One of the first things I look forward to in my yard come spring is the courting and nesting of the Eastern Bluebirds – and now that the summer is dwindling they are still hard at it. Eastern Bluebirds are early season nesters but will keep right on nesting into the late summer months – possibly raising up to four broods, but typically two broods a year are more common in most areas.
Here’s the second brood of the summer in my Gilbertson PVC nest box. They’ll be leaving this nest soon...
Studies show that bluebirds in their southern range have more broods per season mostly due to the longer, warmer days. Here’s a very interesting article that talks about the subject: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=1244
Not far away is another bluebird nest box with chicks just a couple days old.
I was surprised to have a bluebird nest in this particular box being that it’s between two other nest boxes within 50 yards of each other. Most research suggests that Eastern Bluebirds nest boxes be placed at least 100 yards or more apart. Bluebirds are territorial, especially during nesting season; however, I have noticed that as the season progresses they seem to mellow a bit, and this particular box wasn’t occupied until recently. This was an additional box I added after spotting a tree swallow checking out some of my other occupied bluebird boxes. In the case that you have both bluebirds and tree swallows in the area, nest boxes can be placed closer together.
Although it’s now August, here's another bluebird nest just getting started.
As you can see, there's still a lot of nesting activity going on!!
This time of year bluebirds will build their nest very quickly. They know that the days are getting shorter and time is running out.
If interested in knowing the difference between nest of some common cavity nesting birds, check out the website below: http://www.sialis.org/nests.htm