March 12, 2021 at 9:08 am #8741
Well, we had a terrible cold spell, and then a great warm-up the past week or so. I have a pair of HOSP which have definitely claimed one of my boxes but nothing from the blues yet (I’m not sure if my paired couple from last year are still here – have a few blues but no nest claiming yet). I did set my Van-Ert trap for the HOSP couple but had no luck because of a huge rainstorm. So took it out and will wait until a nice start of a nest is there and then reset it. Sure hoping I have a pair of Blues soon, as I have 10,000 worms in my refrigerator waiting for them. I still have all the winter birds around (juncos, white-crowned sparrows, etc) here so I can’t put out the worms yet. BUT spring will be here in a few days, and I’m sure glad – been a long year and winter.March 13, 2021 at 8:38 pm #8745blue diamondsParticipant
Yup….I have 2 pairs of bluebirds that have been hanging out at the paired boxes in the front and backyard. Funny thing is they go in and out of all the boxes. Last season the front pair built nests in both boxes before choosing. Looks like they are doing the same thing this year. I’m assuming they are the same pairs that nested here before. Usually we don’t see any eggs until the 2nd week in April.
This was the first time they have stayed here all winter. I’m sure it was because I fed them live mealworms until the fall then switched to sunflower hearts, dried mealworms and suet. Plus 2 heated birdbaths. It was great fun to see them daily. We enjoyed 3 females and 4 males. I can not tell them apart other than male and female.
Judy-MichiganMarch 14, 2021 at 10:59 pm #8746ChrisParticipant
I have one pair of bluebirds checking out houses, and one pair of sparrows. I put up two new houses, all of them i install with two screws to hold the nestbox traps. I did set them for one day but didn’t catch any sparrows. I did see a red shouldered hawk today,probably same one i had last year.
I’m feeding the pair live mealworms; a couple of weeks ago i had 6 BBs i was feeding dried mealworms. I do have a couple of heated birdbaths, i had all six there at one time, would have made a great pic but they flew before i could take a picture.March 15, 2021 at 8:51 pm #8747
Judy, glad you are seeing blues activity at your boxes. My pair is here and eating my suet but have not seen them try to claim any of my four boxes yet. Actually, I am not for sure if this is my actual pair – only know I have a male and a female. Like I mentioned in another thread I found two dead blues in one of my boxes – was so upset I really did not examine too closely. I do believe the male that is here is papa but am not sure about the female – could be one of the juveniles from last nesting. Yes, my birds love my heated bird bath, also. The nights we had below zero temps, the birds only had a very small hole in the center of the water that was not frozen – it took some work to get the ice out and fresh water in for them.
Chris, also glad you are having activity there. I cannot start feeding my worms until all the winter birds leave – all of those extra birds would put me in bankruptcy. I’m a little fearful I may not have good luck this year – this is my fourteenth season and I have always had some kind of blues activity and fledged a lot of bluebirds. All I can do is continue to do the best I can and mother nature will take care of everything else.March 16, 2021 at 10:37 pm #8748
Good to hear that everyone is seeing bluebird activity. I have had 9 bluebirds at the feeder all winter, up until a week ago when the number went down to 3. I have been feeding live mealworms all winter (mealworm farm) and did not get to make Carol’s suet. I am not sure where the other blues went. I know there were at least 2 and possibly 3 males and the rest females. It did get very cold for more than a week during the last part of February when the other birds disappeared. I did see several bluebirds in other parts of the neighborhood and did see my male bird chasing some bluebirds from the feeder.
I do have a new nestbox up for the season and the male and female have been to the house but I have not seen them enter the house and there are still no droppings inside. The nestbox has been up for about a week. The weather is still chilly at night (in the 30’s and 40’s) but it should warm up soon.
I am looking forward to another good season with the blues.
Stafford, VAMarch 17, 2021 at 8:44 pm #8751
David, glad to hear you are having activity from your blues, also. You will read my woes from my other post – sure hope they get on the stick with at least scouting a box. All I see them do is eat my peanut butter suet, along with dozens of other birds.March 20, 2021 at 11:08 am #8752ChrisParticipant
Female started carrying nesting material in the box today. Same box that fledged two broods last year, this might be the same pair.
This particular bird house, the roof overhand is missing a little bit, makes me wonder if they like having a little light in the box. Or because its closer to where i feed them.
I’m off to the store to get more mealworms.March 21, 2021 at 5:48 pm #8756
Good news Chris. Like Carol and others, mine are still just looking. My 2 older birds and 2 younger females were at the mealworm feeder this morning but no one is going into the nestbox yet. While we are having some 50+ degree days, our nights have been in the mid 20s and 30s. No material in the box. I still have lots of other birds (gold and house finches, titmice, chickadees, woodpeckers, and juncos around the other feeders. Juncos still swarm to the deck when the finches show up at the feeder.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by David in Stafford,VA.
Stafford, VAMarch 22, 2021 at 8:17 am #8758
Aren’t those Juncos cute, David? I love to watch them flit around BUT sure will be glad when they “go back home”. I got in a hurry about getting mealworms and they have been in my ref. over 2 weeks now without being able to put them out. I feed them every weekend, clean out their boxes and then put them back in. Hope they don’t start dying off before I get to feed them.March 23, 2021 at 12:35 am #8759DanaParticipant
Hi Carol and everyone,
No nest yet here. They are looking however. I usually see them in the mornings mostly. I hope this year is kinder to the all the bluebirds out there. They had a terrible winter from what I understand. Folks in the Midwest and the South finding bluebirds dead in their nestboxes as the birds were trying to escape the cold.
Carol I saw your post about the ones you found dead in your nestbox. That had to be totally devastating. I wish a better year for you and the rest of us trying to keep the bluebirds going.
– DanaMarch 23, 2021 at 7:55 pm #8761
Yes, Dana, finding my beautiful blues dead in a box was a bummer – I just have to remind myself that Mother Nature is here to stay – I have to accept it, BUT SURE DON’T LIKE IT.
My two blues which are left here are beginning to get active in scouting a box – I’m not sure yet if they are the “couple” from last year or not – there is one male and one female. This brings up a good question for those here – does anyone know for sure if a bluebird would mate with one of their offspring?
I may have this situation now since I don’t know which blues I found dead. Thank you Dana, and hope you have a good season, also.March 27, 2021 at 5:24 pm #8767
I do have a nest started in the new house. It appears that my same couple are back again, although I wouldn’t know unless there were some way to mark or tag them. Here is the photo of the beginning of new “nest ring” that usually appears at the bottom of the nest when the female begins to build.
Stafford, VAMarch 30, 2021 at 4:35 pm #8769SassyParticipant
I am happy to report I not only have a nest, but 5 beautiful blue eggs. Mama laid the last one yesterday and started incubating them the same day. I am in North Western PA, and am looking forward to the rest of this season.
I am a bit concerned about the weather we are in store for temps in the 20’s at night and 1 to 2” of snow. Hopefully the eggs and Mama will weather the weather.
Connie (PA)March 30, 2021 at 7:59 pm #8770
Wow, Connie, eggs already – that’s great, but I am jealous. Is this a norm for you there in PA? Seems very early – my blues are just starting to scout out a box – HOSP have two boxes claimed but no full nests yet – just waiting to set my VanErt for them. Anyway, congrats – hope they make it through any bad weather. LET THE FUN BEGIN . . . . .April 11, 2021 at 10:59 am #8839SassyParticipant
I actually can’t for any certainty say it is normal, this is the first time I have seen it happen, but this particular pair stayed here all winter, and started the nest building early.
When it got bitterly cold my husband and I put insulation all around the outside of the box except the roof. Hopefully we managed to help mama enough that all the eggs hatch. Tomorrow will be the 14th day of incubation. Checked it this AM but didn’t see any pips yet.
Will keep you informed.
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