Finally, After a Couple of Years and a Few Birdhouses
We love all song birds. But after I saw my first real-life Bluebird preening on a tree trunk along the bike path I was awestruck. A beautiful blue with rust colored chest and white belly. The thought of drawing them in to reside in our garden popped up in my head. I read all books and articles I could find about them. I bought a couple of birdhouses that were made specifically for Bluebirds, but we had failed to draw them in for the past two years. They came, looked and decided against staying. At least once they were chased away by the House Sparrows. One time they were bombarded by the Tree Swallows who already built their own nest in the house near by. One of the books about Bluebirds mentioned that they can be good neighbors, but I guessed these pairs were exceptions.
This year the first pair came and checked the Tree Swallow house. They were promptly chased away. Then the second pair came late, July. I heard their call from a tree top, then the male came down to check the birdhouse previously occupied by a Chickadee family. They checked that house a few time, but I guess the soon to be Mrs. didn’t like it. Then they checked the Tree Swallow house. It was too messy in there since I hadn’t cleaned it after the swallows left. We decided to put an extra house up in the front yard. Within a few days, the male came and checked it out. Then the female came to give an OK and brought building material in. Bravo, at last.
We kept our eyes on them from inside the house to make sure that they were not menaced by the House Sparrows. The Catbird loved to perch on their roof and the Blue family didn’t mind him. However, they got panicky at just the sight of a House Sparrow. One of them, usually the female, would perch just right at the entrance to block access. The other half of the pair would try to chase the Sparrow off.
I opened the front door of their house a couple of times a week to make sure that everything was fine with the four turquoise blue eggs. No one penetrated their defense. Then the first one hatched to a fuzzy looking chick. We couldn’t take any photos since they built the nest up so high in the box. Then all four of them hatched. The parents were in and out more often this time. In with the worms or insects, then out with chick droppings. Well, now we know that birds do change diapers.
A few week after they hatched, they were gone. I saw them once in a while on the tree. The freckled babies still didn’t go very far from where they were born. Hopefully, they will all be back to nest again next year like the other repeat residents in our garden. We are looking forward to it. It’s nice to know we helped increase the population of a bird that was once almost extinct in this area.