Winter Bluebirds Checking the Box

Site 8

Very cool update from the owner of site 8, of note the owls have been consistent as well, but a little surprise for thursday Jan. 17.

Hi Scott,
We had another flurry of birds in our backyard this afternoon: not only lots of the usual yard birds, but also about a dozen bluebirds and at least one redpoll (probable). The bluebirds were VERY INTERESTED in the round hole owl box! I watched as 2 – 3 females fly up [one at a time] and peeked in the hole and at least one male also perched & peeked [it flew off as I snapped the pic]! Because they were QUIET, I don’t think they suspected an owl. Instead I think they were sizing it up as a night roost box. The flock moved on, but I think they would be very surprised to wake up with an owl right next door.

2013-01-17bluebirds (6)

2013-01-17bluebirds (4)

Thanks for the update!


2010 Season

Site 1
Screech Owls,
Male=red phased
Female=gray phased
First Egg 2/19/2010
# of Eggs……………..6
First Hatch 3/23/2010
# Hatched…………….6
Fledged ……………….6
(4 fledged on 4/23/2010, 2 fledged 4/24/2010)

Site 2
No Owls in Box,
Starlings attempted
House sparrows attempted,
Bluebird, (bluebird box, w/ monofiliment house sparrow deterant)
5 eggs laid, all infertile, none hatched.

Site 3
Screech Owls,
Male=red phased
Female=red phased
First Egg 3/31/2010 (+/- a day)
# of Eggs ………….5
First Hatch 5/2/2010 (+/- a day)
# Hatched………… 5
Fledged……………. 5
(3 fledged 5/29/2010, 2 fledged 5/30/2010)

Site 4
No screech owls seen

Site 5

Screech Owls,
Male= ?
Female=red phased
First Egg 3/7/2010 (+/- 3 days)
# of Eggs…………. 2 +
First Hatch 4/7/2010 (+/- 3 days)
# Hatched …………2+
Fledged …………….2+

Site 6
No screech owls seen,
great horned owls heard frequently until Feb 26, 2010 storm,
then heard occasionally.

Site 7
no screech owls seen,
screech owl present occasionally 1/4 mile away in natural roost

Site 8
gray phased screech owl first seen 4/16/2010
last seen 4/29/2010
no nest

2010 Totals:
screech owl eggs …….13 + (11 Massachusetts)
screech owl fledged…..13+ (11 Massachusetts)3

Bluebird Eggs Abandoned

Site 2

Well it looks like the 5 bluebird eggs aren’t going to hatch, and the female has been MIA for the last few days. The male has begun calling from the tops of trees and from the house, in vain it seems.

Meanwhile, house sparrows are trying to build a nest in the screech owl ‘slot’ style box(SQR). 3 almost full nest have been removed. they didn’t have anything to do with the failed bluebird attempt, as the monofiliment detered them fine.

Second Option

Site 2

If the owl boxes goes unoccupied the entire winter(s) into spring, about april its pretty safe to call it a lost season screech owl wise (site 8 is an exception). However its just the beginning of songbird nesting season. So Site 2 got fitted with a bluebird house. A homemade Gilwood style box (building directions).
However this site has lots of house sparrows around, house sparrows are to bluebirds (well any cavity nesting native songbirds) as squirrels are to screech owls. Well somebody came up with a solution that works fairly well. Monofilament, as in fishing line. For some reason house sparrows are spooked by it and native songbirds are not. So if you do try to get bluebirds or tree swallows but have house sparrows, (and don’t have it in you to trap and dispose of them) try some monofiliment designs. The one on this Gilwood box, allowed chickadees to have a successful nest last year, and it looks like bluebirds are nesting this year.