Bluebirds - any birders out there?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Valley Forge, PA USA
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    73

    Default Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    Not sure if anyone else is a birder, but we just had our first ever Bluebirds fledge from our box out back yesterday. Very exciting. For 3 years we've had tree swallows move in and have babies and leave, which is awesome - they are amazing as well. I've had two boxes out there because they say you can get both BB and TS. Well, this year we actually did. 5 BB babies left the nest into flight today (beehive right in the background!). The tree swallows are just now starting to incubate their eggs before they will all leave in June. But it looks like the male bluebird is already reclaiming the box for a possible round 2.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    Yes, we have Bluebirds every year. For the past week, we've had a female purposefully flying into the kitchen window "defending" her territory via attacking her reflection. Right now, we have three nesting pairs. Two overwintered. One pair showed up right after the winter or spring or whatever this season was.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    KC, MO, USA
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    4,646

    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    We see Bluebirds almost daily, very cool to watch them hunt for bugs.

    Just had our first Baltimore Oriole come to a feeder we just put out. And once and a while we get a look at a blue Bunting.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Crivitz, WI
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    477

    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    I have 6 bluebird houses up, I get bluebirds, swallows and chick a dees all using them. I also put up two wood duck houses this spring, but they were not used this year. There is always next year!
    It is a tall, right handed, world! I am neither!!!!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Marshall county, AL
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    3,404

    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    I've had a bluebird trail on our farm since I was 16. That was 30 years ago. We have been south of the Tree Swallow nesting range until the past 4 or 5 years. They have now moved into our area. I enjoy seeing them both.

    We also have over 30 pairs of Barn Swallows that nest in our 3 barns and I have had over 100 nesting pairs of Purple Martins for the past 14 years.

    So yeah, I'm a birder.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
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    616

    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    I've also built a lot of bluebird and Carolina Chickadee houses. I have them up all over our yard. We get quite a few occupants and enjoy watching and listening to them, especially during hive inspections. There was a bluebird singing a nice song most of the morning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan151 View Post
    I have 6 bluebird houses up, I get bluebirds, swallows and chick a dees all using them. I also put up two wood duck houses this spring, but they were not used this year. There is always next year!
    I have two wood duck houses up too and had them both occupied this spring. I didn't get any the first year and considered not putting them back out. Be patient and you may get one. They're definitely worth it.
    Beekeeping 5 Years - 10 production hives and about 10 nucs - Treatment OAV Only

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Valley Forge, PA USA
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    73

    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    Flowerplaneter, I saw a blue bunting for a nanosecond in the meadow across the street from our house - that was a treat. I've got orioles all over the place but gosh darn it as hard as I try they won't come to my oriole feeder, I take it as a good sign. Must be enough natural food for them to forage.

    Interesting that a bunch of you are housing wood ducks. we have them on the river nearby, beautiful birds.

    I am considering putting up a screech owl box this year as well. Had a Mama and three babies yapping on my back porch last summer on a hot night. Thought there was a rabid animal yelping and peeked out the kitchen window with a flashlight and there was the screech mama and three little ones all perched on the railing of our deck!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Valley Forge, PA USA
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    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    BTW - Bradbee, do you find that the BBs will stay and nest twice in the same box?

  10. #9
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    Sep 2013
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    Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnycake View Post
    Flowerplaneter, I saw a blue bunting for a nanosecond in the meadow across the street from our house - that was a treat. I've got orioles all over the place but gosh darn it as hard as I try they won't come to my oriole feeder, I take it as a good sign. Must be enough natural food for them to forage.

    Interesting that a bunch of you are housing wood ducks. we have them on the river nearby, beautiful birds.

    I am considering putting up a screech owl box this year as well. Had a Mama and three babies yapping on my back porch last summer on a hot night. Thought there was a rabid animal yelping and peeked out the kitchen window with a flashlight and there was the screech mama and three little ones all perched on the railing of our deck!
    Just be careful - screech owls occasionally eat the other birds you're referring to. If not for that I would have a box for them also.

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnycake View Post
    BTW - Bradbee, do you find that the BBs will stay and nest twice in the same box?
    Bluebirds have two brood periods each year. They can build in the same box but it should be cleaned / washed out between broods.
    Beekeeping 5 Years - 10 production hives and about 10 nucs - Treatment OAV Only

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Williamsburg, Virginia
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    273

    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    To help in the feeding process BB love those dried meal worms, a little pricey. They also love peanut butter as well as wrens and chickadees for that matter all bug eating will like peanut butter. I keep peanut butter out for them year round. Squirrels also like peanut butter so you need to find a way to keep them out.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Knox, Pa. USA
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    5,400

    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    Orioles I do not know as I am a birder, Maybe a bird brain. But I do enjoy watching them Have 4 bluebird boxes, two seed feeders two hummingbird feeders and My favorite. The Orioles, have two pairs of Baltimore and a pair of Orchard Orioles. here is one of the male Baltimore's.

    Orieol 6.jpg

  13. #12
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    Jun 2015
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    Rib Lake WI
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    1,701

    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    Haven't had a pet bird for a long time because you have to climb a skinny spruce tree to the top to rob a crows nest. Amazing smart are crows. Also had a sparrow as a pet we would let her outside then she would come back to the door to be let back in.

  14. #13
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    Sep 2013
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    Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    Orioles I do not know as I am a birder, Maybe a bird brain. But I do enjoy watching them Have 4 bluebird boxes, two seed feeders two hummingbird feeders and My favorite. The Orioles, have two pairs of Baltimore and a pair of Orchard Orioles. here is one of the male Baltimore's.

    Orieol 6.jpg
    You certainly sound like a birder to me Tenbears!
    Beekeeping 5 Years - 10 production hives and about 10 nucs - Treatment OAV Only

  15. #14
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    Jan 2014
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    Manassas, Virginia, USA
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    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    We have tried to encourage bluebirds, but with limited luck. A pair did show up this spring but we have not seen evidence that they made it their home.

    What we have instead is Phoebes. Two pairs nested this year and we watched them raise young successfully. They give our place its name (The Phoebe's Nest) and provide my screen name Phoebee. Which really should be Fee-Bee because of how much this hobby costs, but I can't change it now.

  16. #15
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    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    Orioles I do not know as I am a birder, Maybe a bird brain. But I do enjoy watching them Have 4 bluebird boxes, two seed feeders two hummingbird feeders and My favorite. The Orioles, have two pairs of Baltimore and a pair of Orchard Orioles. here is one of the male Baltimore's.

    Orieol 6.jpg
    I have never seen an Oriole in the wild. I'd love to. They should be in the area.

  17. #16
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    Sep 2013
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    Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoebee View Post
    We have tried to encourage bluebirds, but with limited luck. A pair did show up this spring but we have not seen evidence that they made it their home.

    What we have instead is Phoebes. Two pairs nested this year and we watched them raise young successfully. They give our place its name (The Phoebe's Nest) and provide my screen name Phoebee. Which really should be Fee-Bee because of how much this hobby costs, but I can't change it now.
    That's a cool story. We have bluebirds that build. I've have seen a few Phoebes but they've never been interested in building.
    Beekeeping 5 Years - 10 production hives and about 10 nucs - Treatment OAV Only

  18. #17
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    Aug 2013
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    Crivitz, WI
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    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoebee View Post
    We have tried to encourage bluebirds, but with limited luck. A pair did show up this spring but we have not seen evidence that they made it their home.

    What we have instead is Phoebes. Two pairs nested this year and we watched them raise young successfully. They give our place its name (The Phoebe's Nest) and provide my screen name Phoebee. Which really should be Fee-Bee because of how much this hobby costs, but I can't change it now.
    I get both, they are both pretty nice to have around!!
    It is a tall, right handed, world! I am neither!!!!

  19. #18
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    May 2012
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    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnycake View Post
    . The tree swallows are just now starting to incubate their eggs before they will all leave in June. But it looks like the male bluebird is already reclaiming the box for a possible round 2.
    The problem with tree swallows is they begin to nest earlier than the bluebirds At this latitude. So if you have tree swallows then you usually do not have bluebirds. Hence why I have 4 boxes. Here is the solution. If you still want the tree Swallows then place out a couple of boxes and only do it to one, Tree swallows fly into the box as where Bluebirds light and pop in. Just outside the perimeter of the entrance so a wire will run about 1/2" from the hole place 4 nails in a square pattern so they stick out 3/4" then run a strand of 30 gauge single strand wire from nail to nail. this makes it imposable for the Swallows to fly in thus they cannot use the box leaving it clear for the bluebirds.

  20. #19
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    Apr 2013
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    Marshall county, AL
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    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnycake View Post
    BTW - Bradbee, do you find that the BBs will stay and nest twice in the same box?
    It's not uncommon, but I think they usually change boxes from one clutch to the other. They will start building another nest before the first nest fledges.

    I have had BB's here raise 4 broods in one year.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Valley Forge, PA USA
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    73

    Default Re: Bluebirds - any birders out there?

    Well I don't know if it's the same BB family, but a couple is already moving in again (emptied the nest the day the earlier round fledged). Hopefully I'll get round 2.

    Tenbears - Great pic of that Oriole. I guess I got lucky. The BBs were here before the TS this year... go figure.

    Phoebe - We get phoebes here too - they are really cool. They seem to show up in my yard later in the summer. I get them mixed up with flycatchers that I also like a lot.

    -J

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