Tuesday, February 23, 2010


It's been just about a month since the bluebirds were scouting the nesting box. Construction of the interior is well underway. I'm putting up a picture or two each day at Twitter under the hashtag #twigs2fledge...sort of a mini-blog...so you can see the progress from...well....twigs to fledge...when the babies leave the coop. I've decided to name Momma and Poppa "Twigs" and "Fledge", respectively.

I got involved in monitoring my bluebirds when I first moved here in 2006 and saw an article in the local paper by one of our extension agent experts. She wanted people to report where we saw bluebirds. I had them in the yard and was surprised that they were a rare occurrence. I reported in that they were always flitting around my yard and Eleanor Foeste (the extension agent) inquired if there were nesting boxes in the area. I never heard of a nesting box so I looked it up on the Internet, read up quite a bit on how bluebirds are dwindling in numbers due to habitat loss and decided that would be the perfect gift for Santa to bring me for Christmas 2006.

I put up my box in February/March 2007 and was surprised to have residents almost immediately. It is of cedar construction and was purchased at a local big box store. I had read that it can sometimes take years for the bluebirds to find and be comfortable enough to use a nesting box. I guess because I maintain a good deal of my yard as a natural landscape which is in a semi-remote rural location, the birds were happy to move in quickly. That first year I had two broods. In 2008 I had four broods (the last a mere two babies) and in 2009 I had three broods. I follow the tips I found on http://www.sialis.org/ and I do check the babies for parasites and last year provided meal worms to help momma when she had a rather large brood (6). It is a well written and informative site and I even asked a question one time and received immediate (less than a day) answer when I thought I had an early loss (apparently they were older than I had initially counted and fledged on time--I need to go back and relearn arithmetic).

Bluebirds are fascinating and fun to watch. They are tolerant of human help (although they will dive bomb your head...without making contact).

I hope, at the end of this first brood of 2010 venture, to put together a video slideshow containing all the pictures. You can follow along as I go by searching twitter.com for the keyword "twigs2fledge" or Google it...both Twitter and TwitPic feed the keywords into Google search. I hope you all enjoy the journey! I know I will!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...