June 1, 2019 at 10:35 pm #7351
Hi guys, it’s been a little while since I’ve posted. While I was outside tonight I observed a male bluebird land on my box. After standing on top for a short time he flew to the opening and looked like he was peeking in. Not sure if he couldn’t fit or he lost his grip but he flew back to the top of the box. He set up on top of the box a little longer then landed at the hole and began to peek in again, when to my shock a robin rushed him and it flew off. My box hole is an inch and half for those of you who were going to ask that question. I have a couple of questions. This being my first sighting of a blue bird on my box it’s probably a dumb question but I’m curious what you guys have dealt with. When he first attempted to go in I couldn’t tell if he slipped or had issues entering the hole even though I know it’s 1 1/2 inches. Second is it common for a robin to chase him off even though he’s not a threat? Third with that robin doing that, will the bluebird possibly return to next in this box or because of that incident, don’t expect it? Sorry for the newbie questions, I’m just a bit excited as this is the first time I’ve had one at a box, fingers crossed, thank you for the insight.
BobJune 2, 2019 at 9:31 am #7352
First off, welcome back to the forum.
Second, There is NO SUCH THING as a dumb question. It is an opportunity to learn.
The bluebird was probably surveying the box for a possible nesting spot. His movement from the hole to the top of the box and then back was most likely “planned” and not a slip unless you have a smooth finished box, which is unlikely. Does the nestbox have a predator guard over the hole? If so, does it have a smooth or rough surface. Some plastic guards could lead to slipping if the bird doesn’t grip it correctly.
Robins and blues do chase one another. It is normal territorial activity. Unless the bluebirds are harming a nesting spot the chasing should go away and the bluebirds should start building a nest if they have chosen this as their site..
I am sure others will have some information for you.
Good luck with nesting.
Stafford, VAJune 2, 2019 at 10:31 pm #7355blue diamondsParticipant
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Bob….male bluebird checking out your box sounds like a good start. I wish you luck and hope he returns with his lady. You must have been excited seeing him. My bluebird boxes have robins searching in grass around them often…..I doesn’t seem to be a problem.
Judy-MichiganJune 3, 2019 at 8:31 am #7356Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
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Bob, are you the Bob from Missouri? I live in central-Missouri and seem to remember you from the past.
Yes, I’m sure your male blue was scouting out the box, as David stated, and the process of going on the hole to the top of box is quite normal. This is all a good thing!
About the robin, that is strange because I have a bully robin this year, really been a pest. I have a large tree in which the robins build nests, and it is in close proximity to the blues house. I have seen this robin chase the blues and bully it quite often this year, but I don’t believe they actually harm them – they are just defending their territory like all will do. Hope your male finds a mate and they build their nest – I believe he will return unless it is a very young bird and unsure about that robin – good luck.June 3, 2019 at 8:32 pm #7357
Thank you for all the responses. I am from Nixa Mo.
David my box is on a single pole with a baffle attached below. The opening has a square over it attached at a 45 degree angle (rotates). Believe it’s to prevent squirrel damage to the hole?
Sadly I haven’t seen him since June 1. Wish I was able to post videos because I got the three to four minutes video up to when the robin chased him away. My fingers are still crossed. Any ideas on if the box is chosen how soon they will return🤦🏼♀️? I’m just impatient. I’m sure it will play out in time. I’ll let you guys know if there is any new developments.
Thank you once again for all your time.
BobJune 3, 2019 at 9:07 pm #7358
Bob – from experience with my birds, they may return in a day or two or it could be a week or more. At a time that they feel comfortable with the house they will start a nest. That said we all have noted that the bluebirds do not follow our rule book. Every time we try to predict what they will do, they do something else. My first brood this year took a long time to start, mostly due to the weather. Once they started the nest though it went quick. The pair now have a second nest that only took 2 days to build. (see other thread)
Try not to get too impatient with them. Watch the box and keep it free of other problem birds (HOSP & HOWR, etc.) The rewards are great. Keep us posted on their progress.
Stafford, VAJune 6, 2019 at 10:26 am #7374
Well I hadn’t seen any activity at my box since the original sighting. I just went out and peeked inside this morning to find three small sticks inside. Which if memory serves me correctly that’s the start of a wren nest. Thoughts or advice? I have not seen a wren in my area for some time. It’s an open area with no brush.June 6, 2019 at 3:00 pm #7375
Bob- I normally remove the twigs if the nest isn’t too far along. I wouldn’t get discouraged if you do not get any takers on your box. They may have already gone to another open box. The next nesting cycle might bring a new set of “lookers” for your box. Just keep the box clear and available for them.
Stafford, VAJune 8, 2019 at 1:01 pm #7399Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
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Bob, you said that your hole has a “square” over it, attached at an angle. I have never heard of a hole guard/extender that is square – they are usually 1 1/2″ round, exactly like the original hole. Actually these extenders (if they are thick enough) are meant to make it harder for a predator to reach in the box and grab the babies out of the nest AND also to prevent a squirrel from enlarging the hole. After drawing this out, I guess the square idea would be okay, since it is over the hole and does not actually make the hole larger! (dah!) Like David, I also remove sticks of wrens before the nest is very large.June 10, 2019 at 8:42 am #7423phillybluesParticipant
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Awesome! Hope he comes back. I bet he will. Yeah I have a Robin bully and so does my brother’s box. Annoying!!
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