Western Bluebirds House Hunting

23 Comments
Reads 4363

By Chuck Cagara

After seeing a small flock of Western Bluebirds scouting around our back yard in recent weeks and using the birdbaths, this mating pair has come back to inspect the digs.

House Hunting Protocol:

"During breeding season males will sing from a territory to attract a mate. When a female arrives, the male leads her to all the possible nesting locations that he has discovered within his territory. The female will examine each cavity and make the final choice. The male will sing and wing wave while she does this. He also feeds her bits of food. After she selects a site, the female will usually build the nest in about a week while the male guards her."

We shall hope the couple finds this fine apartment to their liking...

Login to add Comments

23 Comments

Toggle Comments (Show)
TWOSCOOPS Mar 04, 2018 01:32 PM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

CURMUDGEON, would you please do a followup on the bluebird couple. Good luck, crossing my fingers for you!

Curmudgeon Mar 04, 2018 01:34 PM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

TWOSCOOPS - Will provide regular updates if they decide to choose this "apartment."

a-1573842128 Mar 04, 2018 12:10 PM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

No perch on front, as one commenter already stated. Perches encourage predation.

a-1573842128 Mar 04, 2018 09:24 AM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

Bluebirds are special, and anyone having them visit their yard is lucky. Winter berries they like in my garden are cotoneaster.

a-1573842128 Mar 03, 2018 05:23 PM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

Thanks for the caged feeder (for mealworms) information. It's great that so many Edhatters like to help wild birds. Good people. Did you know that white-crowned sparrows fly here from the tundra; a 2,000 miles flight. They leave in spring for the long flight back. They eat a bit extra before they start their long journey...sorta fatten up! If you have them in your yard, you're lucky.

a-1573842128 Mar 03, 2018 04:33 PM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

Great story. I hope the bird feeder is rat-proof. They can climb up on just about anything and squeeze through tiny holes.

a-1573842128 Mar 03, 2018 01:20 PM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

Thanks for the heads up on Rainbow Mealworms. I looked them up, and they are in Compton. Protein for birds is so important. You mentioned putting the mealworms in a caged feeder. Where can I get that? http://www.rainbowmealworms.net/

Curmudgeon Mar 03, 2018 04:06 PM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

A-1520121588 - Caged Feeder. Variations on this theme can be had from many suppliers, but the one I like best came from OakridgeHobbies dot com. Full name of unit: Songbird Essentials Protected Bluebird Jail Bird Feeder # SESC1040. Hoping EdHat fixes their formatting soon. This would be easier to read if we could make paragraphs!

edwardchapeau Mar 03, 2018 12:55 PM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

Seeing a bluebird will always make you happy, but Johnny Carson had a different take. In one of his standard routines, when Ed McMahon would say something he didn't like, he'd say "May the bluebird of happiness fly up your nose".

Curmudgeon Mar 03, 2018 12:41 PM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

If this couple decides to stay I'll be ordering several thousand live mealworms from Rainbow Mealworms and feeding them in a caged feeder to protect them from being eaten by Brown Towhees and Scrub Jays, among others. Later in the season I'll be feeding meal worms and jelly to the Hooded and Bullock's Orioles that have come each Spring for the past several years. Was also lucky to have a Western Tanager for a few days about 10 years ago. That was a treat!

Flicka Mar 03, 2018 11:59 AM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

Chuck, Thank you. I have fed birds for many years and never seen these blue birds. You are SO lucky!

a-1573842128 Mar 03, 2018 11:55 AM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

POPCORN, do a single pole 6 to 8 ft high, no branches or perches around it. Google western bluebird nesting boxes for more details.

a-1573842128 Mar 03, 2018 11:40 AM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

Some people are said to have a "green" thumb for plants, well I must have a "feather" thumb for birds. I get any number of birds visiting my feeders and boxes all year long. Most all of my neighbors don't get many.....or they get only get brown towhees scratchin' away for lousy dirt crumbs. I guess I am lucky that way, but the less I try, the more birds I seem to get! A couple weeks ago a Cooper's hawk snagged a mourning dove in my yard. Poor dove....just a mess of feathers and wing bits after The Coops did his deed! For those of you who are unable to attract birds, my advice is to keep on trying.

popcorn Mar 03, 2018 10:00 AM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

Thanks for the beautiful photos and the interesting and helpful comments. Edhat at its best ;-).! Anyone have suggestions about the best place to set up a nesting box for bluebirs, e.g. wooden post, within tree branches or out in the open, etc? Thx!

TWOSCOOPS Mar 03, 2018 09:59 AM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

AHCHOOD, bluebirds know how to stay away from scrub jays. Both species of birds will benefit from food and water in your yard.

a-1573842128 Mar 03, 2018 09:55 AM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

CURMUDGEON, and other back yard bird photographers, thank you. I'd like to know who is visiting your bird feeders, nesting boxes, water sources, etc.

Ahchooo Mar 03, 2018 09:52 AM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

Beautiful little guys! I've never seen any. If my yard is already populated by scrub jays, will the bluebirds steer clear?

a-1573842128 Mar 03, 2018 09:37 AM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

Handy person can make a bluebird nesting box quickly. The most important element is getting the entrance hole size correct, especially to eliminate larger birds such as starlings from using the box. For a round entrance hole for western bluebirds, it should be 1 and 9/16 inches in diameter. Don't put a perch on front. I think I saw a bluebird nesting box for sale at Island Seed & Feed in Goleta. OSH might have them.

a-1573842128 Mar 03, 2018 09:21 AM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

82% of the Western Bluebird diet is comprised of insects and spiders. The other 18% comes from plant berries, especially now during the winter. They also like mealworms. They come to my water fountain for drinks and bathing.

Curmudgeon Mar 03, 2018 09:12 AM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

As my article notes, these are WESTERN BLUEBIRDS, not Scrub Jays. Please correct the title. Serious birders will be mortified at the misidentification. :-) Thank you.

TWOSCOOPS Mar 03, 2018 09:08 AM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

We were lucky to have a bluebird couple check out our birdbox in our large Elm tree. They seemed to be having many looks, male then female. I always wondered what they were signaling to each other. At any rate, after several days of checking it out, they decided it was the wrong neighborhood for them, and they moved on. Sadness ensued inside my house.

wildturkeyway Mar 03, 2018 08:52 AM
Western Bluebirds House Hunting

A title correction would be appreciated. Scrub Jays and Western Bluebirds are not birds of a feather.

Please Login or Register to comment on this.