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Bluebirds - Spring 2012 - part 2

Stafford, VA

The last thread was getting a bit large so pelle asked that a new one be added. We came from here http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1244748/

My second nesting is about to begin. The 2 birds have prepared the nestbox and should lay the first egg either today or tomorrow.

Thumbnail by bluebirdsnbells
Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Thank you David in Stafford for the new thread. Mine (BBs) activity is quite eratic. I don't see them as often as I was hoping to. Will share pics. as I see them around. Congrats on your second brood for the season.

Even at the mealworms feeder, the Wrens and the Titmouse are regular, instead of the BBs.

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Marlton, NJ

David, Thanks for starting the new thread!

East Prairie, MO(Zone 7a)

I did not see any BB at the BB box where I had put it next to the dog pin. So I moved it today closer to the house. I also too out the screws and put some coggle pins in it so that I could watch the BB later. When I took out the screws the front just slides off now and it makes it a lot easier to be able to watch the birds and cleaning out the nest. Looked inside and they had already started building a nest. After I finished with it saw a BB back where it was before looking for the box. I felt so bad that I had moved it but the dogs would run over when they saw a BB so I felt it best to move it.

I saw a bird hoovering around the new box through the window but was not sure if it was the BB or not. Did not get there fast enough to see if it was. I sure hope the sparrows dont try and move in.

I tried to get a meal worm feeder yesterday but they did not have any. I am going to Va Beach next week to the bird store and get one there and some worms.

Wish me luck and hope our BB finds the new place.

Sami

East Prairie, MO(Zone 7a)

David is that an extra top on the BB house for shelter or was it just made that way. Also thanks for starting a new thread.

Sami

East Prairie, MO(Zone 7a)

If the BB has already started their nest will the sparrows honor that. I just watched a sparrow go into the box a little earlier. I still can see the bluebirds out where I had the BB house before I sure hope they will find it again. I put out a blueberry container with some berries and raisons in it on the side of the box. Maybe that will attract them.

Sami

Stafford, VA

Sami, I will bet that your bb(s) are finding that the home has move just a bit and they will return to nest building or house management soon.

The "extra top" is just a piece of T-111 that I have put over the house to try to keep some of the sun off during the summer It is about an inch longer on each side for overhang and screwed into a wedge block on top of the timber pole. I can move it right or left when I take the box down for cleaning after each brood.

Interestingly, the new male bird did not use the extra top on arrival at the box but would hop up between the top of the nest box and the T-111. I couldn't get a photo of him under there. He doesn't do that any more and sits on top when the female is in the box.

David in Stafford

ps. Here is a good resource for your House Sparrow problem. http://www.sialis.org/index.html

Stafford, VA

Quote from Sami :
If the BB has already started their nest will the sparrows honor that. Sami


House Sparrows (HOSP) do not HONOR anything!!! See above resource!!!

I would also suggest that if you have a feeder for other birds near by, that you remove it for a while. The HOSP may leave the area if there is no easy supply of food for them. I took down my finch and cardinal feeders last year and I haven't seen a HOSP near my yard or BB house since. I see them at a neighbors feeder about 6 houses away. I am tempted to ask him to alter his feed. (It looks like he uses the general bird seed that attracts the HOSP.)

David in Stafford



This message was edited Jun 1, 2012 6:31 PM

East Prairie, MO(Zone 7a)

Hurrah!!!!! My BB is back. At least one of them. I could not get a close look at it this morning to see if it was the male or female. When I got up the first thing I did was look at the patio door and saw a BB sitting on top and then landed on the tray and took a blueberry and then carried it to my grandsons seesaw but dropped and it rolled down the seesaw. It did this several times as if it was a game. He still flies back to where the box was before but comes back to the new place. Have not seen any sparrows near the box so far this am. Here is a couple of pics with the BB on top of the box

Sami

Thumbnail by Sami Thumbnail by Sami
East Prairie, MO(Zone 7a)

Oops sent the same pic

Sami

Thumbnail by Sami
Stafford, VA

Congratulations on the return of your Bluebirds, Sami. You want to watch that the HOSP do not interfere with their nesting.

For All - The good news is that we now have a new brood on the way, one new egg. The bad news is that I noticed that I have little black ants crawling all over the nestbox and inside the nest. Is there any way to treat this condition? Will it harm the little ones when they hatch? I don't want to spray the box to kill the ants with the female just beginning to lay her eggs.

Here is a photo of the new egg. I didn't see any ants in this shot.

David in Virginia

This message was edited Jun 2, 2012 3:10 PM

Thumbnail by bluebirdsnbells
Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Congrats to both. David, black ants? Argentina ants? Those ants are hard to rid off. They're looking for moist place to nest and produce eggs like you wouldn't believe! I was wondering if you can provide some sugary liquid nearby and help draw the ants away?

Is there moisture beneath the nesting material? I was wondering if that is the case, I don't know if it's too late to replace them with fresh straw and somehow prevent water from collecting there?

With our nestbox. I unscrewed the door, discarded the old straws and washed out the nest box. DH glued the cracks to the nestbox and air dried it out while the box was vacant.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

On my BBs, I don't see them as often as earlier in the spring. But at least once or twice a day I caught a glimpse of the couple going in and out of the 'house'. Here is the Momma Blue being watchful of her surrounding. The Brown Thrashers have been a sort of manace. They chase them off the meal worms feeder every chance they get.

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Marlton, NJ

David, I sent you a D mail. :-)

Stafford, VA

Thanks pelletory,

I am changing my wood post to a concrete filled pcv pipe with a flange on top to hold the box. I will put the green gardeners tape and Tanglefoot (if I can find it) on the pole to control the ants and other pests..

David in Stafford

Stafford, VA

Here is a shot of the female in the nestbox. I must have caught her napping when I approached the box late yesterday. When I opened the door she huddled to the back wall and I took the quick snap, closed the door and did not look in the box for the rest of the day. She was back at the box this morning and has laid her second egg.

Thumbnail by bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

I have cut some new grass to try to make a new nest for the brood.. I am going to try to change it out on Wednesday if I can get the PCV pipe in place.

Here are the 3 eggs that we now have

Thumbnail by bluebirdsnbells
Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Those eggs look wonderful. I like your plan on the revision of the nestbox setting. Congrats on the smooth transition of the 2nd brood Dave.

East Prairie, MO(Zone 7a)

Well I have not seen my bluebirds in 2 days. The hosp have been hanging around the box too. I run them off as soon as I see them out there. Hopefully they will come back

Sami

Stafford, VA

Thanks Lily. I Hope that it goes well. I have never tried this before.

Sami - Sorry to hear about the HOSP return. It might be the time to take down the house until they disappear. You don't want to let them establish a nest in the box. They will be there forever if you do. I have only had to do that once. And along with removing the bird feeders they (HOSP) have not returned.

I am going to try to put up the finch and hummingbird feeders after the new brood hatches and then put up the other songbird feeders after they fledge/

David in Stafford

The Ozarks, MO(Zone 5b)

I am way behind in posting to this thread but sure have enjoyed lurking! Love seeing and hearing about all the Blues...my favorite bird.

In our area we've had one nesting and this morning the second nest of 5 is in the process of hatching. Our first nest had 4 eggs but only 3 fledged (for some reason one was dead
in the nest). The three juveniles have been coming to the meal worm cage even though the parents try and shoo them away.

Best of luck with your Blues!!

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Rose, I'm so glad to see you posting. Best wishes on yours as well. In my garden, the momma Blue is seen at the nestbox once or twice every day. She has been very secretive on coming/going since the Cooper hawk took her first partner. My first fledglings, there were 3 of them, haven't been back since the new papa shooed one of them away from the mealies feeder a week or so after they fledged. I so love my Blue Birds as well.

Iris, how are yours doing, and Red? Haven't seen Red posted for a while. Red you're missed.

Stafford, VA

Rose, Good to see you back.
Lily - sorry to hear about the loss of your male. Has the female had any new suitors?

We haven't heard from Dave in a while also. Hope everything is going well around the country.

Shot of the 4th egg.

David in Stafford

Thumbnail by bluebirdsnbells
Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Yes, Dave. There is the new male courting her. They're well on their way with the 'new' nesting. I hope to modify the nestbox after this brood, hopefully so I can gain access to the entrance way and hope to take some photos of the future generations -- so to speak. Me too, hope to hear from our friends from the country.

The Ozarks, MO(Zone 5b)

Thanks Dave & Lily.

Dave...those blue eggs are so very very gorgeous!!

So far 4 eggs have hatched!

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Congrats on the four Rose! Let's pass the cigars, lol.

Stafford, VA

I'm a non-smoker but I will have a sip of wine to celebrate. : )

David in Stafford

Fredericksburg, VA

Hey!! I am here too!!!

Like Rose, I have been lurking. For some reason DG won't let me post under 2d Cousin Dave so I am signed on with an old name I used when I posted pictures of flowers. My four BBs are peeking and should go tomorrow. The five from the first clutch are still here and doing well. But Papa has tried to chase them several times. Also, I have a new pair trying to build a nest in the newspaper box out on the street. I brought a spare nest box out and she is now building in that. I hope to move it up near the house on the opposite side from where the original bluebird nestbox is. I expect a big fight and they probably won't coexist, but hopefully they will. I have been taking lots of pictures. Too bad I can't share them.

The Ozarks, MO(Zone 5b)

Welcome back 2nd Cuz Dave!! Looks like we have enough for a party and I just bought some pina colada mixer if anyone is interested!!
Dave...have you check with admin about your problem (with Dave's...lol) ? I hate to miss out on the action at your place. I know I have learned most of what I know
about Blues from your posts and I know others will benefit as well. Besides...I miss the jaw dropping photography. If nothing else please provide a link so we can view your
photos elsewhere.

All 5 eggs have hatched...yea!! Where's my rum?

Here are some pics from earlier today: Mama Blue, Papa Blue and Baby Blue from the first clutch. I can't believe that little one landed on the nestbox!

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Fredericksburg, VA

Thanks Rose. I did get something a few days ago that I had never seen before. I have a juvenile that feeds his sister. This particular female is very shy. In fact it was more than a month before I saw all five of them together and I had assumed that one had been lost . She simply will not go into the cage feeder when all the others are there. She waits in a nearby tree until they leave and as a result, more often than not the bowl is empty when she gets there. Well, her brother brings a worm out and feeds it to her. I have seen many juveniles who try to help feed the nestlings, but never this.

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The Ozarks, MO(Zone 5b)

OMG Dave...that is so sweet it brings tears to my eyes. Thanks for posting...there is so much to be learned (or as we say in the Ozarks "learnt")!!

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Rose, your Blues family is adorable, 2d Dave, that series has won my ticker over! lol. Like Rose has said, there is so much to be learnt from those sweet birds. My female Blue must be sitting on eggs. Many a time, I'll pass by the nestbox, and she will fly out.

Marlton, NJ

Dave, That's adorable!

Stafford County, VA

Well, let me try this again, using my other username.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Stafford, VA

Quote from 2dCousinDave :
Well, let me try this again, using my other username.


YEA!!! He's Back. Loved the sibling sequence, Dave.

David in Stafford

The Ozarks, MO(Zone 5b)

Nice to see you back Dave...I felt like I was talking to an impersonator with the other name!! LOL!

Those last 3 shots are gorgeous...such a handsome family.

DH put a nestbox up by one of our hay fields and the Chickadees used it earlier this spring to raise a brood. The Blues have taken it over and there were eggs in it but I found the eggs destroyed outside the box. I am sure that a House Wren did the deed. I think a different pair of Blues have taken over the box and have built another nest on top of the old. I removed the old nest and the pair now have a completed nest but no eggs as of this moring.

Edited to say these are the backyard Blues taken through my kitchen window.

This message was edited Jun 6, 2012 9:08 AM

Thumbnail by dellrose Thumbnail by dellrose Thumbnail by dellrose Thumbnail by dellrose
Kelseyville, CA(Zone 8b)

Rose and Dave, your photos are adorable. Dave, that brother feeding the sister is so sweet.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Sweet pics. Dave and Rose. I love, love all the pics. Rose, sorry about the loss of those eggs. Hopefully success will come with the next brood. Saw my Momma Blue this morning peeking out the nestbox. I offer meal worms regularly. But rarely see the Blues coming to the feeders. Here is my new male coming to the nestbox while Momma Blue is inside. Wooohoooo, I'm looking forward to hearing some babies' chirping soon.

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The Ozarks, MO(Zone 5b)

That is fantastic Lily...fingers crossed for you and your Blues!

Stafford County, VA

Two of the four fledged late this evening. The other two decided to spend one more night in the nest box. Here is number 2. He left at 7:38 pm. And it was cloudy too. shot with the 1D mark 4 and the new 70-200 f/2.8 zoom with ISO set at 2500

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave

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