mowed regularly, last time 4 days ago. I know how this lady feels. I'm sick over the loss of this brood, but don't want it to happen again.

Mar 24, 2018
Bird Netting Works, but Check from Above
by: Anonymous

I put bird netting around the base of my tree. For years this has worked beautifully as snakes get caught in the netting and my bluebirds babies flourish. Just today I found a small snake in my bluebird box with all but on egg gone.

Needless to say, that snake will not have the opportunity to get another egg. I noticed a new spring branch was touching the tree and guess the snake came from above.

My son and I put netting a few feet above the bird box and replaced the netting below it.

Hopefully this will solve the issue that I had last week year. So, I suggest you try the netting, but make sure snakes can't move from one tree to another from above.

Check the netting periodically and cut the netting around dead snakes to remove them.

I hate killing something, but I hate something killing my bluebirds more!

Feb 11, 2018
Barbed wire?
by: Anonymous

And hanging the birdhouse on a branch away from the base of the tree.

Feb 11, 2018
Barbed wire?
by: Anonymous

Has anyone tried wrapping the base of a tree with barbed wire to stop snakes from climbing up?

Jul 30, 2017
Fence Chargers
by: Gene

I know several Purple Martin landlords that use fence chargers to protect their housing. Keeps the predators away without harming them. Kudos


Jul 30, 2017
Good Luck Snakes, and Anything Else That Tries to Climb My Pole!
by: Anonymous

I have a 16 foot 4x4 with two birdhouses, a mason bee house, and a bat house at the top.

Something wiped out two bird nests in a night, and I suspect a rat snake I saw on our property.

I had a chance to kill him with some rat shot in my 9mm, but I've also seen a field mouse running under my bird feeder for seed, so I really didn't want to kill the snake, so he can get this guy, before he ends up in my house for the winter.

I took a 4" piece of pvc laying around the house, and cut it in half, painted it black and placed it around my 4"x4" pole.

I then went to harbor freight and bought a solar powered electric fence charger, mounted it to the pole, then ran insulated wire down to the pvc pipe.

I then made an electric coil down the whole length of that 2 foot pipe, with 17awg. electric fence wire. At the bottom, got the coil held to the pvc by some double-wrapped electrical tape.

All I can say is good luck critters...... I got a feeling the first time that ol' rat snake taps that wire, it will be the last time he tries to climb that pole, same for the coons that come up from the creek behind me.

Don't want to kill them, but I sure don't mind lighten them up a little. Cost a little money, as the charger was $60, but I can tap into it also, and use it to keep critters out of my garden.

Jun 27, 2017
To Justine
by: Anonymous

Honey, please don't be devastated. It's nature. Just as you really want the babies to survive, keep in mind that the snake needs to survive and is only doing what he knows to do.

It's not his fault. Snakes do an incredible job in keeping rodent population down, and they also eat venomous snakes.

The exact same thing happened to us, years ago. We lost all the babies except two. You did everything right, except trying to beat the snake. Please be kind to all wildlife.

Just for your information it is not necessary to use latex gloves when you pick up the babies or the nest. Parents will not abandon their nest or their babies if they are touched by human hands.

Their baby rearing instincts are extremely strong. I've tried everything I know to do to encourage my birds to nest in areas that are not as accessible to snakes.

The only luck we've had has been in erecting a snake baffle, for our bluebirds. You can go on any bluebird website and find the instructions for proper erecting.

The pole has to be far enough away from trees and shrubs that a snake can't climb up the side.

I have had zero luck in providing snake protection to my Carolina wrens. Every time they nest near the house which they seem to always do, snakes get them.

We've had 100% success in protecting bluebirds for 4 years, often having more than one nest per season in the same box. Good luck, hon.

I feel your sadness-it it's completely understandable. But compassion for one species should expand to compassion for all.

Jun 26, 2017
mending boards
by: Bonnie

Disregard my post on June 9. I really thought those mending boards would work. They did not. Found a snake in the house June 22. So disgusted and discouraged, not to mention broken-hearted.

Jun 10, 2017
Black Snake in Birdhouse
by: Justine

I'm completely devastated. I was watching tv while my mom took a nap. My two dogs needed to go out, I let them outside.

A few minutes later they were barking like crazy, so I darted outside to get them inside and there it was... a black snake hanging from our tree, inside our birdhouse where baby birds were just born a couple of days ago.

I began crying and called my neighbor, who luckily was outside. I quickly came over as I was hitting the snake like it was a piñata.

He grabbed the snake and threw it to the ground and tried to catch it so he could take it out of our yard, but it went under our shed.

My neighbor handed me the birdhouse and told me to take it away in case any babies survived. I sobbed as my mom opened the bottom of the house.

Two babies lived and I quickly grabbed latex gloves and put them in another birdhouse we have further from the shed, just so the mommy could find them.

The mommy and daddy bird have both gone in and out of the birdhouse which makes my mom and I feel relieved.

I am petrified the snake will come back and try to get the two remaining babies though so I put down snake repellent powder.

Whether that helps, I don't know. This tree branch is higher up but it sits next to my moms swing so I am praying the two remaining babies are spared.

If anyone has any tips on how to deter the snake please help. Thanks!

Jun 09, 2017
Mending board and snakes
by: Bonnie

I got mending boards at Home Depot and outside glue. No handyman around. The bluebird house is mounted on a wood 4x4. I glued the boards about 18" off the ground onto the 4x4, making a barrier around the post. Mending boards have a surface much like a cheese grater, only shaper. I really think it will work. Don't see how they could crawl over it without some serious scratching.

Jun 07, 2017
So sorry
by: Anonymous

Hi, so sorry that snake almost got your babes. I would have done the same thing, but I would have been gentle with the snake.

Please keep in mind, that as much as we humans want to safeguard the cuties, the circle of life is how nature works.

The snake was hungry, and while we'd much prefer that he eat rats and mice, he doesn't know the difference.

That snake may come back, or a different snake. You just can't protect them from all predators.

Try to have respect and compassion for all wildlife and understand that babies do get eaten - as a part of the circle of life.

I can't get my wrens to nest in protected nest boxes. They just prefer locations that are easily accessible to snakes-darn it!

Jun 06, 2017
Just happened to me
by: Anonymous

Last night the birds under my porch roof were extremely upset. I went out and there was a huge snake on the nest. I took him out and threw him way off my property.

Now I am so worried he is going to come back. I am assuming all babies are fine since mom and dad are back feeding them. I just don't know what to do and can't sit guard 24/7.

May 11, 2017
Snake Baffle
by: Anonymous

Hi Lisa, sorry about your baby bluebirds. The snake baffle is not a bucket. It is a real snake baffle you can Google them and find it and you can also find instructions for the proper set up.

If your a bird box is not accessible by branches or walls or anything else that a snake could reach over and get into your box, and you have a proper snake baffle, the snake should not be able to get to your babies.

May 11, 2017
Bluebird boxes
by: Lisa

So upset...lost 4 sweet little bluebirds to a six ft black snake last night. Caught him in the act , too late. The wobbly bucket on the pole did not phase him.

I have given this some thought....we recently got rid of old carpet, I am going to try carpet tack strips.

I have been stuck by them a few times & they are sharp! I will put 3 or 4 together with a cable tie around the pole. Has anyone else done this?

Apr 23, 2017
Blue Birds and Wrens
by: Anonymous

We've successfully watched bluebirds nest and fledge with no problem from predators for the past 3 years.

Bluebirds like open spaces so the nest box should be away from overhanging limbs and trees and other structures that provide easy access to the box.

The nest is mounted on a pole over 6 feet high with a cylinder baffle. It prevents snakes, raccoons and cats from reaching the bird box. Look up the instructions - - - Wish I could attach a photo.

However, our Carolina wrens were eaten last night. They like to nest in areas easily accessible to predators.

I've put up bird boxes for them but they still prefer to be close to the house where walls and column provide easy access.

I'm so disappointed. I just don't know how to keep them safe. I won't use glue or anything else that might harm other animals.

Mar 04, 2017
Try thorny vines . - No glue traps -
by: Anonymous

No glue traps!! They are barbaric; birds, geckos, butterflies, owls, get caught on them and die. The only way to get glue traps to release their victim is to pour olive oil on it.. No glue traps!

Try hemp rope or thorny vine tacked around the edge of the nest box. Snakes have sensitive bellies and scratchy surfaces are uncomfortable.

Feb 23, 2017
Try This
by: Anonymous

Try putting up a birdhouse close by for that type of bird and use hemp rope as much as possible on the hanging and around the birdhouse. The rope spines get into the snake so they avoid it.


Aug 16, 2016
don't use glue traps
by: Laura j.

I do humane wildlife removal. Glue traps catch birds, lizards and desirable wildlife. I was called to remove a great horned owl from a glue strip.

The glue trap had caught a mouse, which in turn attracted the owl. The owl was so entangled in the glue that we had to euthanize him. Awful!!

Use netting under your bird houses for snake deterrent. Maybe try motion detectors at night, when many snakes are active? You can attach thorny limbs around your nest box.

Chicken wire might also work if you have it's rough edges around the box. Maybe cinnamon/clove oil deterrents? Try anything to disrupt the smell of the birds.

Altho I believe snakes hunt with heat detection? If so, not sure what to try…

Jul 08, 2016
netting did not work
by: Peggy (from florida)

We have tried everything from netting to baffles to tack strips etc...and the snakes went up through and over every thing and still got into our blue bird nest and ate the babies.
I am really stumped at this point
Peggy (From Florida )

Jun 30, 2016
Mother Nature
by: TJ

I hate it too. We have lost babies to snakes. You have to remember though It is nature. This is what happens. I have rat snakes and move them when they get near the porch and the babies but they smell them out and come back again.

Jun 21, 2016
Snakes. I hate them.
by: Anonymous

I feel all your pain. We have had swallows come back to the same nest under our porch for 10 years.

Never had any problems until this year. We killed one snake after it had eaten the eggs and then we had 5 little birds from the second nesting.

We love to watch them. They were almost ready to leave and we came out one morning saw one baby in the ground under the nest.

All that was left was one baby. As I was reading in my bedroom which is right outside the nest I heard the mama bird going crazy. Luckily I cracked the door just to see the tail of a snake.

I screamed for my husband and he went out the other door to find a rat snake half way up the shutter. He would have gotten that baby if i hadn't heard the mother.

I've read all your suggestions and I'm wondering about putting sticky mouse traps half way up. Those things are really sticky and mice can't get off them.

Jun 19, 2016
by: Gene

Make sure the netting is a large cone shape with several layers. If it's bunched together the snakes can get around the netting. The snakes must have to go through the netting and not climb on the outside. Layer it like a women's skirt.

Jun 19, 2016
snakes in my blue bird nest
by: Anonymous

We have tried netting and 2 times the snakes have gotten thru to eat the baby birds. Now we are going to try tack strips.
Peggy (from Florida)

Jun 14, 2016
One baby died snake on nest saved 3
by: Sherrill

Been watching a mama bird and her 4 babies nesting on porch up high on the corner by pole. Its her 2nd batch. Go out tonight to sit on porch and a black snake is on top of the nest.

So I was like not on my watch I hit him with a golf club grabbed a folded tent out of garage to break the fall of any babies and I knocked him out and the baby he was about to get.

The baby landed safely on puffy tent and I whacked at the snake and he took off. My son got a ladder n 2 babies were alive I had one in the house so it only got one.

But if the mother doesn't return I'm going to take them to a vet or animal welfare place. Hoping they make it. And if the snakes comes back my machete is by the door. It was just awful.

May 15, 2016
by: Anonymous

Anyone ever tried a "Scatmat" for keeping snakes away. These are meant to keep family pets away from unwanted places by giving a static like shock, but I wonder with this wrapped around the birdbox pole, it might deter a snake from climbing up?

The only thing though, it's not really meant for outdoors. Perhaps only use it when the weather permits. Any thoughts?

May 02, 2016
Baby Wrens
by: Anonymous

I have (had) four baby Wrens in a nest right outside my screen porch. For days I watched as mama and papa fed these cuties. This morning however, I went out to put my rubbish to the curb and a snake was around the nest and the babies

GONE!!! Snake was resting after eating them. I was sick and cried for awhile. I thought the the nest was safe under the carport. I will not put another flower pot etc., out again....

Pushed the snake out as I can't kill anything. The snake was called a rat snake!!!!

Mar 11, 2016
Snake proff
by: Anonymous

Last year I vaselined post & wrapped duct tape sticky side out!!

Aug 17, 2015
folllow up
by: christy

Well I decided to take my jack Russell outside to help me look (she's very trained, I worked in a dog training facility when I got her) she found one lost baby right off the bat under a piece of cardboard but we never found the other baby.

I put the three in the box and opened the flap so they wouldn't fly out again but the mother came back at 6 am and chipped till they all came out and ushered them to the back yard, I think they are trying to fly, but they aren't very good yet lol I'll still keep looking for my lost baby.

I really don't think the snake got her it was very skinny all the way down and if he got one there should be a lump somewhere...right?

Aug 17, 2015
by: christy

I just found SNAKE in my nest( well the birds )nest , I have a Carolina wren with four babies and she made her nest in a box my husband put on top of his tool box on the carport.

I watch these babies every time we walk outside.

I was able to rescue the babies from the snake BUT they all fluttered out of the box in the mayhem( me chasing the snake with a hoe) now I cant find two of them !!!

It's midnight here and very dark how can I find our missing 2 babies? They were hatched on the 4th so they are 14 days old. ugh I'm so worried about them.

I put the 2 back in the nest and they call when I make kissing noises but I cant hear the lost 2. any ideas?

Jul 26, 2015
Using Grease
by: Gene

Snakes can get by grease. We do not recommend using grease as it takes a LOT and it must be maintained all season.

Bird netting and a predator guard on the post is what we recommend.

Jul 25, 2015
bluebird house
by: Anonymous

Mount your bluebird house about 6 - 7 feet off the ground on a metal pole such as conduit. No nearby limbs or bushes. Grease the metal pole liberally with "axle" grease. You can find it at any automotive parts store. Repeat annually. Snakes can't climb the greased pole. Enjoy the next & future bluebird babies.

Jul 23, 2015
by: Anonymous

I just lost baby blue birds to a large snake. Truly devestating and heart breaking. I am going to try netting or a baffle. Right now, I feel like taking the bird house down I am so upset! My grandkids witnessed the snakes aftermath.

Jul 01, 2015
by: Anonymous

Thank you! will try, also need something to keep squirrels off my hummingbird feeder....they sit and drink it as if it was liquid crack! I'm against guns but losing my patience.

Jun 30, 2015
Another option
by: Anonymous


Nixalite of America, Inc., www.nixalite.com makes what it calls "Climbing Animal Barrier" p. 6 of free catalogue. They say it will keep snakes, squirrels, raccoons, possum and feral cat off posts, gutters, poles.

Go to www.nixalite.com/climbinganimalbarrier.aspx

Or you can call them and describe situation of the nest and they will let you know if it will work.

There are so many approaches for a snake to reach the robin's nest it has raided twice under eves of porch it won't work for me.

In fact snake got inside my porch today. I will try the bunch up netting idea. I think that sounds good and workable. Thanks.

Jun 28, 2015
Just had to kill my first snake
by: Anonymous

The bluebirds have come back every year and continue to have babies in the birdhouse we put out for them.

This morning I heard mama bird going crazy. I looked out and saw the snake relaxing after his breakfast with his head hanging out of the birdhouse.

I immediately headed for the tool shed to find whatever a person needs to rid a snake from a birdhouse.

I have never had to kill anything and I was not happy about this. After numerous attempts to coax him out with my soothing curses & banging on the house.

I finally realized that I could push the house off the top of the post and into the ground.

With a couple swift knocks from the shovel I flipped the house off and out came a snake approx 4 feet long!

All I could hear was mama bird crying for her babies in my head and see those bulges in his body.

I immediately thought of my little dogs who play in the yard less than 10 feet away.

After killing it, I vomited and cried. I cried for those sweet little babies, the mama bird and the snake I had to kill.

I went inside and confessed over the phone to my mother (I'm 44 years old). What a terrible terrible day.

Jun 11, 2015
bird fanatic
by: Anonymous

I am just sick over first time having a black snake lounging in my front porch railing boxes with coleus in them.

I was watering when I noticed something move, then saw it wrapped around the porch column and wondered if the phoebe babies that were just born in a nest up in the corner of the column were ok.

After snake left, I got a ladder out and nothing was there, I can't get this image out of my head.

I have had Phoebe's there before with success but the last 2 broods have been eaten.

Thank you everyone for sharing thoughts on preventing this again and I will try anything, even though the King snake kills the poisonous snakes, I do not want ANY snake on the porch!

Jun 11, 2015
snakes off
by: michael

I have read many of the comments above and feel for every one of you because I have been there. I just found a rat snake in one of my martin gourds yesterday. Thankfully the other birds let me know it was there.

A couple days before I found feathers on the ground where an adult had been eaten. That irritates me.

I have been four years trying to build a colony and have only been able to get four pair to build.

This year I have nine pair and to have this happen is really a hard lick for me to take lightly.

I looked out and saw more martins flying around my poles than I have seen anywhere. My neighbors birds had come to help too.

It looked like hundreds of them going around and around. A closer look, I found a adult hanging out of the gourd like it was hung.

It was close to time for them to come in to roost so the sun was almost down and I could not see why the bird was hung.

As I let the nest down I saw a snake had the bird wrapped and the snakes head was in the gourd and its tail also.

I reached and pulled the bird free and it went to the ground and took a breather while I cut the snakes head off.

The bird flew away and I'm sure it said a little prayer.

From here on I am taking moves to putting netting around my poles.

As for those that have lost young Bluebirds and other nesting baby birds, be watching for Starlings, they will take baby birds out of the nest and kill them especially if they want the other birds nesting areas.

A bitter sweet ending.

May 31, 2015
snake in bird nest
by: Name

This is so Terrible, we have a carport in our back yard. We have a small Robin nest with 4 babies in it. We have watched them grow. Every day we sit there and see mommy and daddy bird feed their babies.

The babies only have about a week or so before they are ready to fly. Last week one of the babies fell out of the nest but luckily it fell on the grass side. When I went outside mommy and daddy bird were going crazy screaming and on the growing.

When I saw what was going on I found the baby and picked it up. It was in good shape so I put it back in the nest. Since then all four babies where doing great. Mom and dad has been feeding all of them.

I was so happy that I saved one of their babies and it is so enjoyable to see them grow up. NOW!! Just tonight I went out to the store and before I left they were all fine but when I got back it was dark out.

I did not hear a thing and I don't know but I just wanted to look at them so I turned the flash light on and to my surprise their was a black snake with one of the babies in his mouth. Aughh.

I was so upset. I got a shovel and was able to hit the snake and it dropped the baby but it was to late.

I killed the snake which I normally would not do but I was so upset. After that I checked on the other babies and their was another baby that was killed also. So sad.

I took the dead one out and buried them both.

Their are still two babies that are alive but very scared. I do not see mom or dad. Will they come back? What should I do now?

I will not let them starve but just don't know what to do. Please help. Thanks.

Feb 27, 2015
valuable advice
by: Janie

There are some great gems of advice on this page for a beginner like me. I'm going out tomorrow morning and take down the new bluebird house I just put up in a backyard tree!

I WILL be purchasing a pole with a baffle to install my birdhouse on along with a 2" entry hole extender ( did some research after reading many comments here).

Hopefully I will be doing enough to keep snakes out now that I realize I can actually be proactive in defending "my" birds! So sorry for everyone who has lost babies to snakes- hope everyone has better outcome this spring!

Feb 20, 2015
by: Holly

I so appreciate all the comments I have heard. We had three nesting boxes raided by snakes last year and I am determined to stop them this year.

One thought I've had is to take a really stiff chicken wire and clip it so the sharp pcs are sticking out and staple flaps of this below the houses. Just a thought.

Oct 28, 2014
Don't Give Up
by: Gene

Don't give up just yet. You can purchase bird/deer netting and wrap it around your pines. We who use the netting are usually wrapping it around a post or pole with Purple Martin housing or placed on a post where a Bluebird house may be mounted.

You will have to use more depending on the size of tree. You can find the netting in the garden section of the big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot.

You'll have to cut the snake out but it works.

Oct 27, 2014
Baby owls
by: Anonymous

We have Sreech Owl houses and have enjoyed watching owl babies fly away only once because SNAKES climb our huge pines and raid the houses close to time for the owlets to fledge!

Then I see a black snake head hanging out of the hole because it is TOO FAT to get back out of the owl house. We never let any snake LIVE once it gets our owlets!

I've seen this happen over and over again. Nothing works to protect our baby owls. I think we have tried it all. The truth is THIS IS NATURE! Snakes eat baby birds as a balance for nature.

I'm come to the decision I will NOT put up more birdhouses once all of ours rot and fall down. I feel like I am NOT being fair to birds by trapping them in birdhouses for easy pickings for snakes.

I just cannot stand to watch it any more! I treasure the fabulous year I had watching and taking pictures of the successful Screech owl family, but call me quits with houses for birds.

Snakes you win! I even liked snakes before they started eating the baby owls....

May 20, 2014
Motion detector for my bird's nest.
by: Anonymous

I am trying to keep my baby birds safe. Cup-like nest, right outside my kitchen window, about six feet above the ground, nest hard to see from everyplace but my kitchen. My first experience.

I have neighbor's cats - I keep my cats inside - I have racoons.

I bought an $18.95 motion detector, with an inside receiver. I sleep with the receiver by my bed, and carry it around. Very sensitive. The sensor is in a large outside pot, 15 feet from the nest.

In addition, I gathered thistles and spread them thickly in a circle around the nest, with about an eight foot diameter.

I started to scatter citrus rinds, but remembered that raccoons like fruit.

I also have some repellant, but think it is the lesser of all my measures.

The motion detector is so sensitive I believe it would pick up a snake - mine picks up movement of the bush caused by wind.

May 14, 2014
horse fencing
by: Anonymous

At this point, perhaps "subtle" electronic shock may be the answer. thoughts?

May 12, 2014
Baby martins gone again (angry)
by: Anonymous

I have read all the comments and am wondering about the duct tape? What if it gets wet from the rain will I have to keep replacing it?

What about the Cheyenne pepper, do I apply it everyday? Seems it would blow away from the wind??

I am furious and have NO problem killing this snake that keeps getting my birds and their babies.

They built their nest on my porch and the only way I see this snake could get to them is to crawl up the lattice that is there on the other side.

I have sat awake at night trying to catch it, but I always end up falling asleep and now for the fourth time my birds are gone!


May 08, 2014
hardware cloth
by: Anonymous

Was it hardware cloth or bird netting that you used. Hardware cloth is metal and bird netting is a netting made of a plastic material.

Your netting needs to be on a frame in the shape of a women's skirt. 3 feet out would be good. It should be bunched up on the frame also.

The netting is sold as bird netting or deer netting. The size of the holes can make a difference. If too small the snakes can get over it. You want the snake to have to go through the netting and not around it.

Sorry that you lost your wrens.

May 08, 2014
Hardware cloth doesn't work against gray ratsnake
by: Anonymous

Much to our dismay, probably more to the dismay of the wren and her babies (I don't know if mama escaped or not), we had a ~4' gray ratsnake that got them last night.

Saw on camera that it went right up and over the hardware cloth, which sits about 2' below the nest and extends ~ 1' out from the pole in all directions.

We caught the snake and displaced her a few nights ago, but I'm thinking she has a nest nearby (under our deck most likely) and found her way back. Anyway caught her on camera... if only the birds would have raised an alarm!

We had the screen open! Last year it was raccoon, this year a snake. Try again next year I guess...

As for the snake... it's future is YTBD.

Mar 29, 2014
Barn Swallows & black snakes
by: Anonymous

We have barn swallows nest in our barn every year. I enjoy watching them - as they return each year to have their families, teach them how to fly, catch bugs. it's really cool to watch.

Snakes have been a problem. I read the bird netting idea and am going to try that this year.

I read in a different website that
hardware cloth works. going to try that too under my bird feeders - they eat the bluebirds too - and the wrens on the front porch. Bought a baffle and put that up today - got it at WBU. we'll see how that works.

I have used mothballs in nylon bags around the barn - and they don't work

2 years ago I started using Liquid Fence Snake Repellent Concentrate (the kind you mix yourself). I spray the perimeter of the barn 3 times a day with a 2 gallon pump sprayer.

I also spray on the boards close to the birds - and the outside walls where I suspect they are going to "slime" up to get to the nests.

I am thinking that it confuses or eliminates the snakes ability to smell the birds. At least that's the product's logic. It seemed to work well last year - (knock on wood).

I only found 2 snakes in the barn one night coming in to raid the nests. I'm sorry to say we killed them. I am terrified of them - and it's either the birds or them so I chose the birds.

It's not cheap - but they irritate me so much and ruin my day that I will spend the money and time to do this.

I used to call an exterminator each time - did that for years - so they could be escorted off our property and relocated miles away. Now we just kill them.

I know they have their place in nature - but not in my barn with the birds.

Apr 25, 2013
Use Duct Tape!!
by: Karen

Last year a snake crawled into a hanging fern basket on our porch and ate the 4 little baby wrens in the nest there. Now there is a new nest.

I took some very slim pieces of wood (kind of like a skinny ruler) and wrapped them with duct tape, sticky side out. I placed them on the ledge that I assume the snake crawled onto to access the basket.

If one should crawl that way again this year, it will become stuck on the duct tape strips and we will dispose of him.

I once accidentally caught a ground rattler on some painter's tape when I was painting our exterior doors. I had left a small piece of tape attached to the trim, and when I came outside the next day, there was a ground rattler stuck in it!!

That's where I got the idea to use the duct tape. I'll bet you could wrap the pole a bird house is on using duct tape, sticky side out, and protect your birds that way. Get creative with the tape.

Sep 03, 2012
snakes be gone
by: beth

I've read everyone's comments and they were helpful however I'm scared to death of snakes and have found two baby snakes on my porch in the past two days and I've used mouth balls and it is not working. Please any advice? On how to rid these babies my fear is there are more.

Aug 06, 2012
...one more snake story
by: Karen

So sorry Angela to hear about your loss.
We currently have three 11 day old baby Carolina Wrens nesting in our Shamrock plant on the front porch.

The night after they hatched, a huge black snake came on our porch...slowly moving toward the planter. Thank God I saw him, as I was about to walk the dog at dusk. Hubby got a broom and struggled to sweep him off the porch.

Most research suggests repellant, as I would never kill the snake, but also don't use chemicals. Clove and cinnamon oil based repellant has worked so far....but since they haven't fledged as yet, we will also take Gene's suggestion of putting the bird netting under the planter and up to the nest.

Good luck with your next nesting...I'm sure there will be another for you to enjoy.

Jun 30, 2012
Black Snake in hanging basket
by: DW

Fern on front porch with 4 little finch type birds. Came home and heard unusually loud noise from basket.

Saw black snake curled in basket. Snake must have went up side of house and came off awning into hanging basket hanging from hook on porch.

These birds have nested several times on porch in hanging "welcome" frog with compartment they could access to build nest.

Have not seen Mother bird return so not sure if she survived or is staying away.

Jun 17, 2012
robins gone:)
by: Anonymous

Had a nest in my carport and enjoyed watching mother coming and going and feeding the babies and then come back and new babies.

Today we went outside, mother was in carport calling out screeching and we saw something up high in the nest, took it down big black snake and it already ate the three babies.

So sad should we move this nest? Will she come back and have more babies since this happened?

Jun 28, 2011
Barn Swallows
by: Anonymous

Barn Swallows love to build their nest on your porch! My momma and daddy come back every spring - its been 6 years now.

They were successful with raising 5 babies this year and I got to watch them fly off to the neighbors cause now momma and daddy barn swallow have 3 more babies to raise, I am sadden for I found 2 snakes in my yard and don't know what to do to help protect the barn swallows!! Advice is always welcomed!

Jun 23, 2011
gopher snake gets in the nest
by: Annie

I also heard that if you rub cayenne pepper on the post, it will keep the snakes off of it! Today, I found my bird nest on my porch, and a baby gopher snake sitting on the ledge where it had been located.

One baby was on the porch, a ways from the nest...and he was still breathing. We relocated the snake and moved the nest and put the baby in it....mom sees him.....keeps watching over him....and I think she is feeding him, but not sure.

His eyes are still closed, breathing is shallow, and he has fuzz and some feathers. This is not a fledgling, sadly, and still needs to be fed by his mommy. I hope he makes it! The rest of the babies are gone. They were all alive yesterday!

Jun 16, 2010
snake proof bird house
by: Jim Kelly

I had a problem with snakes eating baby blue birds. The bird house was on a wooden post about 5 feet above the ground and the snakes had no problem climbing the post and getting the babies.

I replaced the wooden post with a 6 foot piece of metal electrical conduit pipe driven 1 foot in the ground and covered the metal pipe with axle grease.

I reapply the grease on the pipe each spring. That was 2 years ago and I haven't lost a baby bird since.

May 07, 2010
Bluebirds killed by black snake
by: chris d.

We watched with excitement as a pair of Eastern Bluebirds nested in a birdhouse on our back deck.

Around Easter we noticed 6 perfect little blue eggs that looked just like jelly beans in the nest. Soon they hatched, and the mother & father birds were busy day and night bringing food to the hungry little birds.

One morning I was watching them, and then in the afternoon I checked the nest and they were gone! Under the patio table I saw a black snake with bulges...the little bluebirds he had eaten!

I watched in horror as the snake went back into the empty birdhouse and curled himself up. The mother & father bluebirds were screeching and flying in a panic.

My husband then came home and killed the snake.

Now it is so sad because the bluebirds keep coming back to the birdhouse going in and out and chirping as if they cannot figure out where their babies are.

How long will they do this? Will they nest again and have more babies this year?

Jun 29, 2009
Thanks for the info
by: Angela

Cindy, thank you for the info about the bird droppings, I did not know that. I kept the porch clean off about every other day, just because of the mess. But, I was wondering how the snakes knew the birds were there.

Thank you,

Jun 29, 2009
Snakes and baby birds
by: Anonymous

So, so sad. What about setting up a birdhouse..closest to where the bird couple are wanting to nest?

Try removing whatever it is they are nesting in or on.. if at all possible. A bird house on a PVC pipe, at least four feet high, should keep a snake from the nesting pair.

Hammering a type of plumbing pipe, into the ground, cut short.. as a sleeve to some PVC piping, would keep a snake from getting up to the bird house.

And remember not to have bird feed.. anywhere near the nest. As seed droppings bring mice at night, which in turn bring the snakes.
Hope something works out.
Ca. High desert mountains

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Baby Bird Invite.

Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel!
youtube subscribe button