Although, it isn't in the prime of a breeding season for birds in my area. I've watched the birds that come and go in the garden. Most notably is this sweet pair of White-breasted Nuthatches-- who had called this red nest box their home this past year. I've twice seen them "beak-touch" French kissing. The first time I saw this sweet interaction between the two. I though hmmmm, maybe they were just displaying courtship behavior. It's more than a french kiss kinda thing, lol. They were feeding one another. For the second time I saw them repeated the behavior after one was just newly returned to their nest box from the feeder (presumably) with a nut on its beak.
The Eastern Blue Birds too occassionally will return and check out this nearby nest box. Though, the Nuthatches are seen more often at theirs. BBs only come and go as they please during the winter. Here is the pair. I saw the male Blue Bird chased away another male earlier during the day.
An exciting development, I've a Downy Woodpecker that explores the nest box!!! It's a first time ever for me. Although a frequent visitor(s) at the backyard's feeder. Woodpeckers were rarely seen near by nest boxes. Woohoooo!!!!
Yes, Mrs. Ed. I am too can't wait for spring. Believe it or not, Tulips-- some are already poking their noses through the ground. A few Forsythias are bloomimng down here too. I hope we're truly experiencing a 'warm winter' and not one that is postponed to a later time.
As far as judging when the bird's are ready to build their nest? I watch these birds' interaction to 'guestimate' when it's the right time. For example, Pekin and Mallard ducks will become teritorial and hostile to one another during nesting season as I've witnessed them in person last year. For the time being they're coexisting and hunting together just as well. Pic. was taken several days ago.
Thanks Kell for some of the pix. Back to the topic at hand; birds activity in the garden. This early morning when temp. drops that seemed to have prompted the Eastern Blur Birds to scout for nesting box.
"Not so fast buddy!" came the White-Breasted Nuthatch defended its domain. lol I got a clip of the WBNH on video fluffing its wings and drove off the Eastern Blue. This is the first time I've ever witness such act.
All through the months of winter, this year. The couple regularly frequent their own nest box ... some day, I'll see them bringing tree bark 'home'. Things are warming up! Hopefully I'll get to see the chicks this year.
Well folks, all through Jan. the Nuthatches obliviously roosted in their house. Feb. they begun to build their nest as evidence by bringing tree barks into their nest box. The Eastern Blue Birds come and go to the nest box next door. My chickadees and Wrens are not seen finding their own place. So, besides other nest boxes that I've put up else where. I just hung this one out hopefully to entice Carolina Wrens since they are likely to nest in any odds places.
Woohoooo!!! I've a prospect! Maybe two. Could you see the nesting material that I 'baited' the birds? Guess what has taken place? Just now I noticed the overhang material wasn't there. I thought the wind must have blown it away. But, not so. I took a closer look and all those straws were neatly tucked inside the nest box. Co-incidentally, I was also awaken by these pair singing not too far from where the nest box is early this morning.
I sure do hope so Mrs. Ed. They (the Wrens) decided to sleep in really late this morning. One just now arrived at the feed station, looked at the seeds but appeared to be begging for suet (except the suet is empty). Hah, they've trained me well. Gotta head out there and refill the suet and give them some meallies. lol.
Oh I saw something this morning, a Blue Birds chased off a Dove who happens to be in the close proximity of the nest box. And Moma and Papa Blue couple were in a staring contest with an American Robin perching nearby. Several days ago, I saw moma Blue chased a squirrel. Yes, a squirrel of all things. lol When comes to defending their babies, there no greater moma than the birds species. Amazing!!!
Meet my new tenants of the lovely house-- above. I saw them feeding each other, that's such sweet thing to see. I also noticed House Finches travel in pair and male finch is bringing his mate food as well. And Cardinal males are chasing one another, spring is in the air!
That bird house is so danged cute and so is the new tenant! I haven't noticed any activity around our bird houses yet, but the blues have been very vocal recently. DH wants to put
more bird houses around the farm so we will see how it goes. He is also moving the Purple Martin gourds to an area recommended by a friend who has hosted them for years. Last year we had many Purple Martins but no one stayed to nest. Our friend assured him that the move would make the difference.
Please share your experience with Purple Martin nests. I've half a dozen gourd birdhouses awaiting to be put up. DH is planning putting the nests up this weekend, it's gonna be our 1st try with Martins.
At the meantime, I think I've "sealed the deal" as Reddirtretiree has said...my Blue birds have finally found the meallies that I've put out for them. And they actively defending their home. Yeah!!!
Hey, soon you'll hear chitty chatters, from that neat little nest box of your. Congrat on the new tenants!!!
Spring has certainly sprung for you.
Rose, what did your friend recommend? Where did you have them up? Was it close to a building? I read somewhere, they like open area. I don't think I have that kind of setting, for them here, but was interested to put one up. I did see some in the yard a few years back, but I think it was the pond that interested them most. Looking forward to see the result of your new setup. And your too Kim.
Thanks Burn, I'm excited about the 'housing project' and will keep the project posted as we come along. Temp. is kinda cool yet out there and I'm one not to keen on enjoying our Northern wind. Mrs. Ed. It has to be fun watching those little teeny wrens trying to take on the "big guys" lol Yes, Willy Wagtails incident is one good way of describing their behavior. lol
#1. There isn't much more activity that I could capture on camera on the new bird house that I put up for the Wrens, except to report more straw was added onto the entrance opening, and more straw were neatly tucked inside the nest box.
#2. Last spring I had a couple of Ferrel ducks the Mallards nesting in my flower pot, this year. They perhaps, came back to survey the area. Pekin ducks will harrass the Mallard during nesting season, here they are getting along--still, perhaps because it isn't quite nesting time for them yet?
Looks like things are starting to pop at your place Lily...it's fun to watch your place this time of the year and know that spring is coming soon!
Lily and Burn...regaring the placement of our Purple Martin gourds: I originally had them set too close to an old barn. I had read the houses should be the same distance away from a structure as it is tall. In this case the barn is about 60 ft tall but the houses were only 30 feet from the building. We are moving the set up to another field farther away from the structures. The friend also said they will like the single electric wire that is fairly close. Here is a link that may be helpful for you http://purplemartin.org/forumarchives/archive/FAQ.htm . The scouts are due in our area in less than a week so I had better get busy and get everything set up. Good luck to all of us!!
Here is the location we dry-run try out, DH and I, however, didn't proceed with the project yesterday for the wind was terrible. Everything happens for a purpose indeed. I need to do more study on the gourd bird houses placement.
Other nesting activity, when I was out in the garden putting out meallies for the Blues. Chickadees came by to explore the Blues' nest box. But the designated couple promptly returned and defended their home. As far as the meallies treat? Gues who found them first? LOL
Hey Kim, I wonder if now that the blues have found the mealies, you might want to move them farther away. I would think that it might stress the blues out to have other diners that close to their nestů Just a thought.
Ah, that's a good thought. Mrs. Ed. How come I didn't think of that? Thank you. I'll see about gradually move the feeder away from the nesting site, so that they can still see where "dinners" is being served. :)
Boys, I let's me tell you. Even though the Blue Birds aren't actively building their nest yet. They have been seen doing the 'Willie Wagtail' things to the squirrels. Their attack come fast and furious which left me no time for photo op. lol What I saw was the couple joined effort. They both came to confront the squirrel together as a team.
Lily_love wrote:Boys, I let's me tell you. Even though the Blue Birds aren't actively building their nest yet. They have been seen doing the 'Willie Wagtail' things to the squirrels. Their attack come fast and furious which left me no time for photo op. lol What I saw was the couple joined effort. They both came to confront the squirrel together as a team.
Indeed they're courageous creatures. Margaret. Here is Moma Blue this morning awaiting for mealies. I also noticed White-breasted Nuthatch Papa bringing food and fed it to his mate? Or could that be the chicks inside? I didn't want to disturb the nest. So I'll be on the look out (from a distance) to find out what's actually taking place. If indeed it's Moma that was being fed. She must be sitting on eggs?
Other possible nesting in the garden. Carolina wrens continue to bring in more nesting material to the new nest box. Brown Thrashers are seen frequenting an evergreen shrub to the side yard. Eastern Towhees are often seen in the area. The garden is such a busy place this time of year.
Marna, things really look good for the couple bluebirds. Bright and shine this morning! They return and appear to be busy at the nest box site. It's time for me to get some mealies out there. :) Oh papa Blue already got some breakfast ready here. Look!
Just an update note;
1. The Nuthatches apparently are feeding each other, as I've seen House Finches and Chickadees doing this mating ritual.
2. The BBs are seen at their nest box frequently all through the day.
3. And, last but not least. I saw one of the Brown Thrashers with straw in its beak. Yeah!
4. More Eastern Towhees and Northern Flickers are seen in the vicinity.
5. Eastern Phoebes songs can be heard all through the day.
Rose, I'm glad you've enjoyed the set up. I've neighbors with various birdhouses for Martins in the area... so I'm excited that they might just find us here the 1st try. I've this question. Will Tree Swallows nest in gourd houses like Purple Martins do? I think we've both Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows here. Though, I know the Barn Swallows make nesting out out of mud and such.
Rose, and Mrs. Ed. Thanks for sharing your experience. Thus far, I haven't had much problem with Starlings, perhaps partially due to foot traffic, and pets that patrol the area? I didn't see House Sparrows very often but an occassional visit. The Nuthatches seemed to be quite cable of defending their home against Hosp. occassional visit of their nest box last year. This year, I've seen Mockingbird pestering the Blues now and then, but they're (BBs) found near by the house more frequent all through the day.
I'm delighted to announce that I'm harvesting the first crop of mealies. Well, they're small yet. Hopefully with this success, encouraging my BBs nesting in the garden won't eat through our pocket book. lol. Oh, just a little while ago, a Myrtle Warbler visited the Blues. Just a friendly visit without incidence/accidence. lol
Oh, Mrs. Ed, last year Ricky and Lucy apparently nested in that house. I wasn't paying close attention. For I've seen residual nesting materials left behind afterward. I may have to pull out the bird cam. and put it into good use this year.
Good gracious! Rose apparently so. The lovely Warbler was no threat. But this is a menacing problem to come... Well at least the one directly on the Gourd, and not the other one on the Willows. Tisk tisk tisk!!!
Well, after more reading on the subject of hosting Martins. Both BBs and Starlings will surely ruins the chances of hosting for Martins. I was thinking to myself, perhaps. I'd be better a hostess, if I just plug those gourds' entrances and kept that as a display bird houses. I'm trying to do the right things here. By far, a Mockingbird has visited, then the lone Starling. No one has shown real interest in the vacant houses just yet.
This morning, I saw many a "swallows" flying around our area. I think those are swallows, but can't be sure.
Although, spring hasn't officially arrived. But by the look in the garden. I feel that it's. So I opened a new thread on the many activity of birds building their nest in the garden. I wished you will join in and share your photos from your homes to ours. We moved here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1246446/