summer 2016

Saturday, May 24, 2014

bluebird house shenanigans

I told you last week about our friend building us a nice bluebird house and about my sweet hubby putting it up in the back yard last Saturday.  I waited and watched patiently for a few days to see if a beautiful Bluebird couple would find it and start a nest.

On Monday, May 19, a pair of Tree Swallows were scouting out the house and by Tuesday they were starting to build a nest.

Now I'd much rather have a beautiful Bluebird couple living there but Tree Swallows are okay as they love to eat mosquitoes and other bugs while flying and swooping through the air.  In fact these ones were dive bombing me while out in the yard or on the deck!

If you look closely you can see this one has some grass or a small twig in it's beak.  I had to zoom in and then crop these pictures so they are all a bit fuzzy.  I really need a zoom lens!!

"Incoming!  Wide load!"

It was interesting to watch them get through the opening with sticks that were larger but they did.

Now.  Remember that Bluebird that I hoped would come and build a nest?

Guess who showed up on Tuesday while Mr. and Mrs. Swallow were off finding nest building supplies?

Yep. You guessed it.  Mr. Bluebird!  Oh isn't he handsome?  

He flitted from the shed to the tree to the clothes line and to the birdhouse.  He even checked it out and looked inside.

He's so blue!!

I am sorry to say that I didn't get a picture of him in the house as he was just too fast for me.

However, Mr. and Mrs. Swallow caught a glimpse of their would-be squatter and put the run to him.

They even brought in reinforcements!  

After Mr. Bluebird left the area, much to my sorrow, Mr. and Mrs. Swallow sat on their new home like they were claiming it for all of the birds to see.  

Now, since this episode happened on Tuesday there hasn't been any activity at all around the birdhouse.  No one has visited or finished the nest.  So, what do I do?
Do I clean out the makings of the swallow's nest so the Bluebird will come back?  Will it remain empty?  Will the Swallows return?
If you know what I should do please advise.  I really would love for something to be living there and raising a family.

It's another dull day here and quite cool.  We'll try to get some chores done in the yard none the less.  I think we'll be building cedar rail fence corners today.  The new deck is on a bit of a delay as the screw piles we need to put in for support aren't here.  Our son will be doing that work for us and has had to drive all the way to Magog, Quebec today to get the piles (it was cheaper than having them delivered) and he needs to get stocked up as he's very busy with his business of installing them for customers.  Our wood for the deck should have been delivered this week and it hasn't been so that's a delay as well.  It's all good as we still have to remove the old deck.  It's all going to happen at once I think.  Then I'll have to wait for at least 2 more weeks while the deck is being built.  Patience!  Oh, I need patience!

Have a great weekend everyone and for my American friends I wish you a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend.

UPDATE:  The swallows returned to the birdhouse this morning.  All is well but I still wish it was Bluebirds.  :)



  1. Morning Pam! Aw...what a sweet little bird house and sorry the little blue bird didn't come first. But, since the other little couple has seemed to leave, maybe he'll come back! We don't see blue birds around here and they are so beautiful. Good luck with your fence building too. Have a great weekend.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  2. One of my favorite pass times is watching the birds. Our blue birds live in the mountains. Here I have been watching the orioles eat grape jelly I put out for them. It is nice to have a son who can do work for you. We would like enjoy our new deck, but we have rain and fog. Have a fun week, end.

  3. i'm not good with waiting, either. as for the nesting, i like swallows, so i'd have a hard time removing their nesting to chase them out. :)

  4. Such pretty birds Pam! I'd be like you, happy with whoever took up residence. I hung out a lovely house, but I've not had any takers.

  5. I'd say what a shame that the swallows took the box first, but like you said, they eat mosquies. Maybe there will be another pair of bluebirds dropping by again, you never know. We don't seem to have any chickadees this year, very odd, since last year we had nesting ones right beside the house.


  6. I would much prefer Tree Swallows to House Sparrows which is what I was afraid had happened at first. Very nice shots! If the swallows have stopped coming to the house and there's no activity, it would be safe to remove the material. They may have been persuaded to leave for some reason or simply found a more suitable site. If you leave the material inside, the house may not get used at all.

  7. What a story and you really told it well with photos and in words. I love swallows and bluebirds.

  8. So pretty...your bluebird! Sorry he didn't get the new house...but maybe sometime in the future. I don't think we have bluebirds in this part of the least none that ever visit our farm. I wonder what happened to the would-be- tenants...the swallows?

  9. Awwwww...I hope that your bluebird finds a happy spot to build a nest close by. Swallows are not my favorite because they need anger management classes. All that dive bombing gets freaky and annoying. That said, they do eat a lot of bugs. Your deck is going to be amazing and it sounds as if some things are coming together.

  10. I was wondering if you could put up another bird house in the hope that the bluebird would find and use it? Then perhaps you would have two families of birds in the garden! I hope that you can get the deck sorted out and get it put up soon, but I hope that you enjoy whatever you are doing outside in the meantime. xx

  11. Loved your post! The Bluebird was gorgeous . . .i would rather have the Bluebird too but I guess any nest and maybe babies would bring just as much joy.

    Thank you for your wishes to us in America . . . Happy weekend Pamela . . .

  12. Wonderful bird shots regardless of the types! I love watching birds and seeing wonderful photographs of birds!

  13. Any occupants are exciting, but I too wish you had the bluebirds Pam. Maybe you need another house for them?

  14. Clearly those swallows knew a good thing and that's why they came back! Your pics are so awesome Pamela...I wish I had a zoom lens too but not sure I would know how to use it. Thanks for stopping by my blog...I was happy to hear from you. Have a beautiful Sunday, Ann

  15. Pamela---enjoyed your bird photos----I have been watching a Bluebird family here---and I feel like the babies are mine. I will try to get at least one photo posted. Thank you for your comments---so much of what keeps me from the blog--is 'techy' problems---and I will not go into details. More later---Nava

  16. You certainly have had a lot of activity around that birdhouse. Maybe next year you can put up a second one in the hope of getting a bluebird to move in and start a family!

    I hope you find patience while waiting for your deck. That will be beautiful!

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend, Pam.


  17. Those area great photos, Pamela. Lots of activity in the Bird House Real Estate market!

  18. Terrific shots of the Swallows! I hope one or the other - Swallows or Bluebirds - take up residence for you to see and enjoy.

  19. We have birds in our birdhouses and we are delighted! I'm still new at bird real estate so any family is fine with me.

  20. It's a shame that bluebirds and swallows desire the same housing. We have the same problem here. The swallows will be fun to watch, though.

  21. It didn't take long for the birds to discover that lovely new home you provided for them. I enjoyed your pictures and commentary (esp. the "wide load).
    We have two bluebird houses and enjoy watching them set up housekeeping every spring. We can always tell if it's bluebirds making the nest because (around here at least) they use pine needles. We often have other types of birds trying to build nests. If we see this happening before the nest is too far along, we remove it. Sometimes one type of bird begins a nest and then another type starts to build on top of the first nest. Always interesting to see what's going on out there. We were told that it's a good idea to monitor the bluebird box every day or so during the nesting process. Our first little family just flew the coop this week.
    Sometimes we do end up with different types of birds using the nest box and that's okay too, although I abhor the house sparrows as they are very destructive. If you're interested I did a post (6/12/12) about this.
    Sorry to ramble so long. I guess you could say I'm passionate about bluebirds.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  22. The bluebird is beautiful Pam, and it would be wonderful if it used your little house ... perhaps another house is needed to attract the bluebird back. Swallows are great little birds to have around and hopefully they make a dent in the mosquito population.

  23. I love your story about the swallowa and the bluebirds. And they are all beautiful birds bur sometimes we would just like to have another neighbor, lol
    Have a nice week Pam.

  24. Pam, I didn't know "we" had bluebirds here!! I have never seen one, guess I didn't think they were this far north! Great as the swallows are at keeping down the mosquito population, I can certainly understand you wishing the bluebirds were occupying your new little "high rise". Maybe they will nest nearby and you'll still get to see them in the neighbourhood.

  25. Pam, last year I watched little wrens put up such a fuss about a bluebird house they had their eyes on they chased off the bluebirds!!! This year, both boxes have bluebirds in them!!!...:)JP

  26. What great photos! That bluebird is such a vibrant shade! But I think the swallows are cute, too :)

  27. What a shame the bluebirds didn't get there first but I guess it is all better that having Mr. and Mrs. Swallow homeless. They are pretty too, but I would love to see a real bluebird. Could you put another house on the other side so they could be neighbors. .Happy Weekend..Judy

  28. My friend has swallows all around his house and I got dizzy just watching them as they move so fast!

  29. Oh, I was hoping that you had a couple of bluebirds. My sister had the best of luck with bluebirds and their babies. She was made sure that no other birds would take over the bluebird if she saw birds other than bluebirds she would go out and get rid of their nest. It always worked ..then she would have bluebirds take up housekeeping and then little babies! It was amazing. I loved to sit on her porch and watch them. This happened for 3 or 4 years before my sister and brother-in-law moved to South Carolina.

  30. A lovely bird house - I'm sure the two swallows can't believe their luck Pam!
    They will give you many happy hours watching their comings and goings.
    Then there will be the added excitement when the fledglings appear!
    Maybe the bluebirds will make it their home next year... be patient!

  31. Hey you - that's the bluebird I've been waiting to come land on my shoulder!!!
    What beautiful photos Pamela -
    Have a happy Monday!

  32. Mr Bluebird is definitely a beauty. What a pity the swallows disappeared though. We have had a nesting box on one of our trees for years, but it has never been used. Husband was going to remove it, then today, after reading your post, we saw a blue tit going into it. I think the birds have wised up to the fact that Clementine cat is too old to bother them now.

  33. Birds with sometimes abandon a nest. So I would recommend cleaning it out and enticing the bluebirds to come back.

  34. Blue, SO blue - I love them and am glad they are now off the endangered list here in the southeast.
    Often birds build extra nests I believe, so your swallows may be laying eggs elsewhere. As Donna says, perhaps clean it out if they don't return in a few days and hopefully the bluebirds will move in!

    Hugs - Mary

  35. Bummer. I have my share of barn swallows nesting on my patio. I know there are bluebirds in my area and I'm gonna get a bluebird house put soon. Hopefully my swallows will leave it alone. No one has moved into my Aggie birdhouse yet. Waiting patiently.


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