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Carol, what an amazing, record-breaking year!! Wow. I’ve been reading your 4th nest egg saga like it’s a page-turner novel! I’ve been in suspense waiting. THRILLED to hear they have hatched!! Wonderful news. Also, congrats on a 60th reunion!!! Wow. My husband was just commenting one night this week that both of our classes have not had any reunions since maybe the 15th….and we should’ve just had our 40th. So you go enjoy yourself seeing old friends. All your good news is making me smile!
Carol, I was watching a red bellied woodpecker feed a baby at our suet sandwich feeder last night and thought of you. I was thinking that you would probably miss getting to see the babies coming to the feeder. That’s a bummer! I completely understand. But even the one feeding you’re able to do sure helps the parents out. And 3 eggs! That’s fantastic! Our 2nd batch of 4 hatched yesterday, so we’re off and running. We were so worried in the high heat.
Carol, so exciting for a record-breaking season!!! Wow! 4th nesting!! It sounds like they’re going to make it a little harder on you this go round, choosing the furthest-away house. Best wishes to you in the heat and with monitoring. Re: the mealworms…At this point in the season, my yard is a bug feast! The blues are constantly diving off perches to hunt and often just fly thru the air grabbing things. It’s so comical to see. I’ve got caterpillars on the kale, so plan to bring up a bunch of them for the blues. But I’m sure yours will manage without all the mealworms yummies. Congratulations!!
Dave, we’re into some heat this weekend, too. I don’t have a heat shield set up because I have never had blues nesting this time of year–but this year I do! And of course they chose the sunniest box. So I quick jerry-rigged a heat shield using spacers, a styrofoam cooler lid, and a bungee cord. The male remains suspicious of it (altho’ he has flown to the house hole), but the female took to it easily and popped into the box. I plan to cobble together a nicer heat shield set up for future, just in case. Lesson learned! Of course, it’s also never this hot here!! We should have hatching in the next day or two–4 eggs in this nest. Our heat breaks Monday night, so I’ll take this down then, just in time for feeding babies…
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Julie.
Dave, I’m not sure about that. On the bird.org page about it, it says that bird is a Western species. The maps show it not breeding in Ohio. I thot that was where you’re from?? Maybe another one on that page? I would just observe it more. I’m sure you’ll figure it out.
Great pics, Dave! Maybe check out this link:
When I saw the pics I thot wow, some kind of phoebe/flycatcher bird. I can’t say for sure, but that link has a nice scroll of photos you can browse down. But I think flycatcher types are smaller than robins. These look kinda big. I’ll ponder.
Stebet, this time of year we usually don’t have a nest going, and we don’t see them as often. They tend to disappear a bit and then one day they’ll be sitting on the street light arm, surveying their kingdom, as it were. I would agree with Carol’s advice to be patient and hopeful. It does seem odd since you’re feeding mealworms, but then again, this time of year it’s bugs galore, so there’s lots of available food. And maybe they’re training the young ‘uns on hunting skills…Keep us posted.
I have to say that our bluebird male has been the most vocal we’ve ever had. He follows me around the yard singing–likely making sure I make no moves toward the box! But I was thinking today I will miss that singer when the seasons shift. He’s spoiled me this year.
If you have phoebes, I wonder if it’s a flycatcher or Eastern kingbird? Allaboutbirds.org says kingbirds are aggressive nest defenders. I was thinking strictly cavity dwellers. I hear phoebes here, but have only seen one once across the street. In MD I had them nesting next door at an empty house. I miss their song! Keep me posted on this. I love learning about new birds!
Carol, so glad to hear this! I know it’s been sizzling here, but your region is just so HOT. So happy to know all fledged!
Chris, I’m unsure about your other cavity nester. Could it be some type of flicker? The northern ones can appear brownish on top and creamier underneath. And they are loud mouths and aggressive around the nest–the male is actually funny with all of his shows of bravado. Check some pics online and try to grab a look with binoculars for more details. This is an odd question, but it’s not one of the small owls, is it? I know nothing about them, but there are smaller ones and they do nest in cavities. I’m intrigued!
David, what is in the seed feeders the bluebirds like? What type of feeder? I’ve seen them grab sunflower hearts when I leave a few on top of a caged feeder, but that is rare.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Julie.
Chris, this is so interesting! I have an elderberry shrub in the front flower bed 20 ft from the bluebird box. I’ve noticed the male bluebird divebombing any bird that goes near those berries! I hope to get some, but we’ll see. He’s clearly been feasting on them. Btw I usually put holly branches with berries in pots on the porch in winter, and the bluebirds visit those to eat the berries. Congrats on another nest!!!
Thank you for supplying all this wren guard info! I’ve heard one in the neighbor’s yard, which I usually do this time of year, but I also don’t usually have bluebirds nesting this time of year….so I’m on high alert. Think i’ll be crafting a guard…Thank you for the timely thread, Carol!!
Dave, I had a similar situation last year, but the robin nest was in an elderberry shrub about 15-20 feet from the bluebird box. The blues did not have a problem, but that robin sure did! It was such a squawker and chasing the bluebirds at times that they abandoned that box for the first nesting and went to the backyard one. So be observant.
It seems like so many of these birds have distinct personalities, so maybe you’ll have a peaceful robin. We have had peaceful robins nest here. Just not that time! Wishing you all the best.
I have to add that a robin swooped me and nearly hit me in the head the other day when picking blueberries in the backyard patch. It was the last picking and I took the nets off after, but it surely divebombed me and would’ve hit me but I ducked. Craziest thing!
Great news, Sky!! Really exciting. They remembered your good nesting box! It really makes your day, doesn’t it?