6/19/2008

Blue birds: deja vous

My Blue Birds always raise two broods in a season although they always switch nesting boxes, never using the same one twice. This year I wanted to do a little experiment and as soon as the babies fledged I removed the pine needle nesting materials. I wanted to see whether the Blue birds would use the same box if they had to build a new nest. I was delighted to see that my experiment worked and within a few hours the Blue birds were back at it bringing in new pine needles. They didn’t waste any time and added four little eggs within a couple of days. It doesn’t look like the incubation has started, so I’ll be interested to see whether the clutch stays at four or whether they’ll add a couple more eggs this time.

Four or more?
I swung by the Tree Swallows to see whether the eggs hatched and they have. The babies are cute as buttons although I didn’t manage to get any photos. Nope, I’m not suffering from Guzman’s forget to snap photo syndrome, I was just intimated by the rapid swoops that BARELY missed my head. I haven’t bought a Packers helmet yet and I kinda like my noggin where it is, so I rapidly left the nesting site and snapped a few pics from a distance. As soon as I backed off one of the parents delivered a juicy looking bug - yummy!

What you looking at punk?

3 comments:

Debbie said...

We used to have Blue birds every year, but in the last two or three, we have been battling English Sparrows. We are waging war this year and hopefully winning. We do have House Wrens in a couple places and Tree Swallows, who seem to be able to hold their own again the Sparrows.

Owlman said...

Hi Debbie,

Yes, the Tree Swallows seem to be more tenacious and they just hang around until accommodation becomes available. Having said that, I didn't have any swallows last year because the Blue birds chased them off. This year I spread the space between the boxes a little and the Swallows have been able to breed, although they still get into pretty heavy battles with the Blue birds. I guess it just depends on the personality of the pair of birds that you get. Bear in mind that small birds generally have a very short life span 4-7 years) so we are constantly rotating birds in and out).

I have House Sparrows (just noticed them recently at the feeders), but for some strange reason they haven't ever tried to use any of the boxes. My in laws live around the corner and they have a constant battle evicting the sparrows. I hope the Sparrows don’t start using the boxes because they will be evicted in short order. Keep trying for Blue birds, because you may get lucky and get a pair like my feisty ones!

dguzman said...

Hey now, that's a shot at me, isn't it?

I'm so envious of your whole feeder/house situation, Owlman. In the summer, I have so much else to do that I must admit I leave the feeders empty most of the time.

Incredible photos shared by the Flickr community group - Owls of North America. Click on the play button to begin the slideshow - ENJOY!