Home › Forums › Bluebird Chatter › Any northern bluebirds arriving?
- This topic has 16 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 day, 23 hours ago by TimC.
May 2, 2023 at 11:59 pm #27105
I’m talking about northern WI, MN, MI arrivals.
I’ve just begun providing nest boxes in my area. Several trails with a total of 19 nest boxes so far. BRAW and MI Bluebird Soc don’t seem to have any representation in my area. I’m on the WI/MI border, 100 miles north of Green Bay.
Anyway, I have not seen any wrens, swallows or bluebirds this spring. Though it is spring on the calendar it definitely is not springlike here. Hoping to hear from some folks in the northern latitudes that are seeing arrivals.
TimMay 3, 2023 at 10:34 pm #27117
I’m in Michigan …..for the last few years the bluebirds have been staying here year round. I have 2 pairs of bluebirds in my yard. One has a nest that had 5 eggs, but only one hatched. That baby will fledge in about a week. The other pair has claimed a box and are starting to build a nest.
Tree swallows showed up around March 28th. They are looking at boxes, but not building nests yet. Saw the 1st Baltimore oriole 4/30. Have not seen any hummingbirds or wrens yet.
It’s been super cold here. Looks like next week might warm up a little.
Judy – MichiganMay 4, 2023 at 7:50 pm #27121
Hi. Yup, Michigan is a big state! I’m running out of luck connecting with anyone in northern parts of the midwest states to find out if bluebirds have arrived up here. I’m new to this so have nothing to go by for timing. It’s been a different spring, if you can call it spring, but we now have some consistency with 50+ degree days and my hopes are high.
I guess maybe I should take it as a hint that there are no BBnut participants recently from northern areas.
May 15, 2023 at 9:39 pm #27201
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by TimC. Reason: Just another thought
Finally! A male blue spotted in a field flying kind of erratically, then landed on the ground and flew up in a tree. A minute later he flew toward one of my nest boxes which I could only see the back of at the time. I stuck around but he didn’t reappear. I didn’t want to go too close to the nest box for fear of spooking him. I’ll keep checking that field over the next few days. I’m stoked!May 15, 2023 at 10:38 pm #27209DanaParticipant
Good to hear! I hope he returns again hopefully with a mate!
Dana in PAMay 15, 2023 at 10:49 pm #27212
I know you have been waiting for awhile so happy you finally saw one today! Sounds promising that he has spotted one of your boxes, fingers crossed for you. Let the fun begin.
Judy – MichiganMay 16, 2023 at 2:42 pm #27235
And, as a very special birthday gift today, upon my arrival this morning I observed a female collecting grass and bringing it in the nest box. The male was nearby and at one point he met the female on the ground and they had a little wrestling match. She then returned to hauling grass to the box. This pair is moving a lot faster than I ever suspected. I can’t wait until they begin the next steps and I can peek in with my WIFI endoscope thingy. I hope that doesn’t spook them.
On to monitoring my other 18 nest boxes to see if they have company.
May 16, 2023 at 10:18 pm #27239
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by TimC.
How cool they show up and start building on your Birthday! Next year you will know they show up in your area around your birthday. Monitoring 18 bluebird boxes should be fun and keep you very busy. Lol……..a labor of love. Happy Birthday and happy birding.
Judy – MichiganMay 21, 2023 at 4:25 pm #27261
And a special Memorial Day weekend treat… a second pair of Blues in another nest box at a remote location. That’s two boxes out of 19 with Blues! Woohoo! And to think a few weeks ago I was still wondering if we would get any bluebirds in my area.
I have two nest boxes in that spot which is about a mile from the other occupied box. They are over 100 yards apart on an old landfill that is no longer in use. It seemed to me a perfect spot but what do I know? Yesterday I visited the landfill location and witnessed a pair coming and going from one box that a few days before had Wrens visiting regularly. I came home yesterday and decided to provide two alternative boxes for the Wrens so I was up late slapping together two from scrap lumber. This morning I loaded up my trail monitoring backpack and the two new boxes and headed to the location. To my surprise a pair of blues were going back and forth to the box. I decided to keep my distance and just observe for a few minutes. Then proceeded to a scraggly old aspen tree between the BB boxes that I thought would make a good spot for a Wren box. As I am mounting the box I hear a commotion and look over to the second BB box and a male BB is having a physical confrontation with one of the Tree Swallows I saw a few days ago making claim to that box. I wonder if that is the male from the first box. I can’t tell. It would be great to have two Bluebird pairs in that area. Though I don’t mind a Tree Swallow pair nesting there. Any flying insect hunter is OK in my book.May 24, 2023 at 4:19 pm #27265
We’re up to four nest boxes with bluebirds preparing nests. So happy.
First occupied box has four eggs. I’ll check the other three tomorrow to see if they are making progress.
And two more boxes with Tree Swallows. One has two eggs.
TimMay 24, 2023 at 7:40 pm #27266
Wow Tim you are off to a great start. Do you have the sheet to chart when the first egg was laid, the hatch day and fledge day? I find this every helpful and pretty accurate. If you don’t have one I can send a photo of the one I use. Good luck!
Judy – MichiganMay 24, 2023 at 7:47 pm #27267
Also, on both Bluebird & Tree Swallow nests after the 1st egg is laid I put up a sparrow spooker. You can make them yourself or buy them online. They have worked like a charm for me. They keep the house sparrows from going in and killing the babies/parents and taking over the nest.
Judy – MichiganMay 24, 2023 at 8:43 pm #27268
Thanks for the tips Judy.
I’m a new member of BRAW.org and they have log sheets that I looked at while I was impatiently waiting for the blues to arrive. I didn’t want to carry around pencil and paper so I created a simple spreadsheet I can edit in the field. And as far as sparrow spookers I am keeping my eyes open and have not seen any house sparrows near my boxes. I have the mylar and other materials and may add them soon. I live in a very rural town in the middle of the woods. The closest place I’ve seen house sparrows is ten miles away in a Home Depot store. Walking through the store there is a constant chirping. If only they could trap them it would eliminate quite a sizable population.
Four pairs of blues today and the possibility for more has got me pumped. Not bad for someone that had never paid attention to bluebirds until this spring.May 25, 2023 at 12:46 pm #27269
Lucky you….that’s a dream to not have house sparrows hanging around. Good luck with all of your boxes. You’re doing great so far.
Judy – MichiganMay 25, 2023 at 12:53 pm #27270
So far lucky. And today a male and female are checking out a vacant box on a different trail of mine. So five pairs, maybe…
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