No nesting yet …

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Click to enlarge photos.

One month ago today the bluebirds’ second clutch of eggs was destroyed by a male House Sparrow.  Since that time they have been irregular visitors to the mealworm feeder.  Previously they arrived right around 8:00 a.m. for their breakfast.  If they had eggs or babies in the box, they were in and out all day.  The photo is Mama II yesterday with a beak full of worms.  I’ve never seen them gather up worms before unless they were feeding babies.  Normally, they just sit on the feeder and eat one worm at a time.

My first thought was that perhaps our backyard bluebirds have nested elsewhere and  already hatched babies.  But, after checking the date the eggs were destroyed, I don’t believe that is possible.  It would take Mama about a week to build a nest, a week to lay a clutch and two weeks to hatch.  Since it’s only 30 days today from the egg massacre, just not possible.  I think.  So far the birds are showing almost no interest in the new Gilbertson house.

I continue to trap sparrows.  I don’t keep the trap out all the time, but opened up the House Sparrow Hotel three days ago and check-ins include 7 sparrows and 2 cowbirds.   Not a pleasant aspect of hosting bluebirds, but just one of those things that a successful bluebird host has to do.

We haven’t had a lot of birds in the yard recently, but the butterfly bushes and the Desert IMG_5766 copyWillow are blooming.  Lots of butterflies and bumblebees on them.  The bumblebees won’t bother you while on a food source, so I pay them no mind mowing or working in the yard.  Should you stumble upon their nest somewhere up on the reddirt hill, that would be another matter.

I’m not sure where this bluebird saga is going.  Hopefully to another successful nesting this season.  I guess I’m an optimist, ordered a Sparrow Spooker that I will place on the box if laying begins.

You can keep up with my nature photography on my flickr stream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/reddirtpics/ 

I’m doing photography at a local rehabber, WildCareOklahoma,  and posting to their facebook.  If you are on fb, ‘like’ WildCareOklahoma to keep up with new arrivals and current events.

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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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8 Responses to No nesting yet …

  1. pamcolander says:

    So frustrating….stupid sparrows. Thankfully we don’t have HSSPs up where we live. We have several species nesting in our yard right now. Western bluebirds, ash-throated flycatchers, three boxes of violet-green swallows, house wrens (as bad as sparrows but they are behaving themselves), hepatic tanagers, western tanagers, cordelleran flycatchers, wood peewees, robins, black-headed grosbeaks and numerous hummingbirds. Hatching should begin anytime now. The BBs steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the mealworms I put out. The robins and grosbeaks gratefully gobble them up. Hope your nesting gets back on track this year.

  2. Linda says:

    We put out a Bluebird box not 10 foot from our front door this spring. Had sparrows try and nest but we kept them away. A pair of bluebirds nested and we had 5 eggs. They hatched and fledged. We have had a couple of sightings of the young ones. We now have a second clutch of 4 eggs. The sparrows try to bother them but daddy bluebird is very vigilant. So far all is going great! I feel very lucky to have these lovely bluebirds nesting in my front yard! I hope they stay!

    • lindell dillon says:

      Congrats on your nesting success. But, don’t let up on the HOSP control. Don’t count just on the parents keeping them away. When we lure bluebirds into nesting in HOSP habitat, we have a responsibility to protect them. Thanks for posting!

  3. lindell dillon says:

    Well, I was wrong about Mama not having enough time to nest and incubate again. Located their nest yesterday with babies inside. Not on my property.

  4. jpinok3 says:

    Glad to know about your photos on Facebook. I always enjoy seeing them.

    • lindell dillon says:

      Thanks, Judy. I assume you are talking about the WildCareOklahoma pics. That place does such great work with so little. I don’t know how they do it.

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