Our old bluebird thread was getting long in the tooth, so at Pelle's request I've started a new one. Not my thread, but one where everyone can share their BB pics. The pair I host are getting more interested in the nest box every day. Last year they began building a nest on 14 March. Won't be long.
A pair of Eastern Bluebirds I shot on a drive to Lake Thunderbird yesterday. Quite a few of them east of town in the openings of the Cross Timbers.
Red, I've a pair that took an interest in this Nest box. Last year they were seen here, or perhaps another couple, but they didn't settle down to raise their family. This Winter I "sealed the deal" by providing mealies in hope to see some little ones soon. Thank you for the thread. Other BBs lovers will surely chime in soon.
My grandchildren got me one like that for my birthday. You can adjust the dome lower if you see the bigger birds getting in. My bluebirds seem to prefer it. It's been an early Spring here too. My bluebirds haven't made up their minds as to which box they will use. Yesterday I caught her putting straw in both of them. The last shot is looking straight up at a great blue heron, flying lower over our house. Another sign of Spring.
Dave, the couple is one handsome pair! LOL look at that Wren ducking the narrow entrance. Thank you for the tip. Thus far, only Wrens are seen to dine with the BBs here, but I'll adjust the dome if I see bigger birds. Red, what's going on with yours (BBs)?
I am surprised my backyard birds aren't nest building yet. We had a mild winter and warm spring. They have been working on a nest by now for the past couple of seasons. They are in and out of the box all day, though. Expect to see them carrying grass soon. Had FOS Lark Sparrows and Monarchs in the yard yesterday.
My bluebird pair finally settled on the NABS style box and as this morning we have two eggs. I then took the Gilbertson box down so they would not spend so much time chasing other birds away from it. BTW, the chickadees are building in the extra box I have on the other side of our house. I hope the male bluebird leaves them alone this time. I may install a hole reducer after the chickadee lays her first egg.
Yes, David, I am sure it won't be long. They seem to track pretty closely. But I have a friend who lives south of Roanoke who found five eggs in a nest on March 8th. I suppose they would have hatched by now. I haven't heard from her lately.
I worry though about cold snaps when we have these early nestings. We have four eggs in our box as of this morning, but she has not started incubating yet and they say tonight it may dip into the mid 30's.
Here is my male sunning in the neighbor's weeping cherry tree. Taken a few minutes ago. We still see lots of hawks around. In the second shot both birds are watching as a hawk circles over head.
Yesterday morning both of the bluebirds came to our deck rail seemingly looking for something. It couldn't be meal worms as they haven't touched any of the trial worms that I have put out for the past 2 years.
Then this afternoon I decided to check the nest again just to see if the cold spell that we have had for the past couple of days had given them a chance to think about laying. Look what I found. It started to rain just as I opened the box so my focus on this shot isn't the greatest.
Congrats David in Stafford. Very happy to hear the news. "trial worms"? It took my BBs a while to find mine, not until they saw Wrens going for the mealies will they come to claim them. Now they come and seem to be waiting for me to bring their treats out every morning.
My favorite set up is the Canon EOS 1D Mark 4 and a 400mm f/4 lens, and I expect most of the shots I post here were taken with that combination, but the shot of the eggs was taken with a Canon 5D with a 100mm macro lens. Even with this pro level equipment the real secret is luring the birds up closer to where you are. Their nest box is just 20 feet from the house and the meal worm feeder that always draws them is even closer.
I know it's not just the equipment, but I wondered how long your lens was. I have a hard time getting sharp pictures with my 400 lens so I don't use it. I should try meal worm feeding, though; I never have. We just see ours flitting around the field when we're working in our garden or walking down the driveway.
I actually have bigger and heavier lenses: A 400mm f/2.8, 500mm f/4 and a 600mm f/4, and of course the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, but those lenses are very heavy and require tripods. The 400mm I use most is Canon's DO model. It features a sophicated mirrored system and as a result is quite a lot smaller and lighter than you would expect with a normal 400mm. I am 74 but I can hand hold it very easily.
If you don't have one already, consider putting a NABS-approved bluebird nest box and baffle on a pole closer to your house. Place it where it will be convenient for you to shoot pictures (Consider the view from a window, for example, or some other convenient blind, such as a shed, where you can set up and not spook them. In winter I often shoot from inside.)
The birds are always looking for housing and will find a new nest box right away. The season is just starting and there's still time for one or two nestings (if not three) in your area. If you have a field they probably already have plenty of insects so you would only need to provide meal worms as a supplement, for example during the week just before the nestlings fledge. At that point they are growing like weeds and devour an enormous amount of food.
I really like your shot of the 6 eggs. I have never seen that many eggs in a BB nest. They must be comfortable with your setup knowing that you have a supply of mealies to help them with "child rearing".
We have several bluebird boxes and two special bluebird houses with predator guards made by a friend. The bluebirds use the boxes that are affixed to the posts in our field but don't seem to like the special bluebird houses. Those attract house wrens and chickadees more typically, although tree swallows do try to take over the boxes at times.
We now have 4 eggs on the nest. Looking for the fifth one tomorrow. Then - unless I get a pair like Dave's that wants to lay a 6th egg, we should begin the sitting and incubating until about April 16th hatching.
The answer to your second question is yes. I always take a camera out with me, even if I am checking the flower beds. Sometimes the birds are very hungry and they will fly in and perch side by side, so close to me that I have to back up before the camera will auto focus I have gotten some of my best shots of the two of them together that way.
If you are asking how I got so close to the eggs, I used a camera with a macro lens. My biggest problem was that I had to tiptoe to get high enough to look straight down into the box. With that lens I could have held it just a few inches from the eggs but in order to get them all in the picture I held the camera about 18 inches above the nest. This is a nest box I built over the winter. The top is hinged and lifts upward and the front pulls forward and down so I can get better access and plenty of natural light so I can get good pictures. I never use a flash for birding. I am hoping to get some better shots of the eggs as they actually hatch and, assuming all six hatch, a few good shots of the six of them, crowded inside that 4" by 4" box.
It sounds like your pair of birds consider you to be friendly and are not as skittish as mine seem to be. Of course I have a longer way to go to get to my bird house. It is about 60 feet from the house. I am going to try the meal worm feeder again to see if they catch on to it this year.
Thanks. The birds do recognize me, partly because I have been feeding them all winter. I started out by placing a few worms near the box -- almost underneath it, so they would sure to see them. Then, after a few servings I moved the dish a little closer to where I wanted to draw them to. It took me several days to lure them to the deck where I have been feeding them ever since.
The only problems with meal worms is that they are expensive and that many of the other birds (titmice, Carolina wrens, chickadees, song sparrows and even house sparrows) will compete for the worms once they realize they are available. To say nothing of the robins, starlings and mockingbirds, which will gobble them all down like a hungry dog.
Not sure if you have a Wild Birds Center type store in North Stafford, but there are stores of that type further north of you. Anyway, they sell them in containers of 100 and up but they charge a lot. Meal worms will keep several months if they are kept refrigerated, and some people (wives) don't want them in their refrigerators. I bought a fridge just for my meal worms. I order 10 thousand at a time and I get them from a supplier in Southern California. I only pay $39 for the worms, but the shipping (FedEx second day air) costs as much as the worms. They are not really worms at all but are the larvae stage of a black beetle and if you don't keep them cool they will turn into beetles. Also they don't take heat well at all. Half an hour in a 90 degree heat will dry them out and make them crispy and the birds will not eat them. If you have time, go to the Sialis site ( http://www.sialis.org/) and read all about them. She also lists some of the bigger suppliers, as I recall.
Shouldn't be long now. In this shot, taken at 4 pm today, you can see the pip marks on several of the eggs as the chick starts to cut its way out. I expect tomorrow I will see that four have hatched and since she laid the other two after she began incubating the first four, the fifth and sixth should hatch within the following two days.
Well, the first four have hatched and one of the remaining two eggs has pip marks so it should hatch tomorrow. If you look at the upper part of its beak, near the tip, you should see its piping tooth. The second shot is cropped so it should be easier to see in that one.
The sixth egg did not hatch so this afternoon I took it out. We had reached the point where even if it had hatched today it would have been four days behind its siblings with almost no chance to make it in the nest. I noticed it did not have any pip marks, so after I candled it and didn't see anything, I broke it and it contained nothing but egg white and a little yellow yoke. The female was still turning it last night and probably would have kept turning it for a few more days, had I not removed it.
Here is a closeup taken with a macro lens Not much to see except the feathers are starting to come out. But you can assume that if the sixth one had hatched today it would be under this pile.
My brood of 5 hatched last night or early this morning. I noticed both parents flying back and forth to the nest with food this morning so I took the camera out to see. I didn't get all 5 here but take my word for it.
Great news David! Mine are growing fast and the parents are having to hustle to keep up. Also, we have more than usual hawk activity this season (I saw three this afternoon), so they are much more cautious in ferrying food to the nest box. In the second shot you can see him wing-wave to her as she flies from the nest box.
Then yours must be about eight days old, Lily At least that's how old mine are and today I first heard their "voice." I hear it on the nest cam and it is a real chorus when they all chirp at once. They should have their eyes open tomorrow. Here is a shot from this morning -- in the rain. Already you can see enough blue on the wing feathers of several of them to tell they are males.
As I said, we had rain today so, not many good photo opportunities, but here are a few from yesterday when I dragged out the 600mm to shoot the birds as they exited the nest box. In the first two they are removing fecal sacs, then a couple of the female leaving. The last one is the male dropping down to retrieve a dropped meal worm.
Don't know if you can see this well, but this is the female bluebird, blindsiding a pair of cowbirds that were on "her" perch. This was just after she actually bumped one of them. I was close enough to hear the impact.
[quote="2dCousinDave"]Don't know if you can see this well, but this is the female bluebird, blindsiding a pair of cowbirds that were on "her" perch. This was just after she actually bumped one of them. I was close enough to hear the impact.[/quote]
I have been watching my pair all day flying in and out with food and fecal sacs respectively. I cut the lawn today so I am not going to disturb them any more trying to get a photo of the young ones. They are still in the"fluffy" stage - no feathers yet.
To Dave and Dave, how old will the hatchlings be when they fledge please? I just returned from the garden,and I heard them little ones chatter in side the nest box. Also, how often should I offer mealworms for feeding? I appreciate your input.
Lily - the book answer is 17 days following the hatch. But as with anything in nature, this could vary depending on the actual development and strength of the young. The experts tell us not to disturb the young birds after about the 11th or 12th day to prevent an early attempt at fledging.
Mine have fledged as early as day 16 and as late as day 18 following the hatch.
Here are a few photos from this afternoon. Momma and Papa bird have been busy feeding the young ones. I heard their chirping for the first time today. I didn't open the box this time. Maybe tomorrow if it doesn't rain.
I wanted to get a shot of the birds flying into or out of the nest box. Here is what I was able to capture. I don't think I have as good control as Dave does on his shots. I am also a bit further away from the birds. My birthday present is going to be a better telephoto lens.
Thank you Dave, those are photos are really nice. Like you, I haven't mastered the in flight pics. yet. Looking forward to new pics. everyone. Oh Dave, thanks for the tips on the Blue Birds. I'll be careful not to frighten the young ones to fledge prematurely.
Thank you Lily. I look forward to seeing some of your birds also.
I noticed that I did not respond to your question about mealworms. I have not fed my birds mealworms - although I have tried. My birds have brush and moist woodland around my lot and they seem to know where there is a good supply of bugs and grubs.
I intend to put out a mealworm feeder again to try to help them during the summer. I know that Dave feeds mealies and some others on the thread may also. I defer to them for their opinions.
Great shot of the flying papa. I would like to use it for my desktop background for a few weeks if that is okay with you.
Here is a photo of my 5 little ones. I believe that I can see a little blue on the wing of the second one on the left. Mom and Papa bird dive-bombed me as I tried to get this shot so I only took one picture and left.
Here is my brood on day 12. You can really see the blue feathers on the two on the flanks. They are having a hard time squeezing down into the cup of the nest. Not too bad a shot, considering it is raining here. I may try for a quick peek at them tomorrow, if the rain stops. After that, we will have reached the point where it is too risky to open the box.
Thanks lilly-love! Love your photo, I really enjoy seeing them at the entrance hole.. They will be out soon! I missed my oppertunity when mine left, Hope you get a chance to catch yours leaving! ( I posted photos of the mockingbird and the thrush in the last thread, Unfortunately, I think something got the thrush because she has not been back and the five eggs are still in the nest ... I hate when when the little ones don't get a chance to make it to adults! I'm hoping that she just abandoned it for some reason, But, I really don't think so as she stayed on them through sun wind and pouring rain when she was there, It's one of the ugly parts of life I guess! )
Mine should fledge this coming Saturday, or Sunday. I will be ready ALL day, starting Saturday. As some of you know, I am not content in just watching them go, I try very hard to get good pictures of them as they leave. It is not easy because they don't always fly in the direction you think they will, and two, they don't tell you when they are ready to go.
Here are three shots from a past fledge day, showing a male fledgling as it peers out, then makes that "leap of faith."
I finally got to see the babies! Mom & Dad started bringing them to the mealworm feeder and birdbath yesterday! There are two babies, and there were two unhatched eggs in the nest. I can hardly think of anything cuter than baby bluebirds.
Dave, You did a Great job catching them fledeging! You are absolutely right, It "Is Not" an easy thing to do, But you have done it well! I so look forward to seeing how you make out this weekend and wish you lots of luck!!
thebestmissy, I enjoyed the photos, They really are Soooo cute!!
While it's not recommended that you open the nest box after day 12, the weather was nice and I took a chance late this afternoon. Today is day 14 and it will be the last time I open it until after they fledge.
Nice shot Dave. Looks like they are getting ready to move.
Iris, like your photos of the parent birds. Good luck on catching the next brood.
thebestmissy- I really like seeing the young ones coming back to the neighborhood. I have not seen any of mine come back - probably because I do not have a mealworm feeder that they can use, I guess that I am going to have to get one as you, Dave, Lily, and about everyone else on the board seems to do good with them.
Here is a shot of my group of 5 this morning - 10 days old. They look crowded in these photos. We will see what happens in the next few days as they grow.
2dCousinDave,That was chancy, but, It's a beautiful shot! Shows the intense blue coloring ( Which I can't seem to get with mine) Your nest boxes must open from the top?? Mine open from the front ( not easy to get light in)
bluebirdsnbells, Thanks! I like your nestlings photos. I think it would be a great idea for you to try some mealyworms, I ordered some for the Bluebirds and they sure do love them! Cardinals do too! I don't have a mealyworm feeder, I use a pottery dish and it works out fine, They always keep coming to it.
Iris, my nest box opens from the top AND from the front. I made it myself so that I could get more light. The top hinges back and has a hook to keep it closed when the wind blows hard. Then the front panel pivots from the bottom so there is nothing in the way when I want to take a picture. The top is steeped so that I have enough head room to mount the nest cam out of their way. You can see the wire running from the nest cam.
You did a great job with it, It's nice to be able to get the light like that, You can't really get that nice blue coloring without the light. ( I'm impressed that you made such a unique box for them with your advanced ideas in mind.)
I used to have a nestcam a long while back and tried it for different birds ( Including owls) I really enjoyed watching the activity, But, Squirrels chewed the wiring on mine and I threw it out and forgot where I had ordered it from, Do you mind if I ask you where you got yours? ~ Excellent shot of the male and female together!
Yesterday was the first time we ever saw a Bluebird in the yard. Amazing what I can see when I do the dishes. :) We do not have any boxes up, too many HOSP at this time, but I did enjoy the brief time he was here.
Here's mine at 7 days old--unfortunately it had gotten cold and only 3 out of the 5 made it. good news is that if they fledge this will be our earliest yet; with a chance to have three broods this year.
BCH521 - good to see another brood of birds. This spring weather has been so unpredictable. Sorry for the loss of the two but you will probably have at least 1 and maybe 2 more broods this year. Nice photo of the nestlings.
Dave - I hope that you get the photos on the weekend. I am going to miss my fledge this time around. I will be at a meeting in Charlottesville over the weekend of May 4-5 when mine are projected to fledge. Maybe they will wait until I return late Saturday afternoon.
I will surely be out there watching for them and trying to get a picture or two. Made our weekly run to Baltimore today and came home early because I knew the birds would be out of worms. They were and were they ever glad to see me. I got a few good pictures . Here is one of the two together taking a short break.
My birds fledged today --one day early!! Of Course I was ready!!
Actually I was on the deck setting up for tomorrow when the first one suddenly peeked out and flew straight toward me. My wife was on the deck with me and the bird nearly landed on her! It actually landed on the railing, not more than 2 feet from her. She stood there perfectly still for more than 10 minutes while it assessed the situation, then it flew down to a Japanese maple tree where a robin has its nest, and was attacked by the robin-- But that's another story.
The first shot is of Number four, taken with camera one, and the next four shots are of Number five, taken with camera two. (I got pictures of all five departures but some are better than others).
Dave, congratulations on the good fledge and wonderful pics. I wonder if everything this year is going to be "a day early" as seems to be the case on both yours and my sets of birds. If they hold to that "day early" routine I may get to see mine on Thursday before I leave on Friday. I will be looking on Thursday with the camera ready.
BCH - nice "find".
Lily- Yours look a bit anxious also. How long until they fledge?
Chillybean - It is good to see the bluebirds in your neighborhood. If you can get some control on the HOSPs you might be able to encourage a nesting or 2 of the bluebirds. Good luck,
Dave, this is my first ever Blue Birds experience so I don't know for sure, and I've been quite anxious for I haven't seen Papa Blue since the 24th! Momma Blue is seen feeding her young. But I don't see the Papa Blue :((
2dCousinDave, Congrats on the great pics of the fledgeings! And thankyou for the info on the nestcam!
Nice pics everyone!!
Here's a few of my most recent ones ( Took these kinda fast as I haven't had much time for pictures lately) ..
1st one is the male going to pull the sticks out of the wrens box, He keeps doing this for some reason and also beats the tar out of the wren whenever he gets the chance.
2..The females waiting and watching on top of the light for her mealy worms
Missed another one. Dave, everything seems to be happening 2 days early this year in Stafford. There was a flurry of activity yesterday with both parent birds going in and out of the nestbox with food. Every once in a while one of the nestlings would poke its head out to look around and I got a few photos of that. We had an early dinner (around 4:30 pm) with my daughter and her son from Fredericksburg, and our son visiting us from Seattle. The young must have fledged either while we were eating or early this morning. I did not notice any activity at the nest box this morning and when I checked the box at 2:30 this afternoon it was empty.
I did get some photos of yesterdays doings: 1 is the female resting after feeding the brood; 2 is one of the young checking out the surrounding trees; 3 is papa bird after delivering a grub.
Cute shots David. Sorry you missed their leaving. Hopefully next time. But actually, most people miss seeing it -- even experienced bluebird hosts.
But when they peek so their heads are sticking out, it usually means they are going that day. Especially if they start doing it early in the day.
My female has completed her second nest but no eggs yet. We were in Baltimore today and got back after 7:00. They were waiting for their supper.. I saw four together (through the camera lens) and I am hoping the fifth is lurking somewhere in the leaves. They should all start coming to the feeder in a few days.
My female has laid three eggs in the second nest and the fledglings (I have seen four of the five) are coming to the deck with the parents for meal worms. The robins are really giving the fledglings a hard time.
Mine fledglings are a couple days younger than Dave's. They come to the feeder with Momma now, but haven't learned how to get into the dome feeder set up. They do, however get to one that's below which has easy access to the bowl.
Nice shot lily- I think I'm going to put a small plank out and set the bowl on top so they can all come and eat, It will be right by my patio, So I know nothing is going to get them when they come down to eat, The only problem I see when they are eating is that one of the female BBs ( Not the female parent) knocks the fledgelings off the feeder sometimes when they are eating, Has anyone else seen this happining ?? She will also eat every mealworm there is without flying off at all and when the bowls empty, She will wait at the top of a lamp pole for the next batch of worms.
Photos of her ... Maybe a fledgeling from last year? ..
Lily, I was using the dome type feeder but switched to the wire cage because I knew it would be easier for the youngsters to learn Several have already started going into the feeder to be closer to the adult that picks up the worms. When they are weaned I will switch back to the dome. This first shot shows one of the fledglings in the cage with the adults.
Thank you Dave, I'll be looking out for a cage feeder. I like that idea alot. Currently all sort of birds are paying extra attention to the open feeder I have for the Blues and Wrens. lol Luckily, I've success raising mealies. So they can share the wealth for the duration.
Iris, I haven't experience with competition between female BBs at the feeders. 5 days after the family Blues lost papa Blue, a new male accompanied the Moma, I was hoping that he would help her bring food to the fledglings, but he showed up at the feeder a time or two, then no more afterward. The other birds that are interested in the mealies currently are Mockers, Cardinals besides the Carolina Wrens. But some how, I've noticed that the BB Momma is quick to notice feeding time. She got the lion share of the mealies before others are aware that food was available. In which I'm so glad.
Dave, I just love, love the series that you've just shared. Thanks.
Dave, Great photos!
Lily, Not much competition here for the mealies besides the female that will take over if given the chance, The cardinal and wrens sneak in and take some but the BBs get the majority of the worms, I've had a tufted titmouse stop in a few times, But, He doesn't seem interested in them, Haven't had any mockingbirds take any either.
I just recently started raising mealies, If you got any tips, Let me know. I have been buying mine off ebay, I bought 3000, But, They go so fast they just don't last! lol!
Well, Today, I noticed the male Bluebird chasing off the female BB that's been hanging around and chasing the fledgelings when they ate, He gave her quite a scolding! The little BB's are starting to come in and eat by themselves now, ( 80% of the time, They come in with dad BB, %20 of the time they have been venturing in by themselves.) I just love watching them!!
Few of todays photos ...
Iris, I begun my venture with raising mealies sometime at the end of last year. It isn't fun; that will sum up the whole process. Everything I learned was from this wonderful website: http://www.sialis.org/raisingmealworms.htm
My only advise is DO NOT get mites while you raising mealies. It was a headache for me. Once I got over that. It was smooth sailing.
Lily, I read about the mites somewhere and I microwave all the bedding I buy, Sure hope I dont get any mites, I'm trying my best not too, Now, Thanks for the link, I think I'll go and take a look at it now! ..Thaks for posting it!
Well now I am getting a bit concerned. It has been 3 weeks since my birds fledged and I have not seen the male and female starting a new nest. The nestbox is still clean and empty. The last couple of years they started building a new nest about a week after the first fledge. Have you experienced this long of a delay?
David, mine female (the same Momma Blue) was just showing some interest in the nestbox yesterday. Whereas 2nCousinDave's Momma BB already initiated her second nest with eggs while she still assisting her mate feeder feeding the 1st brood. His started out a few days before mine this year. So I thought it all depends on each individual bird?
Not me... ever. But then, mine never really leave my yard. When they fledge they fly to the trees right behind the house and I saw (some of) them there every day. They started coming to the deck for meal worms with the parents in less than a week and now they are flying down on their own when they see me out on the deck. As I mentioned earlier( I think), Mama started her second nest on Monday following the Friday they fledged and three of the four eggs she laid hatched this morning. I think she started earlier than usual this time because other birds were showing an interest in the nest box. Can't imagine why yours haven't returned, David. Possibly they found another nest box because they certainly should be nesting by now.. If they did try a different location, they may show up at yours for the third nesting (about a month from now). And maybe a different pair will choose your box before then.
I was going to post the last photo on the "It's a Bird's World" thread, but I will I will add it here instead.
Love the pix!
bluebirdsnbells, My pair never really left the yard, But, It still took them a while to start a new nest, Which now has three eggs in it. Daddy still feeding the flegelings ( Though they do come by themselves sometimes too) Mom won't feed them, She will let them eat out of the bowl, But, She won't feed them, Seems she must want them to learn on there own now.
Wishing your BBs will start their nest again soon Dave in Stafford. 2d Dave, your photos had my DH goes oooh and ahhh every time he sees them! I especially partial to that youngster spreading his/her wings.
My female BB found a new mate, the two of them were busy as bees building their 'new' nest today. I saw Momma Blue with straw in her beak. Yay!
Well my fourth egg has finally hatched and they seem to be doing all right. It has been raining the past two days so I imagine Papa has had a time finding small spiders and bugs to feed them. Here are several pictures of the one fledgling from the previous clutch that is still begging for meal worms.
Great pics I wish my camera would take pics like that. We just put up a bluebird house and have a pair of bluebirds checking it out. They both are there everyday. One is going into the house while the other one is standing guard. We have another one but the house sparrows usually occupy it. So I put this one out on the fence post and so far the house sparrows have not bothered it. Hoping to see some babies come from this
Sami, When they are at there feeding bowl they are only about 20 ft away, makes for good photos ( I do use a long lens too though) I hope your Bluebirds nest for you, But, Keep an eye on those house sparrows.
ducbucln, Thanks! I love all the fledgelings here ( Theres a lot of them this year!!!) But, I must say, I think the Bluebirds are the prettiest!!
My bluebird house does not have a hinge on it. We want be able to see when they lay eggs or when they hatch. After they do nest and the little ones leave I am going to fix it so it has a hinge on it so I can take a peek at them. Our house is about 100 feet from the house but I thought that would be better and keep the sparrows away since they stay close to the house. My next purchase is going to get me a better camera so I can get better pic of the birds. That is one of my favorite things is to watch the birds
Yeah - I believe that bluebirds have returned. Yesterday I noticed what appeared to be several pair of bb's checking out the nestbox. Today I had a pair actively going in and out of the box carrying nesting material. Hopefully I will see a complete nest soon. I have not gone out to check today as I did not want to disturb their progress.
It looks like this is a different pair from my earlier nesting. The male seems to have a larger and brighter orange bib on his breast.
Here are a few photos that I took today while they working.
And great photos Dave, Lily, IRIS, ducbucin, and Sami. Good luck with your nesting, Sami.
David in Stafford
--glad to be back in the "bb" business again!!!
Sami, Sorry that you don't have a hinged one, It helps alot, Not only to check on them, But, Also to see if somethings there that shouldn't be and helps greatly with the cleaning of the nestbox with each use. ~ Watching the birds is one of my favorite things too, I kept upgrading camera's through the years untill I found one that I was happy with.
David, Great news!! ~ I'm sure you are really happy that they are back!! Hopefully, You'll see eggs soon, ~I enjoyed the photos, Thanks for posting!
Welcome! I've had 3 eggs in mine for over a week, I believe 3 eggs will be the limit for this clutch, But, Thats usually the norm for me here. All Fledgelings from the first batch are still coming back, It's so interesting to watch, Both parents are now rejecting feeding the fledgelings so they definately want them to find food on there own now. ~Hope you see eggs when you check in a day or two!
I am wondering if I put the house in the wrong place. It is on the fence post at the end of the dog pen. They come to the end of that fence a lot and bark at what ever they can. I just check it and the are no longer around the house. I think I will move it down away from the fence. I would like to move it closer to the house so I can see it. I might even try to fix a hinge somehow on it while I have it down. Also would it help if I put some a meal worm feeder out. I thought about putting the birdhouse on my shed but want this bother them if we are going back and forth to the shed?
My BBs house is very close to our walking path. And even though the female Blue has been seen bringing straw into the nestbox for 3 days in a row. This past weekend traffic has picked up. And I haven't seen my BBs coming back. Now is my turn to turn 'blue' for not having my Blue Birds back.
Sami, I can see where the location close to a dog enclosure or any place where the dogs could menace their daily activity could b a problem. I wouldn't worry too much about the wind and rain. They seem to take care of themselves in woods and other cover pretty well. Moving the house should not be a problem if they have not started to build a nest. I have no experience in relocating an already nested box. Maybe Dave, Lily, or one of the others might be able to help you with that. I would think that if it is not moved too far (and "far" is not defined) that they would still recognize the box as their place.
Lily, I walk right by my nest box to my outdoor shed a couple of times a day. I stop at the box to check on things as mentioned above. I don't think that the birds see me as a threat and they tolerate the occasional look-see.