Monday, April 24, 2017

Bluebird Eggs and Disaster

I noticed the male bluebird getting more aggressive towards other birds over the course of a few days. There's a small bird feeder right behind the bird house in another yard that sparrows and other's visit. The male bluebird has been dive bombing the birds at the feeder trying to make them go away.

On Friday, April 14, when I was putting out more worms, I noticed the female was watching me from the birdhouse. When I got close, she of course flew away and I decided to check out the nest. I got my little point and shoot camera out and tried to get it into the bird house since it's above my head. I took a few pictures and discovered there are 3 little blue eggs in the nest.


I took a picture of the nest each morning when I put more worms in their feeder and I was happy to see 4 eggs then finally 5 eggs by April 17.


Unfortunately, on the morning of April 18, their were zero eggs in the nest. I found evidence of 3 eggs broken on the ground under the nest box. There was an aggressive house sparrow trying to get into the nest box, but the male kept running him off.

It's clear after reading about house sparrow aggression towards bluebirds (and others nests) that he was likely the egg killing culprit.

I have a second bluebird box in my basement and I decided to put it up in the back of the property with the hope that the bluebirds will go to that one instead. I also moved the worm feeder back there as well.

I've seen the male blue investigating the box and I've seen both male and female eating worms from the feeder. Hopefully, they'll hang around and make the second box I put up their next nest site.




Friday, April 14, 2017

More Bluebird Activity


Over the last week, I've seen more activity around the nest box. The little blues have been enjoying the live mealworms a lot. On one occasion, I saw the male eating out of the dish and then fly away. A few moments later the female bluebird arrived at the nest with a beak full of nesting material with the male arriving right behind her. It was clear the male was trying to feed the female but since she had a beak full of grasses, he just wound up stabbing her in the head mostly, but hey A for effort, right? But this just made her cringe away from him. She wound up dropping her nest material and ate some worms from the dish below. They just kind slurp up the worms like spaghetti noodles. Its kinda fun to watch.



On another occasion, I saw this bird. A female cowbird was attempting to get into the box. I wasn't sure she could fit through the opening and she made every effort to get in. She was on top, behind, fluttering at the box opening and even going under the bottom of the box looking up for a way in. I know that right now there's no nest inside since the bluebirds have just started but the cowbird doesn't know that. She never did make it into the box but she's one I'll keep an eye out for since cowbirds lay their eggs in other bird's nests.


I also saw a chickadee trying to get into the box. He's small enough that he could've gotten in but the bluebird pair were either watching from the trees or just happened to be checking on their nest box but either way, they ran him off quick.


The sun broke through some clouds and I got some good pictures of the birds feeding on the meal worms.





























Saturday, April 1, 2017

Bluebirds!

I have lived at this address for 18 years and I've never saw a bluebird. I'm sure they've been around but I've never seen one. A few years ago, I put up a bird house and I've had chickadees and a house wren nest in the box. On March 25th, I was sitting out in the screened in porch and just glimpsed two little spots of blue fly across the yard and I happen to glance towards the birdhouse and saw a bright blue little bird and one that was a bit more grayish in color.

It was a pair of bluebirds... on the fence... next to my bird house!




Since I first spotted them (about a week ago now), I've observed both birds taking grasses into the birdhouse. I seem to see the male more than the female so maybe he's around keeping an eye on this prime territory.

And of course, I wanted to make sure the birds stay interested in this area so I bought a little ceramic tray to hang in a small dwarf tree that's next to the birdhouse and I put live mealworms in it. The worm feeder hadn't been touched for several days and I wanted to make sure the little blues found it. So I hung it on the small trellis I have under the birdhouse and I finally saw both birds eating out the dish. If other birds find it or even if they don't, I'll probably move the little tray back into the tree but for now, I wanted the birds to get used it.  Other birds may eventually find the dish and I don't want to disturb the bluebird nest. 

The only time, I've seen a bluebird was in the aviary up at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium so I'm pretty excited to see these little visitors to my yard. And I'm hoping they'll enjoy the water fountain, that I'll put out around late April or May. So they'll have it all house, worms and water. What more could a bird ask for?