Bluebirds, Blue Skies
Blue skies Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies Do I see
Bluebirds Singing a song
Nothing but bluebirds All day long
– Irving Berlin, Blue Skies, 1927
It’s nesting time at Little Piney with lots of activity on the nest box trail!
In a courting ritual, Mr. Bluebird tries to persuade Mrs. Bluebird to accept the house he has chosen. She will only agree on a place that feels warm, dry, and safe to her, and signals her choice by flying away when displeased. The house hunting pair below were photographed a few weeks ago They didn’t choose this box, but four other boxes host completed nests.
Below, Mrs. Bluebird is checking the view through a 1 1/2 inch entry hole. The entry is as small as possible to keep cowbirds and other undesirables out. The square around the opening is added for a little extra protection against intruders’ reach.
The boxes are placed at a safe distance from bushes where predators could hide. “Stovepipe” baffles keep snakes and raccoons from making their way up the post to maraud nests. You can see how the baffles are installed in my earlier post Bluebird Nest Boxes for Total Beginners.
Bluebird boxes are mounted facing East away from the hot afternoon sun and painted a light color. They are ventilated on the sides to catch the breeze. The front opens on hinge to allow for monitoring and cleaning. This spring I’ll post photos of the nests and babies so you can follow their progress. Bluebirds don’t mind human monitors as long they are respectful.
And a Quote from John Burroughs…
When Nature made the bluebird she wished to propitiate both the sky and the earth, so she gave him the color of the one on his back and the hue of the other on his breast, and ordained that his appearance in spring should denote that the strife and war between these two elements was at an end. He is the peace-harbinger; in him the celestial and terrestrial strike hands and are fast friends. He means the furrow and he means the warmth; he means all the soft, wooing influences of the spring on the one hand, and the retreating footsteps of winter on the other.
John Burroughs, The Bluebird, 1867
Spring’s First Bluebonnets at Little Piney
First one, hundreds more to come!
Happy Spring from Little Piney!