Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bluebirds at Home

GG is an avid birdwatcher and has tried to maintain a good habitat for a wide variety of birds over the years. Around and near the pond there are normally at least 5 bluebird houses available. Abandoned-Bluebird-HouseThey don't all have bluebirds every year. The birds usually pick 2 or 3 different houses each year so there are always bluebirds around in the spring and into the summer. (The picture is of one of the houses which hasn't been used in years. It is at the end of the pond that has been allowed to grow wild and was covered with shrubbery and vines. We had even forgotten it was there until a recent strong wind downed an adjacent dead tree and unveiled the birdhouse.)

So far this year we have already had at least one house at the pond which was occupied and the young birds have already fledged. We didn't check the house directly so we are not sure how many young ones there were. Unfortunately it seemed that whenever we had the camera and were anywhere near the house the mom and pop were not to be seen. Any other time they could be seen going back and forth to the house performing their parental duties. Two houses along the fence of the neighboring pasture also have bluebirds, but we have refrained from disturbing the birds to this point and we are not sure if the young have fledged or not. Most likely they have.

For several days we had noticed a pair of bluebirds checking out 2 of the houses next to the pond, but they did not begin making a nest. (They even checked out the larger duck house in the picture on the edge of the pond.)Duck-House Perhaps it was not quite the right time for the female and they were just checking out potential home sites for when the time comes. After about two weeks they decided on a new home and began building a nest in the house that had already been used once this season. Perhaps this is the same pair of bluebirds that raised the first family, but there is no way to tell as there are so many bluebirds around.

Interestingly some of the houses are in areas that have a good bit of human foot traffic nearby. The bluebirds appear to be fairly tolerant of humans occasionally passing by, but we try to avoid being close too often when they are nesting.

By the way, if you happen to live within the bluebirds' range and have a satisfactory site for a bluebird house you should think of putting one or more up. Due to the loss of natural nesting sites the species depends heavily on man-made nesting sites. The birds are truly beautiful. And, due to their distinctive coloring, it is easy to distinguish them from other birds and identify the male and female. This makes even casual observation of the nesting interesting. You can easily find sites on the net with all the information you need. For starters you might want to visit North American Bluebird Society. Or just search for 'bluebirds' or 'bluebird housing' and you will find all the info you will need.


  1. That is so neat to know that they will tolerate a fair amount of foot traffic! We have a Robin's nest outside our kitchen window right now and she has settled in just fine and there is a TON of traffic going by since it is a major thorough way in our home. When she first started laying we were worried that she would abandon them because of seeing to much of us but her babies have since hatched and we are observing them daily and mama is happy :) Super cool to see them so close!
    Love your froggy photo of the little babies above to :)
    Nature Mama

  2. I've been checking in on the progress of your robins from time to time. Seems they are doing fine. Apparently bluebirds are pretty tolerant. I know every year when I'm cutting the grass near their homes they stay nearby. When I approach they hop up on the fence or a post and as soon as I pass down they come for the insects, etc. which have been stirred up. The next trip around it all repeats.

    We are still trying to find out where the green herons are nesting if they are indeed nearby. And, just last night we were discussing a plan for checking out the hawk nest site on a regular basis. It is a little out of the way but worth the trouble. Unfortunately we will probably not be able to get any good pics because it is high in a tree surrounded by other trees.



Thanks for stopping by to visit our little pond. We would love to see you again real soon.