Today’s post is all about variety. There’s no category or theme; just some shots that I like. Enjoy!
The female bluebird has been busy laying her eggs. It looks like it’ll be four bluebird babies this time. Mama has started roosting so we should see some little bald babies between May 7th and 9th.
Female guarding her nest
In the past several years we’ve noticed more sparrows showing up in the yard. Even though we love all of the birds, sparrows are like the block bullies. In an effort to protect our bluebirds and their babies, we did some research on how to keep the sparrows from going near the nesting box. Last year we discovered the “sparrow spooker” and it was literally a life saver for our bluebirds.
This website sells sparrow spookers and supplies to make your own. We order the Mylar scare tape and build our spooker. When we put it up last year we read that it’s best to wait until after the bluebirds have laid their first egg. They are less likely to abandon the nest at that point. This year because we noticed the bluebirds fighting off a few sparrows while they were in the nest building process, I decided to make a new one and put it up right away.
Let me insert a little helpful information here. Don’t run to the store and get a Mylar balloon (like I tried last year), cut it up into strips and use that thinking “Hey, it’s Mylar”. They curl and become ineffective by the end of the first day.
There’s nothing really pretty about a sparrow spooker except the Mylar strips waving in the breeze. I build them out of whatever wood I have handy. As long as it’s sturdy and I can attach it to the post the nesting box is on, I consider it a success. When I put it up this year, it took about a half hour for the bluebirds to be comfortable around the box again. They took turns checking it out, flying over it, under it, around it, etc. Soon they were perching on it as if it had been there forever. We haven’t seen any sparrows near the nesting box since we put it up.
The Bluebirds are hard at work building their nest. They have a daily routine of building in the morning, taking the afternoon off and then coming back in the early evening to add a little more.
We put up a new nesting box for the Bluebirds this year. Last years box had to have a mid season roof repair. There’s always a feeling of “I wonder if they’ll come to a new box”, but it took about an hour after it was up and here they came. One interesting side note about the bluebirds…….we discovered they were roosting in the barn swallow nests under the porch eave since at least February. It could be earlier than that, but we hadn’t noticed until then. Every night they’d show up as soon as it got dark. There were three of them. Two in one nest and one in the other.
We’re thrilled to see them working on a new nest and I’ll keep you posted on their progress all the way through the fledging.
The happy couple.
We’ve been on vacation up on Mackinac Island for a while but it’s back to reality now! This coming week all of my posts will be shots of Mackinac. Today’s pictures will be of the drive up there. It’s about a six hour ride from home and the further we got into Michigan, the more vibrant the trees became. We always stop in Big Rapids to stretch and gas up the Jeep. @Elizababble took over driving so I could take pictures.