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Bluebirds/Hopes for Bluebird return

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Question
I have erected (2) Bluebird houses in regulation size and distance.  The opening is 1 1/2, over 5 ft. off ground, facing South on my wooden fence.  The Bluebirds stayed and used one box to roost from November through recently, March 15.  They were able to dine on fresh mealworms daily.  They had fresh water also.  There is a row of Leyland Cypress trees for a border, that borders the woods.  The boxes and food were placed in the backyard area where the polite birds meet, i.e., Cardinals, finches, Carolina Chickadee and Titmouse feed.    

In the front yard, I have Blue Jays, Carolina Wrens and Sparrows and Mourning Doves.  I have noticed visits from Downy Woodpeckers and even a Mockingbird.  The Mockingbird has decided to claim the Bluebird feeder as his territory, even though he cannot fly through the screen to eat.  Only small birds can enter the mealworm feeder.  Nevertheless, I fear the presence of the Mockingbird and Wrens have scared the Bluebirds.  I fear they may not return and I need advice to plan ahead for a possible return visit from these beautiful birds.

I feed the squirrels corn, not millet.  They also have a daily ration of peanuts.  Their feeder is erected on an Oak tree, away from the two primary feeders.  The Cardinals receive Safflower seeds and Black Oil Sunflower seeds daily.  

In summary, this is the diet I feed the wild birds daily.  The Bluebirds left suddenly and I would like some insights as to ensure the Bluebirds return.

Thank you.

Answer
You are doing a great job in feeding the birds. Just remember that they do not need it - we do it for ourselves to enjoy keeping them close. (I do it too - black oil sunflower seeds and suet blocks plus crumbled up suet blocks in a Bluebird feeder).

Also you appear to be doing things right with your Bluebird houses (if they are at least 100 yards apart due to their terrirorial nature). If you don't have room for this you can cheat a bit by putting one box in front and one box in back of your home so they can't see each other.

If Mockingbirds take over a space it usually is best to move boxes. You don't say where you live but at least mid country Bluebirds are starting to nest so you need to do this quickly. If you don't have room put boxes along the road to your home, even a high speed one. Cars stir up and knock down insects and there are fewer snakes and four legged predators. Most of my two mile 30 box trail is along highways.

If you will send your mailing address to me at walshaw1@cox.net I will send you my free Bluebird book. More than 3300 copies are out across the U.S., Canada and Bermuda. Happy Bluebirding! Bluebird Bob Walshaw.  

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Bluebird Bob Walshaw

Expertise

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 walshaw1@cox.net for a free 20 page Bluebird book.

Experience

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.

Past/Present Clients
Many

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