April 28, 2017 at 10:10 pm #3944
I’ve had bluebirds for several years and have fed them mealworms for most of those years but this year they’re not here. I’m at a loss as to what is going on. I had one come to my feeder twice earlier this year and that was it. Anyone have any ideas what happened?April 29, 2017 at 8:50 am #3952
Ron, first of all – Welcome! Don’t have any ideas unless something has changed in your setup – maybe bushes/shrubs have grown large or something? Have you checked your boxes? Sometimes they are quite sneaky and we don’t always see them. Where do you live? Have your previous 1st nestings been around this time of year? Sometimes we just don’t know – like Gin, our Moderator on this forum, has not had any blues for 3 years now.April 29, 2017 at 11:08 pm #3964
Nothing has changed. I check my houses often and trap the sparrows that try to nest in them. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see if they come back. I live in northern Missouri. My neighbor has bluebird houses also and hasn’t seen any lately either.April 30, 2017 at 12:53 pm #3971
Well, Ron, another Missourian here – great. I grew up in Northeast Missouri so I know it is quite a bit colder up there than where I live now, which is mid-western Missouri. I assume that your blues did not overwinter up there, right? Mine have overwintered all 9 seasons now, and have had only two different males, and several females. I’m sure you had your boxes cleaned out from the previous nestings – that is important. All I can say is that they may come around yet, maybe for the 2nd nesting time. Our weather has been really weird this year, having 80 degrees in February, then normal, and now miserable wet and cool. Don’t give up on our previous blues. I’m a little worried today about my 5 that hatched almost a week ago, as we have had about 4 inches of rain the past two days, on top of several smaller rains, and I’m hoping my box & nest are not soaked. I am going to try to look in the box today if and when it quits raining!April 30, 2017 at 3:35 pm #3972DanaParticipant
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I’m in PA and this is my 2nd year without the bluebirds nesting. Occasionally I’ll see a male bluebird check out the nestbox but like last year he has no mate with him. Don’t know if this is the same male or a different one. I just keep hoping he’ll find a female bluebird. But so far I just see him every now and then. I have a nice bluebird box I got from Wild Birds Unlimited. It’s just a shame it’s not being put to good use.April 30, 2017 at 4:04 pm #3976
Dana & Ron – sorry you both have no blues yet this year. I feel very fortunate that I have had nesting blues every year since I began nine years ago. I truly believe location, location, location is one of the most important things. I have a large yard area over 1 1/2 acres and lots of wide open spaces, with trees scattered for perching. I have 4 boxes in my back yard, all at the corners of the lot, which makes them about 300′ apart. Yes, I fight HOSP all the time. If you have both had previous nestings, can’t imagine what could be wrong other than they have moved elsewhere. Keep trying, and maybe try moving pole or rotating it differently or something. Good luck.April 30, 2017 at 4:53 pm #3977tamseaModerator
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It could be that something happened to one or both of those birds and a new pair just hasn’t found your place. ?? Bummer. Hopefully you see them for another nesting this summer.
TammyApril 30, 2017 at 9:58 pm #4004phillybluesParticipant
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I’m in PA too. Had successful nests 2 years in a row. This year I had a couple show up and select a box. Sadly I opened the box one day to find the female dead. No injury, just dead. Haven’t seen a bluebird since. So delressing.May 1, 2017 at 1:26 pm #4018BluebirdieParticipant
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So sorry that they haven’t shown up this year. When I started out I read or heard that attaching a blue ribbon to the roof would attract them. Apparently the ribbon waving in the wind catches their eye. I don’t know if it really works but I would give it a try.
-MarthaMay 1, 2017 at 6:25 pm #4028
Carol, I live about 50 miles west of Kirksville. This is the first time in probably 20 years that I haven’t had any nesting bluebirds. I saw them off and on all winter but haven’t seen one now for probably a month or more. Yes, I’ve cleaned the houses. I have a large yard and what I think is an ideal area. I haven’t given up yet. Maybe when the weather straightens up they will come around. Don’t know what I’m going to do with 5000 meal worms if they don’t!May 1, 2017 at 9:28 pm #4037dogsandbirdsModerator
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Keep those worms alive, Ron. It’s early yet.
Atlanta, GAMay 1, 2017 at 10:14 pm #4045
Gin is right, Ron – it is early yet, especially for Kirksville area (I visit there regularly). I have 5 babies being fed mealworms and my batch of 10,000 will go quickly. Be sure to feed those worms & give them some carrots or potatoes for moisture, usually every two weeks or even every week to keep them alive, and of course, refrigerated.May 2, 2017 at 2:09 am #4047DanaParticipant
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Very sorry to hear about the death of the female. I’m wondering if it could have been pesticides from a neighbor’s lawn or even a golf course nearby? That’s what I would suspect if there’s no visible injury. That or maybe disease or the female’s age (if she was an older bird).
I have about an 1/2 acre yard only big enough for 1 bb nestbox I think. The nestbox is out in the open in the middle of the yard away from shrubbery, etc. I wish I had the yard space you do. I would love to put more nestboxes up.May 2, 2017 at 8:26 am #4053
Ron, hope your blues don’t get in a hurry if it is still cold up there. I just found my 5 babies dead after I noticed parents weren’t bringing the worms out to the box yesterday & this morning. Just too cold & I guess mama wasn’t able to keep them all warm. They were 7 days old. I even found a live worm in the nest, so I know they were being fed. Parents are guarding a different box this morning – I haven’t had a chance to make sure it is cleaned out, though I had been taking HOSP nests out of it recently.
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