Bluebird nest building

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  • #3130
    Lubricator
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    I have a pair of bluebirds that have started to build a nest. It looks half finished. I have never had a nest built in the middle of February. We have an unusually mild winter and this could be a factor. I’ll monitor the pair and keep you posted if eggs are laid this early.

    Lubricator

    #3131
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Wow, this is EARLY, even for Alabama I would believe. Yes, keep us informed – I know here in the Midwest I pray that no eggs are laid until late March or early April. I have had a few nests (in 9 seasons) which have failed because of too cold weather I believe. But there in the southern states I know things are on a much earlier schedule. Good Luck.

    #3136
    dogsandbirds
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    Maybe they will build and wait on egg laying. They usually wait to lay eggs until the food supply is great enough.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #3137
    Lubricator
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    Thanks for your post, Gin. The door to my nesting box opens from the bottom and toward me. When the nest is finished I can’t see the top of the nest. I haven’t seen an egg, a chick or a fledge in 3 years. The only time I see the top of the nest is when I remove it to clean the inside at the end of the season. So far the male hasn’t participated in bringing material. He just stays on the perch guarding. It’s an odd way to start the breeding cycle this year. It looks like the nest is about 2/3s finished.

    Lubricator

    #3140
    dogsandbirds
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    He’s not all that likely to bring nest material except in the beginning when he’s trying to encourage building. Otherwise, his jobs right now are feeding her occasionally, guarding the territory and standing around looking pretty.

    What perch? Not on the box, right?

    That’s sad that you haven’t seen inside an active nest. I love my side opening boxes because I can check everything.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #3142
    Lubricator
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    Gin, the perch is quite a ways from the box. All the birds use it. Wish I had gotten a side opening box. I can only see part ways up mine. Last couple seasons the male also helped bringing material to the nest. Not so this time.

    Lubricator

    #3143
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Can’t understand why you cannot see a inside box with a front opening door, whether it opens from the top or bottom. Is it because your pole & box are up high? I cannot see in my one box which I actually have to take the top off to see inside, but I use a small step stool to check everything. This box is one of my oldest (about 10 years old now) and before we began making the front opening boxes (Gilwood style). These newer boxes are front opening doors, and pivot from the bottom (which I suppose would be called a top opener door). It pivots down enough so that the door is actually about even with the floor of the box when it is open and I can see in fine. My boxes are about 5′ from the ground and I am only 5′ tall so works fine. Good luck.

    #3144
    Home2Montana
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    I am new to the site. I just put up a bluebird box and chickadee box in opposite sides of the yard. Both bluebirds and chickadees want the bluebird box probably because it’s closer to a tree and some bushes. How close together can I put the boxes so they each can use their own box?

    #3145
    Lubricator
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    I would leave the boxes at opposite ends of the yard. Bluebirds prefer to be undisturbed.

    Lubricator

    #3146
    Home2Montana
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    OK thanks. I just hope the chickadees go over to their own box.

    #3147
    dogsandbirds
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    Could you put the boxes where they can’t be seen from each other? That is the best way to keep the peace. EABL aren’t always fond of CACH around here and will drive them out. If it’s me, I’m going to hope the CACH win the battle. They seem to lose so many times.

    Maybe they want the same box because of the direction it faces, not just the location but neither one needs to be near trees, bushes or a fence. That is asking for trouble from predators.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #3148
    Home2Montana
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    They are located on opposite ends of the yard. I live on the edge of a Preserve so there are Palmettos and a few trees between them. Hopefully the Bluebirds will use the Bluebird Box and if the Chickadees get kicked out they will go use the Box I got for them that has a smaller hole and sawdust to excavate. I just moved here to St. Augustine Florida and it is a first time for birding here. I moved from Montana and I had Mountain Bluebirds use a box in my yard every year. I also always had Tree Swallows. I will let you know how this all turns out. FYI, right out in my front yard here I have a pair of Ospreys making a nest high up in a tree. They were there last year but the hurricane blew their nest away and they are rebuilding. What a great bird area this is!!

    #3151
    ReneeinWinslow
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    I put a hole reducer on the box the dees will use otherwise the blues will enter and destroy the dees nest.

    When The New Wears Off The Old Shines Through.

    #3153
    David in Stafford,VA
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    Comment on the bottom opening box.. I converted mine to a top opening box so that I could look in and see if everything was okay. I just removed the pivot screws from the top and drilled pilot holes for the bottom. Moved the “lock” to the top and now I can vies the nest, eggs, hatchlings and take photos. Less than 30 minutes. The birds don’t seem to mind one bit, and it is easier to clean after the young have fledged.

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #3154
    Lubricator
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    Good tip, David. Thank you. The nest is finished but the female is not staying in it yet. Just visits from time to time.
    When she remains in the nest and the male is feeding her I will post it. This is unusual for this time of year.

    Lubricator

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