Be like the bluebird who never is blue,
For he knows from his upbringing what singing can do
– Cole Porter, Be Like the Bluebird, 1934
We took a short trip to Taos this past week. Left with three eggs in Mama’s second clutch of the year and returned with six perfect little blue eggs in the box. We’ve had rainy, cool mornings and Mama is in the box incubating as I type. Typically bluebird eggs hatch in 12-14 days. I usually just count on 13. If she laid an egg every day, she would have laid her sixth egg on 16 May, and likely would have begun incubating the following day. So the eggs should hatch about 01 June.
I’ve often talked about the need and methodologies of deterring marauding House Sparrows, but have not discussed wrens. Wrens can also claim nestboxes and puncture bluebird eggs and remove nesting material. While HOSP’s are undesirable birds, wrens are not and are protected by federal law. Still there are things we can do to deter them from building in a bluebird box.
Daddy sitting on the Sparrow Spooker.
Some tips: Put nestboxes at least 50 and preferably 200-300 feet away from brushy and wooded areas, especially away from areas wrens have used in the past. Try a wren guard during egg laying. Avoid slot boxes and gourds, and don’t crowd multiple boxes close together.
Total chicks fledged from this site is 76.
Second brood 2017
- First sign of nest building 07 May
- Nest completed 10 May
- First egg laid 11 May
- Second egg laid 12 May
- Third egg laid 13 May
- Fourth egg laid 14 May
- Fifth egg laid 15 May
- Sixth egg laid 16 May
- Incubation begins 17 May