New pair moves in

Our new pair of bluebirds seems to be getting comfortable with the back yard.  They are in and out of the yard daily and showing up for mealworms about 8:30 a.m.  I train the bluebirds to meal time so that the worms will be consumed by them and not another species that would soon key in on the feeder.

I had about a dozen House Sparrows that showed up in the back yard and are threats to the bluebirds.  One female is going into the nestbox and trying to build a nest, even though it’s fall.  I remove the material daily and put out my sparrow trap baited with white millet.  I caught 8 the first day which is a pretty good dent in the population.  The remaining four seem to be shy of the trap and unfortunately the one that has claimed the box is one of those.  For the time being, I just opened the door to the box so that she can’t trap a bluebird inside and kill it.

In the photo, Mama II is checking out the open box.  The bluebirds seem a little confused by it, but it’s not breeding season.  Recently there has been another male bluebird with the pair.  I think all of these are young birds and perhaps the two males are even from the same brood.  Over time the paired bluebird won’t allow another male inside his territory.

I guess I’ve made the bluebirds a little too comfortable with us.  They continue to think the patio furniture is their loafing space.  I recruited a friend named Hooty to shoo them away.  He on duty 24/7 and never complains.  So far he seems to be working.  They completely ignored a rubber snake, in fact would land right next to it.

I watched a Blue Jay raise cane with Hooty this morning.  The jay came in to get some peanuts from a tray feeder, saw Hooty and set up a fuss.  He left and hasn’t been back. I enjoy all our visiting feathered friends, but he bluebirds get special treatment on the red dirt hill.   We are just thrilled to have another pair in the yard.

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About lindell dillon

Lindell Dillon is retired and lives in Norman, OK. He grew up in Duncan, attended Cameron College and graduated from the University of Oklahoma. His interests include photography, nature, birding, and investing. Oklahoma Master Naturalist, alumnus Norman Police Department Citizens Academy.
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3 Responses to New pair moves in

  1. Rose Bemo says:

    Lindell,

    This email sure raised my spirits on a grouchy Monday morning. The new Momma sure is pretty! Thanks for keeping us posted and tell Hooty to keep up the good fight! 🙂

  2. jpinok3 says:

    I tried to comment and couldn’t get it to take my password. So my question is: What does the sparrow trap do? Does it kill them, or just hold them until you release them? If it holds them, does that discourage them from coming back or can you tell? Just curious. I’ve been gone, but I’m catching up. I always enjoy your posts. Glad your new pair of bluebirds is getting settled in. Judy PS: Vote Romney Ryan!

    ________________________________

    • lindell dillon says:

      The trap captures birds alive and unharmed, so if you get an unintended species like a junco, you can just reach in grab it and release it. So far as the sparrows go, they are humanely euthanized. I’ve trapped 42 this season. No way my bluebirds would be alive if I didn’t. There is a wealth of information regarding HOSP control on the bluebird site Sialis. View at http://www.sialis.org/hosp.htm

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