Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tight Fit for Blluebird

A few minutes ago I took a break from the office work and walked the Colvin Run Habitat. Having noticed yesterday that in the last ten days the bluebirds had built a nest and laid several eggs, I was interested in shooting a few photos of them.

I approached the bluebird house hoping not to scare the female sitting on the nest (technically it is after sundown, so the male has left for the day and the female has taken over for the night). When I was about seven feet from the house, she eased up to the opening and began to watch me (first photo). Then, she bolted out of the house and flew to a nearby tree branch.
If you ever wondered how tight a fit it is for a bluebird to get into and out of their house, this second photo shows clearly that it is a very tight fit. The bluebird launched herself from the house and when clear (and falling down) opened its wings and flew.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Chickadees Move In

While the bluebirds seem to have selected the older of the bird houses in the Habitat, a pair of Carolina Chickadees see to have moved into this house that I put this past winter. The house is attached to the main truck of the dogwood tree, which is located intentionally within twenty feet of the house.
I put this bird house up with the expectation of having one house wrens or Carolina wrens take up residence. Both wrens and the bluebirds have been seen going into and out of this house, for now the chickadees seem to have taken up residence. We'll see if they actually build a nest.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Blubirds Inspect the Bird House

As with all photos in the Colvin Run Habitat Blog, click on any photo to get a 'zoomed-in' view.
The bluebird pair continue to look at the prime nesting boxes in the Habitat. While they continue to check out the inside of the boxes, I have yet to see them move in the materials required to build a nest. In this first photo, you can see how they land with their claws on entrance hole simultaneous with putting their head in the hole. After landing, the bluebird wlll take a few seconds to pull up and into the box.

The male perched on top of the house is part of the "Nest Demonstration Display" where the male attracts the female through song and wing flapping. The male also will provide the nesting materials (dried grasses and pine needles). The female will then enter the box and build the nest.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Eastern Bluebirds Arrive

I took 30 minutes away from the office work to capture and post a few photos. This pair of Eastern Bluebirds arrived about 3 weeks ago. They have continued to check out two of the bird houses in the Colvin Run Habitat - one in which they nested last year and a new one installed two months ago that I thought was two small for bluebirds.
The first two photos show the female resting in the yet to bloom dogwood tree. The second two photos show the male in the oak tree and sitting on the roof of one of the bird houses.
As you can tell the female is slightly duller in color than the male. These photos show off the brilliant orange breast blue backs of the bluebirds.
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Space Available

With the bluebirds and chickadees moving into the smaller bird houses in the Habitat, this recently installed large box (referred to as a wood duck box) remains vacant. I took 30 minutes last weekend to install this box 20 feet up in one of the line of maple trees in the Habitat. This box is actually suspended from the top with a cable running through a fixed pulley (so I can get the box down without the ladder at the end of the season) and then held steady with two stabling cables out the bottom/sides of the box.
I have not seen an birds inspect the box. But as you can see from the white mess on the from of the box in the second photo, at least one bird has visited. The goal is to attract a large woodpecker, red-shouldered hawk, of with great luck an owl.