After an enjoyable Memorial Day trip with family to visit family in Texas, we returned home to impending thunderstorms. I wanted to get my lawn mowed, but took time to inspect the bluebird box, not expecting to find eggs so soon after Daddy took a new mate.
But nature is full of surprises. Inside the deep-cupped nest of prairie grass were two beautiful little blue eggs– about the size of a nickel. Since Mama Too (I guess that is what we are going to call her) is a young bird, she is probably going to lay an egg a day until her clutch is finished. That would mean her first egg was likely laid on 28 May. It’s looking like the red dirt hill will have baby bluebirds again this year.
I’m grateful that people enjoy reading about the bluebirds that cohabit this red dirt hill with me, but having bluebirds of your own will be much more rewarding. It’s difficult to attract bluebirds if the nest site isn’t near good bluebird habitat. They like somewhat open grassy areas nearby, a scenario that is often not available to urban folks. If you see
Daddy on guard duty.
bluebirds around, by all means put up a box and try to attract them. Get a box approved by the North American Bluebird Society. That’s important. Place it away from trees and brush to avoid wrens or chickadees moving in. The entrance should face away from prevailing winds and be located about 5-7 feet off the ground. You should also mount a baffle on the pole to prevent predators from climbing into the nest. I’ve read that about 30% of nestboxes without baffles are raided by predators, primarily snakes. I always caution prospective bluebird hosts about House Sparrows. If you aren’t prepared to deal with them, and that includes lethally, don’t put up a nestbox because it will likely be a death chamber for bluebirds. Sparrows are notorious killers of baby bluebirds and adults as well. You can find the answer to about any question on bluebirds at http://www.sialis.org/index.html
Wishing you bluebirds.
- Nest completed by previous female
- First egg laid 28 May
- Second egg 29 May