This is my second post for today, but I might be too busy to do this later.
This is a strange story. These bluebirds have been nesting in my yard for 6 years - they have produced 3 broods every year, and I am sure that over 60 of them have lived, at least till time to go seek their fortune. The nestbox is close to my house, and I feed them their mealworms on the porch rail. I have not changed the location of the box, but have used several different ones - Each time I change it, "Ollie and Camille" check out the new box, and readily accept it. Last summer I even installed a "nestbox spycam" and we watched the wonderful drama up close and personal. In the fall once again I installed a new box, because we got in a new one at Backyard Boutique that I really like; and, of course, "my" bluebirds had to have the best! As usual, they checked it out immediately, and seemed quite happy with it. Ollie has gotten pretty aggressive over the years, and doesn't tolerate any other birds touching his real estate. Same with this one.
BUT............ no nest appeared in the new house. I didn't even see them gathering nesting materials. But they came for their visits and mealworms as usual, and sat on the rail and "talked" to me. I tried to see where they went but they were flying around the corner of the porch, and there's no place for them to nest in that direction.
Oh yes there is! I completely forgot one of those little pottery "Williamsburg" birdhouses was on the side under the porch eve. It was a gift several years ago and has hung there since we moved into this house. Yep! That's where they were going. I'm really nervous about it, and will remove it after this brood fledges...it's not deep and there's no way to baffle it. The eggs have hatched, but I can't see them, count them, or admire them...don't even know how many there are, but they make a lot of noise, and Ollie and Camille are feeding them like crazy!
Camille rests with her kids.
"This is a little different to approach."
"Maybe if I act like a hummingbird, I can get in."
"Now I have a toehold...here you go kiddos."
And the funniest thing about this whole story is that Ollie still won't let anyone or anything else near his "real" nestbox.
My bluebirds are famous, too. The new edition of "The BirdBox," the Virginia Bluebird Society's newsletter, has a fun story about them. Scroll down to page 4, if you'd like to see it. http://www.virginiabluebirds.org/newsletters/BirdBoxMarch2008.pdf