This will be short and sweet today, but I have exciting news to share. After several unsuccessful attempts this year, our bluebird pair has finally hatched babies! It is a big deal because Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis)are fairly rare in our area. Loss of habitat and competition for nesting sites from introduced species like starlings and house sparrows has contributed to their decline over the years. But they are making a comeback, and we have had them around Happy Acres since we moved here in 2007. I also had nest boxes at my old place, and I have been putting up nest boxes for them for over 30 years now, including many I made myself out of wood.
The nest box is made of PVC pipe stained to resemble a tree, and the size and shape is intended to discourage house sparrows from nesting. Sparrows are a problem here, and have been known to kill other bird babies and trash the nest. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping they will not be a problem, but I will be on the lookout for them. I have the nest box mounted on a metal pole, with a squirrel baffle mounted on it to deter snakes and other predators from climbing the pole.
The babies will grow rapidly with both parents feeding them. Bluebirds typically leave the nest somewhere between 16-21 days after hatching. I will continue to monitor the nest carefully, and try and stay away from the nest box since the parents tend to be protective and will swoop us if they think we get too close or tarry nearby too long. I’ll keep you posted on their progress.