Question Hi Bob. I have been fortunate to host bluebirds in my nest box for several years. This year I have observed what I think is atypical behavior and wondered if you could help answer my question. The chicks have recently fledged, and I usually see a second male feeding on mealworms with the parents. There seems to be no animosity between the three adults, and he has been present even before the young fledged. He rarely fed them while they were in the box, but he often takes food to the fledglings now. I thought the males were very territorial during mating season and would not allow another male in their territory. I appreciate your help to my question.
Answer This sometimes happens after a family is raised, but it is more often two females and one male, and the two females may both lay eggs. As many as 12 in a family has been documented. The male fighting is usually over females or territory before nesting. If you will send your mailing address to me at email@example.com I will send you my free Bluebird book that will make you an expert. Good luck! Bluebird Bob Walshaw. PS - See page 19 for why you should have more than one box.
Questions about setting up and monitoring Eastern Bluebird houses. This includes where and how to put up houses, trouble shooting, fighting predators, especially the killer house sparrows and helping other small cavity nesters such as Chickadees, Titmice, Carolina Wrens, etc. Send mailing address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 20 page Bluebird book.
20 years with a 100+ box Bluebird trail which has been accepted as part of the Transcontinental Bluebird Trail. Talks on Bluebirds to many organizations.
Organizations North American Bluebird Society, Audubon Society local and national, Oklahoma Bluebird Society, OK Furbearers Alliance
Publications Bluebird Magazine, Birds and Blooms, Oklahoma Today and many other publications.
Education/Credentials BS, MBA, Cornell University Bird Biology course
Awards and Honors Blue Cross Ageless Hero, Red Cross Everyday Hero, North American Bluebird Society Awards, Oklahoma Bluebird Society Lifetime Award.