I’ve been hoping to attract bluebirds to the nesting boxes at Happy Acres since we moved here three years ago. The bluebirds were here checking out the boxes earlier this year, but apparently someone else beat them to it.
I’ve been pretty sure we had wrens taking up residence, since I kept seeing decoy nests in the nest boxes. Male wrens are famous (or is that notorious) for building what are called dummy or decoy nests in multiple boxes.
The nests either serve to offer the female several alternatives for nesting, or to confuse predators. They may also limit competition from other birds since they tie up the available nesting sites. This nest in the above photo was made of green and dry grasses, and didn’t at all resemble the true nest right next door in another nest box.
There are currently 7 eggs in the real nest, which is mostly constructed of twigs. The white stuff near the top of the nest is spider cocoons the female has brought in.
The nest cup itself is lined with soft feathers, and what looks like some blue plastic material. Curiously, it looks very similar to this wren’s nest, which also has some blue material in it.
I think the answer to attracting bluebirds will be to put out additional nest boxes. The wrens are very territorial, so it may be a challenge for them to peacefully coexist. It can’t hurt to have a few more boxes for everyone to choose from.
And there’s nothing wrong with having wrens around, since they are voracious feeders of caterpillars, moths, and other insects. We need more helpers around here who can pull their own weight, so to speak. Heaven knows the cats aren’t doing any real work!