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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It’s been more than a month now that I have been feeding mealworms to the bluebirds. At first it took me about a week to get them to the mealworm feeder. Initially I was using a tuna can on a small platform mounted on the side of my bluebird house post. Since then I have purchased a nice bluebird mealworm feeder from Birds Unlimited. This feeder is really nice, it has holes in the bottom of the cups to let water drain and it has a cover to keep out the sun and rain.
There are many other birds that are attracted to eating mealworms, they include, Robins, Wrens, Chickadees, Catbirds, Grackles, Woodpeckers, Grosbeakks, Sparrows, Brown Trhushers, Mockingbirds, Warblers, Finches, Orioles, Cardinals, Blackbirds and Nuthatches. There could be a few I missed.
Mealworms are available live and dried. I have been using live mealworms that I purchase from our local pet store. As you use more and more it can get expensive. After researching, I have now started raising my own mealworms and will plan on writing a blog on this later.
Last week I started moving the mealworm feeder pole closer and closer to the house two foot at at time. I am hoping to get the feeder in range for me to take some really nice pictures from the house.
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Late yesterday afternoon the bluebirds finally found the mealworm feeder. There was alot of activity going on, they would fly to the feeder, get a few mealworms and then fly out to the woods or the male would fly into the birdhouse to feed his mate.
After getting up early this morning I cleaned out the mealworm feeder and added more mealworms. It wasn’t but about 10 minutes when the male bluebird and what looks like a few fledglings showed up hanging around and eating the mealworms. I took these pictures this morning, be sure to click the image to enlarge.
I believe these are the same bluebirds from a first cycle brood back in May. They have only been back for a few weeks now, built their nest and have been nesting for their second brood. There are three or four fledgling hanging around too.
The male was constantly flying from the mealworm feeder with mealworms to inside the birhouse to feed the female who is sitting on eggs. I want to peek inside the house to see how many eggs they have but don’t want to scare them. I did peek inside after they had been working on the nest for 3 days and know they have built a high nest.
The fledglings where going back and forth from the cast iron plant hanger and near by tree limbs to the mealworms when dad was in the birdhouse. This continued for about 15 minutes until the mealworms were gone.
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