Eastern bluebirds readily take to our nestboxes, and have generally thrived here, although they have had some bad years. Their first brood is sometimes affected by cold, wet weather, and 2nd broods sometimes suffer from very hot, dry weather. Modifications of nestbox construction have minimized both of these problems. On rare occasions, supplemental food is provided during severe weather. Predation has been minimal. Competition from tree swallows has been easily managed with proper nestbox placement. However, house wrens had posed major problems, until we stumbled upon the "wren gourd" fix.
Feb 2011 update - Eastern bluebirds have become the most abundant bird species in our yard in winter, with family units of 5 or 6 frequently visiting nest boxes, although seldom, if ever using the boxes for night roosts. They prefer to roost in the protection of the dense cedar grove. The nesting season is even busier, with two and sometimes three pair nesting in our yard. In 2010, both the front and backyard bluebirds each had three broods. The front yard pair moved to a new box each time, using 2 boxes previously used by tree swallows. The backyard pair had all three broods in their favorite box. This is the pair that successfully fend off the house wren that has twice destroyed the nearby titmouse nest. Their nesting never fails and they seem to rule the backyard and garden, even with the kestrels nesting 30 feet away this year. While nesting, they seldom leave the garden and maple tree, spending most of their time perched on one of the many tomato cages.
|barn owl||American kestrel||purple martin||barn swallow||Eastern bluebird|
|tufted titmouse||Eastern phoebe||yellow shafted flicker||tree swallow||chimney swift|
|house wren||big brown bat||Carolina wren||brown thrasher||catbird|
|Eastern wood-pewee||cedar waxwing||Northern mockingbird||Turkey vulture|