Home Forums Bluebird Chatter WHERE DO THE BB GO?

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    BZ–W Ctrl MO

      I have been fledging BB for about 10 years in west central Missouri. During that time I have fledged at least 70 birds from
      two boxes, with usually two broods each year. Last year and this year, I have had three broods each ( the last brood yet to fledge this year). I should be seeing dozens of bluebirds in the area, but rarely do. Where do they go? Are they not surviving after the fledge?



        I have pondered this question as well! I have 3 pairs that have 2-3 clutches annually. After watching fledglings closely for more than a dozen years I have concluded this:
        Almost all hatch and fledge.
        2-5 fledglings usually survive (though without banding them there is no telling for how long into adulthood)
        Immediately upon fledging they scatter in many different directions. This is their greatest vulnerability. If the parents cant locate them and or food is scarce, they parish.
        Generally after about two weeks they start to appear at their feeding stations and bird bath on the porch.
        Now if it is early in the season, the dominant male will usually drive the fledgers away as the next brood grows. However if it is late in the season the male will tolerate the fledgers during the winter. BUT only his offspring.That is until spring, then he drives everyone off. If he is an aggressive male he sometimes vigorously defends his food source from the other two mating pairs and their offspring.
        So during that two week or so fledge period it can appear like they’ve all disappeared. Are you providing plenty of mealworms and fresh water? If not they may be going elsewhere and only using your nest boxes.

        Rochester, NY



          Thats interesting because I notice the same thing. After they fledge I usually see them after about two weeks at the bird bath. I do not have feeders. I’ve also noticed that in the spring when I go outside I hear birds everywhere but the last few weeks when I go out I only hear one or two birds. No bluebirds or any birds at all.


            Same experience here on the WI/MI border. I might spot one or a pair between clutches but just after they fledge they are gone. I chalked that up to my bluebird trails being in remote spots since I am only around them for a few minutes every few days.

            I can’t wait for next spring to see them get back to it. My first spotting was May 16th. If the weather is similar in the spring to last spring I think I will set up the boxes the first week of May. I think I’ll bring them in each fall to do minor repairs and keep the flying squirrels and woodpeckers from damaging them.

            Tim C. WI/MI border.

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