Those of us who love bluebirds tend to think of them as loving, noble creatures spreading joy to the whole world. While this may be mostly true, they are not above a bit of bullying and theft now and again. The nest box above was the site of one such incident. This is a Gilbertson PVC nest box. I’ve added a stiff rubber flap to the underside of the roof and some corrugated plastic to the top of the roof to provide a bit more protection and shade. The birds don’t seem to mind. All of my boxes have Kingston Stovepipe predator guards. The box is in an opening in a cedar glade near my house. For what ever reason this seems to be a preferred nesting site.
I am certain that a black-capped chickadee built this nest. It started with moss then some fur and other fibers were added. I witnessed the chickadee coming in and out of the box. At this point I was waiting for chickadee eggs.
These are obviously not chickadee eggs. It looks as if the bluebirds kicked the chickadees out, perhaps added a bit of course grass to the nest and started laying.
About this time, a chickadee nest started in the nest box in the next clearing over. I will try to put up a separate post on that nest.
By April 19th there was a full set of 5 eggs.
The bluebirds started hatching April 28th.
This box is along my driveway and I made an effort to get pictures almost every day to track their growth.
For the first week or so after hatching the birds would open their mouths expecting food when I would monitor the nest. After about a week they seemed to know that I was not one of their parents and would remain very still.
Notice the stray mealworm in the bottom of the image. I was feeding mealworms at my house which is not far from this box and apparently one managed to avoid these five hungry youngsters.
They will probably fledge in the next few days. I will update the post.