A new year begins

IMG_0545 ldJanuary begins a new  year and a new chapter in the Bluebird Diary.  Both of our original bluebirds that lived with us for four years are gone and a younger pair are now visiting the backyard and nestbox.  They are not as familiar with me as the old birds, but have learned that mealworms are served about 8:00 o’clock and show up on time.  I like to train the bluebirds to

Daddy II on the nestbox.  Click to enlarge.

come at a specific time so the worms aren’t eaten by other birds.  I also whistle like you would to call a dog when I place mealworms in the feeder.  The birds will learn this is the call to dinner.

Although I trapped around fifty House Sparrows in 2012, I have more around than at any previous time.  Even in winter, the female sparrows enter the house to check it out.  This could be fatal if the female bluebird was inside when a sparrow entered.  Even though this pair of bluebirds haven’t raised a brood yet, they show a lot of interest in the nestbox.  In just the past few days Daddy II has started to be protective of it and run away any sparrows that come near it.  Maybe by nesting time in the spring he will have discouraged the sparrows from trying to enter the box.

I have lots of House Finches and goldfinches at the backyard feeders in winter, but they are no threat to the bluebirds and Daddy II pays them no mind.  Bluebirds seem to know which birds are threats and which ones aren’t.  The finches and the bluebirds often water at the same time on the blue ceramic birdbath.  This pair of young bluebirds seem to know they have it good– food, water and a good nestbox all right together and a security guard that runs off the sparrows and Coopers Hawk that sometimes patrols the red dirt hill.

I’m hopeful these birds will raise some babies this spring.  We can always use more bluebirds.  I guess there is life without bluebirds, but I don’t want to experience it.

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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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5 Responses to A new year begins

  1. Best of luck with the new birds! Do you think they’re kids that were raised in that very nest box?

    • lindell dillon says:

      There is no way to tell, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one is from a former brood. I inquired about banding babies so I could identify them as adults, but the process is so complicated I didn’t pursue it. Doubt they would have approved me since I’m not a professional. Placing bands on the legs of baby birds is ‘rocket science’ you know.

  2. Dori Schneider says:

    I do hope and pray this summer will not be as horrifically hot. ‘My’ winter bluebirds have been enjoying their mealworms and fresh water as well. I have not seen any sparrows enter the nesting boxes, nor have the bluebirds themselves entered. The last summer brood did not hatch due to the heat, however, the first brood successfully hatched. I wonder if the new male bluebirds I see are from this first brood. Wherever they are from, they are always welcome on this old homesteaded farm in central Kansas.
    Happy Bluebirding

  3. jpinok3 says:

    Looking forward to the new “family” giving us lots of enjoyment through your blog, Lyndell. Happy New Year to you and Carolyn.

    Jim & Judy

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