Date: 5/22/20 8:39 am
From: Barbara Pennington <bdp500...>
Subject: [va-bird] Re: Bluebird Box Question
I have had wonderful luck placing two bluebird boxes side by side. We have about 10 pairs of boxes set up all over a large field, and the bluebirds and tree swallows live side by side year after year! Try putting up another box next to the one you have.
Barbara

Sent from my iPhone

> On May 22, 2020, at 10:29 AM, Steve Bershader <steve.bershader...> wrote:
>
> 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
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