Well, the bluebirds have been busy here the last few days. And they’ve been doing some surprising things after the raccoons trashed their first nest. Just two days later, they started building a nest in the PVC nest box situated under the big mulberry tree.
That nest was made mostly of dry grasses with some pine needles worked in around the top. The nest was completed in slightly less than two days. I figured the female would start laying eggs in a few days.
But the very next day, I saw the pair going in the other PVC nest box, situated about ten feet from the first one, and more in the open. That had me going “Whoa! Is that the same pair?”. Once I was able to sneak a peek in the box, I saw they were building another nest, again of fine grasses.
The second nest was completed in less than two days also. And yesterday afternoon when I checked inside, I found one egg.
So, to summarize, since the first nest was destroyed on May 5th, this pair of bluebirds has built two nests in two different boxes AND the female has laid the first egg. That’s a LOT of work in just seven days!
I’m wondering if they didn’t decide the first PVC box was less desirable because it was more shaded. Who knows? I’m just happy because in a short period of time this year we’ve gone from having no bluebirds, to having a regularly scheduled bluebird soap opera just a few feet from the house.
Once again, stay tuned for more updates as they develop. Who knows what will happen next to our fine feathered pair!
Incredible! That is a lot of work indeed. I’m glad they the couple managed to avoid the raccoon incident(s) and that they’ve decided to stick around your property and try again.
It’s amazing that they built two nests – like they know they might need a back-up plan or something. I’m hoping this egg and any future eggs will not meet the same fate as the last ones!
No one likes to see bluebird eggs, nests, or birds destroyed by raccons…but I have to say I really appreciate your attitude toward it all. Raccoons get such a bad rap, but after all they are just “doing their raccoon thing” – everyone’s trying to survive and find food. It’s hard to blame them.
I know a lot of people who would have been inclined to dispose of the raccoons in a much less humane way than the way you chose to deal with situation. Thank you for your willingness to peacefully coexist with all the wildlife around you!
Thanks Aimee. We do our best to peacefully co-existence with the wildlife, hard though that may be at times.
The Indiana DNR “encourages homeowners to safely and humanely euthanize the raccoons”. Relocating wild animals of any kind is a controversial practice. I am certainly not advocating either relocation, or euthanizing them. I’m just doing what I think is necessary.
I don’t blame the raccoons, or the rabbits, or the groundhogs, or the deer – all of which would happily eat everything we planted if we didn’t take protection measures. But our little acreage isn’t big enough to support all the wildlife either. I accept that it will be a constant struggle, with no real ‘victory’ for any of the participants. Even an uneasy truce would be fine with me!
I wonder if the bluebirds intentionally built a decoy nest? I seem to recall that some species do. I’m impressed though, it seems like a lot of work to not then use it. I just found our Pacific Slope Flycatchers nesting on the house again…in an even worse place than last year, so who knows what goes through some bird brains. I’m expecting our Flycatchers to fail again, but crossing my finger and hoping this last nest your bluebirds have built is successful!
I’m not aware of bluebirds using decoy nests, but anything is possible. I did wonder about the first nest location, since it was mostly under the mulberry tree. We’ll never know for sure.
Nothing says spring like a pair of bluebirds. Those are really nice. I’ve yet to see the first bluebird here but I think they are around, at least they have been familiar in past summers. That’s an impressive mulberry tree.
Have you thought about putting a baffle around the PVC below the bird house? t keeps the squirrels out of my bird feeders, might work the same to keep critters out of the nest …
I think a baffle would certainly help to deter the predators. I just need to figure out how to make one, or find one to buy. It needs to be raccoon-proof, for sure!