It’s officially spring …

16787229355_a56858f72c_oWe don’t care what the calendar says, when Mama Bluebird starts a nest, it’s officially Spring on this reddirt hill. It appears Mama is genuinely building a nest, although not at her normal frenetic pace.  She is a really fast nest builder when inspiration or perhaps ovulation motivates her.

Birds seem to know how to time the Spring insect crop to their first brood.  I trust Mama’s forecast more than the sellers of weather hype on TV, so I broke out my shorts to celebrate Mama’s declaration of Spring.  No more long pants until October.

The nest building routine seems to be the same for Eastern Bluebirds across their range.  The female does all of the nest construction and the male plays the role of building inspector.  Daddy is extremely interested in Mama’s efforts, and normally lands on the box and peers over the edge when she enters the box with grass. yarbirds 039  I suspect this is partially a survival strategy of cavity nesters.  The male is right there if another species tries to trap his mate inside the box.  He also keeps an eye out for the Sharp-shinned Hawk that considers the reddirt hill his territory.

Click photos to enlarge.

It’s not too late to attract bluebirds to a box this spring, but you need to hurry.  Actually anytime is a good time to put up a bluebird box if you don’t have one.  They often move to another nest site after raising a brood.  That’s why I feed mine mealworms– to keep them bonded to this nest site and me.  The birds know me from other people and come to the back yard if they see me outside.  I put my first nestbox up in August because that was when I got around to it, not expecting any occupants until the following spring.  To my surprise, my first pair moved in within a matter of days.

It looks like we are officially into the breeding season, so I’ll start the chronicle.

First Brood 2015

  • First sign of nest building                                                       10 March
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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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7 Responses to It’s officially spring …

  1. Juliana Michael says:

    YAY for spring! I see that I have sparrows trying to nest in my box. Im putting out the NOT WELCOME mat and Ive gotta kick them out!

    Juliana Baum-Michael Metro Brokers of Oklahoma mobile:405-409-3610 fax: 405-701-1716 julianammichael@gmail.com

    “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time” Shirley Chisholm

    >

    • lindell dillon says:

      I tell folks it’s better to have no box at all than let HOSP’s breed in it. Tear the nests out as soon as they build them. Might consider ordering a Sparrow Spooker to attach to the box. Google it.

  2. Margaret says:

    Hosting bluebirds is clearly not for the faint-hearted. Nor is it for those who think it would be “cute” to have bluebirds nesting in their yards. It is fraught with danger, especially from House Sparrows, an aggressive, introduced species. I congratulate all of you who are trying to protect your precious native birds, despite the tragedies.

  3. Tim Wilson says:

    Michelle & I like your Blue Bird reports. Very interesting. Thanks.

    • lindell dillon says:

      Happy to share. When we have babies, I’ll invite you over for coffee some morning and show them to you.

  4. So happy to hear that I am not imagining that my blue birds know my voice. I don’t know if last year’s Dad survived the winter here-but already this month, a male and female come into the yard whenever I am outside talking, flying to top of nest box. Wondering if they are from previous year’s brood? They seem to be very attached to the box and me. This will be my third year “helping” raise these wonderful little creatures and I don’t let them run out of meal worms.

    • lindell dillon says:

      Bluebirds are just very sociable toward humans. They pay me no mind when I open the box to check the nest. Daddy even wingwaves to me.

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