Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bluebird Wars & Other backyard birds

Since the unusually cold weather this weekend, I have not seen my bluebirds. I have not had as much time outside in the mornings, but . . . this happened last year as well. So I'm a little concerned.

Last week I had fun watching the bluebirds defend their territory. There were some house sparrows on the other bird house and the blue bird engaged in mid-air combat to drive it away.

When I saw the house sparrow coming in and out of the other bird house I went over and cleaned out the nesting materials and turned it so the entrance hole faced a different direction. A little while later, I saw a perturbed sparrow singing what sounded like a forlorn little song. And while I might have felt a little bad . . . the reality is that house sparrows were imported from England back in the 1800's. They are quite agressive and have taken over many nesting cavities of native birds like my bluebirds. Last year, my bluebirds had their nest and disappeared after I saw song sparrows near their box.

I provide plenty of food for the various sparrows, a great woodpile for nesting and hiding. My bluebird boxes are for BLUEBIRDS, NOT SPARROWS.

I've also got Carolina wrens. I got to hear its sweet song. For a small bird, it has a penetrating call. When I looked up which wren, I was pleased that I had gotten the call correct as well as the identifying white marking above the eyes. I've put out a feeder with mealy worms for the wrens. I put it up first hidden near the porch. But when I saw a wren in the back, I moved it to a visible location. I can't tell yet whether the wrens have found the worms. I've also put mealy worms near the blue bird houses along with some insect suet. I've seen other birds feeding there, but so far the bluebirds have not shown any interest.

The white wing doves have returned in numbers to both my ground feeder and my feeders under the eaves. I love their soft coos.

I've still got white crowned sparrows, at least one Harris sparrow, mockingbirds, cardinals, scissortailed flycatchers, and blue gray gnat catchers.

I'll keep you posted as to whether I've "lost" my bluebirds again.

1 comment:

Chris said...

The sparrows may not know. Perhaps you could put up a sign?