Date: 5/22/20 7:29 am
From: Steve Bershader <steve.bershader...>
Subject: [va-bird] Re: Bluebird Box Question
Ann,
I run the bluebird trail at Bull Run Regional Park. The tree swallows and
bluebird usually get along. This year, we had a box with five bluebird
eggs. The bluebirds were being harassed by tree swallows. Checking the
box, expecting to see bluebird chicks, we discovered that the nest had been
taken over by the tree swallows. There were now added feathers (tree
swallow) and three tree swallow eggs. Don't know what happed to the
bluebird eggs. Nature can be cruel. And so it goes.
Steve

-----Original Message-----
From: <va-bird-bounce...> <va-bird-bounce...> On Behalf
Of Carol Evans
Sent: Friday, May 22, 2020 9:59 AM
To: <kent...>; <va-bird...>
Subject: [va-bird] Re: Bluebird Box Question

And they say you can pair boxes for tree swallows and bluebirds, and they
will nest peacefully next door to one another! Guess like everything else
there are exceptions.

-----Original Message-----
From: <va-bird-bounce...> <va-bird-bounce...> On Behalf
Of Kent Clizbe
Sent: Friday, May 22, 2020 9:24 AM
To: <va-bird...>
Subject: [va-bird] Re: Bluebird Box Question

Ann,


Here’s a few snippets from my experiences with the never-ending bird battle
for control of “bluebird” boxes.



1. Tree swallows vs. Bluebirds: Every spring, this battle rages. It’s a
toss-up, 50/50, over which species wins. The nastiest battle, in my boxes,
was last spring: A tree swallow pair won the initial struggle. They had 4
nice hatchlings, 3 or 4 days old. A pair of bluebirds began peering in the
box, visiting while the swallows were away. Then they battled the swallow
parents, chasing them around. Within 2 or 3 days, the swallow parents
stopped visiting. The bluebirds immediately began nest-building
activities—bringing material to the box. Within 3 more days, the bluebirds
had a nest with 2 eggs in it. The bluebirds raised a brood of 4. After they
fledged, I cleaned out the box. The bluebird nest was built on the swallow
nest—mummified swallow hatchlings included.
2. Bluebirds vs. House finch: This spring, bluebirds won the swallow
battle. They built an early nest—in late March. By early April, 4 healthy
bluebird hatchlings were beginning to sprout their blue feathers, probably
7-10 days away from fledging. Early one morning, from inside the house, I
heard a loud squawking, rhythmically repeated, one very loud squawk, over
and over, seeming to come from the area of the box. When I opened the box to
investigate, a house finch exploded from inside, and fled the scene. Inside
was a bloodbath. Each bluebird chick’s head was bloody and raw. All were
dead.

So, it’s up to you, I guess, in how much you want to interfere with the
“natural order” of the struggle for survival. I clean out finch and sparrow
nesting material from my bluebird boxes (and from behind my shutters, and
the decorative trim on the front porch, and do all I can to dissuade them
from nesting around the house). Finches seem to be a pest, to me.



The bluebird vs. swallow battle is more difficult to referee. Not sure if I
would/could/should interfere as they struggle for supremacy.



Good luck!



Kent Clizbe

571 217 0714

<mailto:<kent...> <kent...>



* From: "Ann" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "morann"
for DMARC)
* To: "va-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <va-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
* Date: Fri, 22 May 2020 00:28:16 +0000 (UTC)

I have a situation that I need advice to handle. I've had one family of
bluebirds fledge and it looked like the parents were starting a second
family in the box. This morning I noticed what looked like nesting material
in the hole opening. (I have one of those PVC boxes, which I turned to the
first time I saw a house sparrow try to take over my wooden box.)Â When I
checked, that's what it was; I gently pushed it back and it didn't go very
far; it feels as if the entire box is full of nesting material! Yet, I've
seen both birds go in and out; granted, I've not watched carefully for the
past couple of days (doing genealogy). I'm wondering if I should empty the
box. I was assuming the female was laying eggs again as the second family,
or attention to the box, began a

couple of weeks ago. Has anyone else encountered this situation? When I
reinserted the nesting material it really didn't go down much, which makes
me think the box is full of that material. How can that be? Any suggestions
for

help would be appreciated.
Thank you,Ann DonaldsonRuckersville
You are subscribed to VA-BIRD. To post to this mailing list, simply send
email to va-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx.




You are subscribed to VA-BIRD. To post to this mailing list, simply send
email to va- <bird...> To unsubscribe, send email to
<va-bird-request...> with 'unsubscribe' in the Subject field. You
can also unsubscribe, change your mail delivery settings to digest mode, or
temporarily disable emails with vacation mode by going to
https://www.freelists.org/list/va-bird, entering your email and selecting
the desired option from the drop down.


You are subscribed to VA-BIRD. To post to this mailing list, simply send
email to va- <bird...> To unsubscribe, send email to
<va-bird-request...> with 'unsubscribe' in the Subject field. You
can also unsubscribe, change your mail delivery settings to digest mode, or
temporarily disable emails with vacation mode by going to
https://www.freelists.org/list/va-bird, entering your email and selecting
the desired option from the drop down.

You are subscribed to VA-BIRD. To post to this mailing list, simply send email to va-
<bird...> To unsubscribe, send email to
<va-bird-request...> with 'unsubscribe' in the Subject field. You can also
unsubscribe, change your mail delivery settings to digest mode, or temporarily disable
emails with vacation mode by going to https://www.freelists.org/list/va-bird, entering
your email and selecting the desired option from the drop down.

 
Join us on Facebook!