If your mailbox has an open newspaper slot it is often considered prime nesting real estate for our local small songbirds such as Eastern Bluebirds and Carolina Chickadees. Many passerines are cavity nesters and are desperate to find a safe place to nest and raise their young once nesting season begins. Safe is the key word here. Even though the newspaper boxes will keep the nest and eggs dry, the low position and large front opening makes these nests vulnerable to snakes, raccoons and even other birds. These nesting attempts are rarely successful.
If a bird does build a nest and lay eggs in your newspaper box and you do not want it there, remember that native birds are protected by Federal law and it is illegal to destroy a nest containing eggs or to interfere with the nestlings. However, you can install a proper nest box with a baffle close to the newspaper box and carefully relocate the nest while the parent bird is watching. The newspaper box can then be closed off to prevent other birds from nesting there.
Please consider closing up the front of your open newspaper box now in preparation for the nesting season that begins in March.
SIPOA has indicated that open mailboxes can be closed off with a block of wood painted to match the color of the mailbox post/supports.
If you have one of the open newspaper boxes and would like to seal it off but are not able to do so, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our members will be happy to help.