In the spring, Bluebirds were plentiful and fought for nestbox ownership with a group of Tree swallows. The Tree Swallows won round one, and the Bluebirds moved down to our other box in the lower portion of our yard. Apparently the top box, which gets the first sun of the day is considered the premium box. As soon as the Tree Swallow family fledged in June the Bluebirds swooped in and won round two, raising a second brood in our top box, and House Wrens (which don't show up until June anyway) took up residence in the lower box.
Ever since the Bluebirds fledged their second brood, they moved off down the golf course and we rarely ever saw them. Until now! The weather is starting to get cooler, especially at night, and as they do every winter, the Bluebirds are back looking for a nest box to claim as their roost box. It's amazing to see 6, 7, even 8 birds wiggle their way in to a box to keep warm for the night. Here at home, at Dean, and at my parents house, we all began noticing the return of the Bluebirds at the same time. We'll see them start to congregate, then climb in for the night around dusk. They'll usually spill out before sunrise, when it's just barely light enough to see the box across the yard. The only competition they have have now is from a Mockingbird who sometimes likes to use the box as a perch from which to guard the nearby Crabapple tree. Occasionally, a Phoebe will also use the box as a hunting perch. They're all using it at different times of day though, so they're coexisting quite well.
So, if you have nest boxes on your property, don't forget to clean them out. Get rid of the old nest and scrape out the poo, birds don't need a nest for roosting. Plus it just takes up space, removing it will allow more birds to squeeze in!
|...A closer shot at Dean, "You know, real estate prices are down, it's a buyers market, I'll make you a good deal!"|