I haven’t posted in awhile because there hasn’t been much to report. The bluebirds are not spending much time around the house since their eggs were destroyed by the HOSP. I hear them down on the creek and see them around the ponds, but they aren’t even coming for breakfast regularly and have shown almost no interest in the new Gilbertson nestbox.
Though the bluebirds showed little interest in the Gilbertson box, the male HOSP that destroyed the eggs did. He recruited a little honey and sat on the box displaying to attract her to it. This bird has been around awhile and is trap shy and extremely wary so I had to go into sniper mode. My scoped Gamo air rifle is not your grandson’s BB gun. Only 50% the report of a pellet gun and the velocity of a .22 LR. A time-consuming method of sparrow control, but sometimes a man just has to do what he has to do. A bluebird host just can’t tolerate sparrows competing for a nestbox or sooner or later, he will lose a bluebird. The sparrow that destroyed the eggs is no longer a problem.
The bluebirds are normally morning visitors to the yard when they don’t have eggs or babies in the box. We were surprised last evening to see them show up late. I greeted them with my normal antics and Daddy gave me a greeting along with a few wing waves. I went inside and got some mealworms. The bluebirds gobbled them up. Good that they are still around. Could be they are nesting somewhere else, or maybe Mama’s body just hasn’t built up enough calcium yet for another round of egg laying.
The recent Oklahoma tornadoes and flooding have taken a toll on wildlife as well as humans. I’ve started volunteering at WildCareOklahoma, a rehabber near Noble. They currently have 700 wild animals under care, 200-300 more than normal. These folks do miracles on a shoestring budget in an out-dated facility. They could use some donations right now to help them with the influx of injured and orphaned animals.
An orphaned Eastern Screech Owl at WildCare. Click to enlarge.
You can donate online at https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/3Wfha or mail a check to WildCareOklahoma, 7601 84th St., Noble, OK 73068. ‘Like’ WildCare on facebook to see new arrivals and keep up with current events. I’m taking photos and posting to their page.