May 27, 2014
Yesterday morning just before the sun came up I started watching these bluebirds building a nest. I watched them for about an hour and took nearly 100 pictures. These pictures were taken thru the window glass so they are not as clear as I would like them to be. I was afraid raising the window would scare them away.
The female was gathering the nesting material and would fly back and perch a minute before entering into the house. Sometimes the female would hand off to the male nesting material and he would go inside.
Most of the time she was gathering and handling all the nesting materials herself. About every five minutes she would fly out of the house to gather more material, fly back and start all over again.
It seem like she would gather more pine needles than grass for the nest. On the above shot she couldn’t hardly get all of the material into the house.
Another beak full!
This is the second clutch or brood of the year for these bluebirds in this house and it is the fourth year that I have had bluebirds in this bluebird house. Last year I count 4 different broods in this bluebird house. They will usually lay 4 to 7 eggs the first brood but average is 4 to 5 eggs and toward the end of the season they will only lay 1, 2 or 3 eggs.
The male has the striking blue color!
I really enjoyed watching them build their nest and got some great pictures! I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did!
Do you have a bluebird house? Have you had bluebird nest in your house this year?
2013 Bluebird post:
It’s Bluebird Nesting Time Again
Bluebirds Eating Mealworms
Bluebirds and Mealworm Feeder
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Even though your garden might be covered in snow and our temperatures are still really cold, the birds will soon be getting ready for spring nesting. Today I watched a male Bluebird perched atop my birdhouse as he puffed out his check and sang over and over again. I am convinced he was calling his mate to come and check out the house. I later saw the female flying by the birdhouse and landed on the side of a nearby tree and sang! Makes me wonder if she gave him her approval?
Now is the time to make sure your birdhouses are clean and ready to go. Most birdhouses are built so that you can take either the roof or floor off. Some also have sliding sides and others have a front or side that is on a hinge to provide access.
I always wear disposable vinyl gloves and a face mask while cleaning my birdhouses because your birdhouse will be dirty and can harbor rodents, insects, feather mites, blowflies, fungus and bacteria that can spread disease. Cleaning your birdhouse minimizes these hazards, plus there are many birds that will not use an old nest.
When opening your birdhouse be careful, last year I had a small flying squirrel fly out in my face, scared me to death! Carefully empty out last year’s nests, do not blow into the birdhouse because everything will come back in your face. The last thing you need to do is inhale all that dirt, fungus and bacteria or get it in your eyes. Next, wipe down the inside with a mild bleach solution. Be sure to do a thorough cleaning.
Inspect the birdhouse and make sure all air holes are clear of dirt and nesting. Clearing these areas will insure good air circulation during the summer months. This is also a perfect time to inspect your birdhouse for needed repairs. Be sure to check the roof for leaks!
Do this I hope we all get birds to nest in our birdhouses! 🙂
I sure hope some of you are feeding the birds this winter? Its very hard for the birds to find food this time of year, especially if the ground is covered in snow!
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The Bluebirds are back! We have already had our first cycle brood of bluebirds this year and our second cycle is going on right now. If you have a bluebird house or nesting box in your yard, you might have seen some action around it lately. I certainly have. The male bluebird has been busy bringing little sticks, pine needles, etc. to the nest for a day of so. He is bringing the nest material to the hole, goes in and out, sometimes waving his wings while perched on the box. The female is hanging around but is just monitoring everything. The female does all the nest building.
Typical nesting season for our Eastern Bluebirds in south Carolina can have up to 3 nesting cycles per year. Dates may vary a bit with weather conditions and their food availability.
I will generally clean out the old nest of all my boxes late fall early winter but before mid January. In February the bluebirds return and begin looking for a mate and a nesting site. The males checks out potential nesting sites and then will find a mate.
Between March and April they begin to build the nest. April to May is generally they have their first brood. June to July the second cycle begins. This is where we are now. In August there can be a third brood.
If you provide plenty of food, the bluebirds will continue to come back. The Eastern Blue Birds will eat mostly insects, wild fruit and berries. Sometimes they have been spotted capturing and eating salamanders, lizards and tree frogs. They love live mealworms but will also eat dried mealworms. If you have space for a mealworm feeder, they are sure to enjoy it. I have had a hard time getting them to my mealworm feeder. Went thru 1000 live mealworms and never saw them go to the feeder once. It’s discourging but I am determined to get them eating mealworms.
I have seen them many times on my black sunflower seed feeder with the yellow finches. Check out the Bluebirds Easting Mealworms.
Don’t you just love bluebirds!! I love to see all the bluebirds darting across the yard stopping only to pick up bugs along the way. We have several bluebird houses in our garden. This year we had three different nest and all had babies. Looks like one of our birdhouses is going to have two different sets of babies.
The eggs are so blue!
Bluebird Eggs picture taken May 2013
If you are interested in having a bluebird house in your garden, check out my store page. I handmake two different sizes of the same birdhouse. I use rough sawn cedar, nails, exterior glue and aluminum for the roof cut to fit. The opening for the bluebirds to enter is 1 1/2″. There is a secret door that allows you to clean out the old nest at the end of the season.
Email me at MichaelsWoodCraft@yahoo.com if you have any questions or visit my Bluebird Houses page.
Did you have bluebirds nest in your birdhouse this year? Please comment, attach pictures. I sure would like to know about your bluebird experiences.