Late fall/winter

A bluebird box is perhaps the easiest and most rewarding way to do something good for the environment.  – Michigan Bluebird Society

yard 011Livin’ is easy for bluebirds in the fall, especially mild ones like we are experiencing.  Food is plentiful and allows the birds to recover from the rigors of raising two or three broods.  Fall is also an excellent time to erect a bluebird box or

Daddy singing in the yard.

make repairs and clean out your current one.  Generally bluebirds won’t nest within a hundred yards or so from another pair, so it’s not a good idea to try to attract more than one pair.  The males are very territorial.

Young bluebirds and mature ones scout for nesting cavities in fall and winter, so it’s better to put up a box in the fall than wait until spring nesting season to attempt to attract bluebirds to your yard.  Daddy II and his new mate Mama III continue to visit the yard yard 022daily and check on their box.  Sometimes there will be other bluebirds with them, I suspect some of Daddy’s offspring from this past summer.  Come next spring, he will drive them from his territory.  Mama is getting used to me, doesn’t immediately fly away

Photo: Mama on patio chair. Click to enlarge.

when I walk out like she originally did and she takes mealworms from the feeder.  It’s so good to have bluebirds back in the yard, after Mama II’s death and Daddy going AWOL for awhile.

You can read North American Bluebird Society’s fact sheet for nestboxes if you are  thinking about putting up one. http://www.nabluebirdsociety.org/PDF/FAQ/NABS%20factsheet%20-%20Nestbox%20Recs%20-%2010Sep12.pdf

One good tip is to take a bar of soap and liberally coat the ceiling in the box.  This will prevent wasps from attaching a nest.  It’s never a good surprise to open a box to check for signs of nesting and discover a large wasp nest.

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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.
This entry was posted in Birding, Bluebirds, Nature, nature photography, Oklahoma and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Late fall/winter

  1. Tim Wilson says:

    Very Nice! So glad their a part of Hallbrooke. Good Job Lindell!

  2. Margaret says:

    Really interesting, Lindell. The practice of smearing soap on the ceiling of the nest box is so clever. No doubt a useful method of wasp control in the nest boxes of many different species.
    In spite of occasional tragedies you have a stable population and the birds clearly trust you. Have you considered becoming involved in identification banding?

  3. Susan Morrison says:

    Thanks Lindell! I am so happy that Daddy and his new mate are making a permanent home here in Hallbrooke. Thank you for making that happen.

  4. lindell dillon says:

    The process to become a bander is too long and tedious to jump through all the hoops. I’ve asked for a volunteer on the Oklahoma Ornithological Society BB with no takers. Would be fun to see if I have birds raised in the back yard around later. Bluebirds in OK don’t migrate.

  5. Jim says:

    I’m in Rochester NY and last winter the bluebirds did not stay the winter like they did the previous two winters. It’s now late-fall and they are still here daily, so maybe they sill stay this winter. It’s always interesting to watch them and see how many of their brood will use the nesting box for overnight roosting during the winter.

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