Question Hi Bob,
First, thank you so much for your super Bluebird book that I ordered from you last year. Love it.
I am wondering about the 3 Eastern Bluebirds I had in my yard for about 3 weeks until 3 days ago when they sadly disappeared. It is quite cold here in SE Pennsylvania with snow on the ground for about a month. I was thrilled to have them stay so and was thinking that surely they were going to build a nest in my new Gilbertson BBhouse. The birds looked like two males and a female. I put out dried meal worms for them and they gobbled them up along with suet too. However, they were repeatedly chased by a single Mockingbird a lot of the time. I tried to discourage the mockingbird to no avail, and I finally blocked off the bluebird feeder so he could not eat the mealworms, but the bluebirds could. I took down all other feeders except the safflower, which he does not bother, hoping the Mocker would move on. He is STILL here now and then, trying to get in the BB feeder. Exasperating! I've never had BBs before, so I am quite disappointed they didn't stick around. Right now Carolina Wrens are entering the feeder and eating the meal worms. While they were here, the bluebirds checked out the BB house a few times. Why do you think the BBs left and do you think they could possibly come back?
Answer This is a bit early for nesting in your area and the Bluebirds are doing a lot of looking around. As quickly as possible I would move the BB box away from where the Mocker is trying to take over as they are very territorial too. Also put up 2 or 3 more boxes. Remember that they need to be 100 yards apart or they will fight each other. You can put one in front of your home and one in back so they won't see each other. Then if you are short of space use neighbor's property (No one has ever told be no) or along the roads to your home, even high speed ones. Cars stir up and knock down insects and there are fewer predators. Most of my line is along highways. Good luck! PS - as noted in my book, feel free to use my email if you have any questions. Bluebird Bob.
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.