Just the back yard!? Nah, I want the front and side yards landscaped in natives too.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Got the Blues

After a long, exhausting, but phenomenal weekend away at workshops, I got home from work today with little energy to do much.  Considering it rained a lot last week and being gone, I feel like I'm falling behind in the yard.  That could've got me down, but I did get out in the woodland, got a little raking done (I plan to plant more trees in this newly raked and nearly tree-less section), and even got a chance to talk to the neighbor "over the fence"...but the best part was when I decided to check on the bluebird nestbox before heading in.  There, where last week I saw only three strands of grass and then nothing, was a completed nest! :)

How can I be down when our bluebird pair are back and setting up house again? :)


Nicholas Weber said...

Very exciting! I have a few new houses ready to put out. Have only seen a few bluebirds here so far.

David said...

I've had bluebirds nesting every year since our first spring when I put out the houses. We moved at the end of October, and I spotted our first bluebird in December. I was thrilled and made sure to provide a home for them.

If you are seeing them, I would expect you should have a good chance of attracting them to nest on your property once you set out the houses. The sooner the better. :)

Good luck.

Alain C. said...

We have two boxes for bluebirds but they only manage to nest in them later in the season because these boxes are taken over by tree swallows. Whenever a bluebird gets near, it is chased away by the swallows. However the swallows leave after they have raised one brood and then the bluebirds move in and manage to raise a brood too. I don't know if they raise a first brood somewhere else.

David said...

Alain C.,

I'm glad you still get bluebirds, even if you have to wait for them.

Interestingly, my bluebirds show up long before the tree swallows. They seem to be protective of the bluebird babies too. I was checking on them and filming them as they are ready to fledge; the tree swallows were ready to dive bomb me. I've read that you can pair boxes so that blue birds and tree swallows can nest much closer together than two pairs of bluebirds.

I'm really behind on documenting not only the bluebirds, but the other things I've been doing.

R. K. Young said...

Love that you've got them back! A good friend of mine in town has both the tree swallows and the blue birds--and the nest boxes are barely 10 feet apart. Great to know the protective relationship!

David said...

Thanks, R.K.

I've been very lucky to have them return ever year.

It is nice that they seem to work together to fend off predators (and me). I only hope that they are good at it, because I recently realized that I have a house wren nesting; they are notorious for destroying the eggs of other birds...and I did see them fly out of one of the tree swallow's nestbox. :( They are a native bird, so I will leave them be, but it is hard for me to see this side of nature--I've welcomed nature to my yard, now I have to deal with the less pleasant side of it as well, I guess.

I have to clean out the bluebird's box now that the fledglings are gone--it seems to me there were only two (which makes me wonder)...and the last couple of days before they fledged (I'm assuming, since I didn't actually witness them leaving), the female bird was no where in sight--I only saw the male. I've put off cleaning it out and presenting them with a new box partly because I'm concerned about the house wren's presence..and partly because I've been busy and a bit lazy.