May 23, 2022 at 9:25 am #24478
My bluebirds fledged on May 2nd. The parents have been working on a second nest since May 19th. They started sitting on the box before then, but a mockingbird kept whooshing them away. The 19th is the first day I saw them taking nesting material in. The babies are with them, and I love seeing them.
I checked the box a couple of days ago, and the nest wasn’t completed. Today I heard a HOWR. Every time I open the back door I heard it loudly. I want to check the box to see if she’s laid an egg but don’t want to go near the box when the HOWR is around. I do have a wren guard ready to set after the first egg is laid. I will also put a sparrow spooker up at that time.
Am I correct that I shouldn’t open the box to check for an egg while the wren is near? I’m sure it’s a HOWR. I use the Merlin Bird ID, and this is the first time it’s identified it. I am also familiar with the sound. Last year the HOWR’s arrived on May 28th and prevented the bluebirds from having a 2nd or 3rd nest. I was so disappointed. I kept removing the sticks, but they persisted.
This year I have a second nest box that I was hoping they would use. An abandoned Carolina Chickadee nest is in that box. I’m sure it’s abandoned. Should I remove it, or will the HOWR use it anyway if they choose to? Thank you for any help you can give me.
East TennesseeMay 24, 2022 at 8:11 am #24922
I guess the two replies to my post from Carol and Julie, as well as my subsequent two replies, were mistakenly removed as spam. I’m glad I got emails notifying me of them. Anyway, Julie, thank you very much for letting me know that your boxes swell after it rains. I will take your advice not to open the box for a couple of days so that it can dry. You’re right that I might not be able to close it after that.
As Carol advised, I removed the Carolina Chickadee nest in the second box. I hear the HOWR very loudly every time I go outside. I still haven’t seen it.
East TennesseeMay 24, 2022 at 8:23 am #24923
I see from my email that I also got a reply from Dana and will post it below. Thank you, Dana, for your confirmation that I should wait to open my box until it’s dry.
Here is Dana’s reply:
Same here with the nest box door swelling. Mainly after it rains. It won’t open at all. I usually wait until later in the day to try opening it again (as long as the sun is out). Or wait until the next day. I agree with Julie not to try opening it until the wood is dry as you may not get it to close.
East TennesseeMay 24, 2022 at 2:32 pm #24928
The female is continuing to build the nest today, so I know there aren’t any eggs. I didn’t see them much yesterday because it rained all day.
I continue to hear the HOWR but hadn’t seen it until this afternoon. The bluebirds don’t seem to be bothered by anything, so hopefully it has a nest somewhere else and won’t bother their box. I hope she finishes the nest today and lays an egg soon so I can put the wren guard up.
I know this doesn’t make a lot of sense since the replies from Carol, Julie and Dana, were (accidentally, I feel sure) deleted as spam.
East TennesseeMay 25, 2022 at 3:38 am #24934DanaParticipant
Glad to be of help! The male bluebird should defend the box from any others birds now that they are back to nest building. My pair are still nest building and they both attacked a robin today that perched on their box. Brave little souls as the robin was much larger than they are. Even the squirrels aren’t safe! Haha!
DanaMay 25, 2022 at 8:08 am #24936Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Dana, yes the BBs will defend THEIR box very well from other birds – it is amazing to see how well they do this. Glad you have a new nest happening. Good luck.
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