“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 ~
- Sweet Dreams, Much Grub, and Safe Landings on First Flight, Dearest Baby Blues!
This bluebird is on a mission! What a beautiful photo taken by Bill in NC of this bluebird exiting the nestbox. This is one of the Homes for Bluebirds, made in Bailey, NC. This is a wonderfully crafted box that is more narrow and taller to accommodate an artificial nestcup, making monitoring and cleaning the box easier. The metal plate over the entry hole is a reinforcement to keep any other possible predator, such as another bird or squirrel, from enlarging this 1.5 inch hole size and thus harming the eggs or chicks inside.
I did a switchout of nests due to blowfly larvae in this nest of 9-day old chicks. The female here returned in 5 minutes! Truly amazing.
- Selectively, these Blues are using a Roanoke Times box. The Bluebirds here used pine needles.
Bluebirds are picky on location, but if a cavity looks good, they’ll take it! The only problem with newspaper boxes is the birds are targets for predation — humans, ground, and avian. Being along a road is dangerous, but hopefully no cars will hit the birds as they fly out of the box. We can hope the chicks will fledge happily!
NOTES ON GRASS NOTES (see photos below): Here are two samples of different grasses used by bluebirds. They find what’s available in local habitat. Usually, in my area, I’ve seen pine needes, mostly white pine. Farther out in rural areas, I see more field grasses. The first photo below are smaller grasses used by the bluebirds. There are 5 eggs inside! Photo was taken on May 9, 2009. The second photo below was taken in 2008, a different box location on the trail. Field grasses were used. They are longer and they built the nest higher.
This grass nest was built for a third brood in this box in 2008! These grasses are longer and thicker, obtained from a local hay field. These bluebirds built this nest much higher than usual. Photo taken July 1, 2008.