Bluebirds/House war between Bluebirds and chickadees
Expert: Bluebird Bob Walshaw - 3/27/2014
Question Hi! We've had our box up at least three years and have had good success. this year it seems we have a bidding war going on. We've given the chickadees their own house. I looked in the bluebird house and it looks pretty well built out of pine needles. I just saw a chickadee go in and come right back out. my question is whether I should clear the nest out? I don't know whose nest it is. I've seen the male bbird and have heard him calling out for the female. I'm just concerned the bluebirds will go somewhere else. Is it too early to clear it out and let them start again? Thanks
Answer Please don't clear it out. Chickadees build moss nests and grass and pine needles are what Bluebirds use. Even if a Chickadee gets a box first that is a nice event, often 7 or 8 babies. I deliberately put boxes for them in Oak wood. Also they have only one family a year and it moves quickly and the Bluebirds usually nest after them.
A good idea is to have more than one box, and they need to be 100 yards apart. If your yard is small you can cheat a bit by putting one box in front of your home and one in back so they can't see each other as they are very territorial. Or use neighbor's property or along the road to your home. Ok even if it is high speed as cars stir up and knock down insects and there are fewer snakes and four legged predators.
If you don't already have it please send your mailing address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you my free Bluebird book that will make you experts. More than 3300 copies are out across the U.S., Canada and bermuda. Happy Bluebirding! Bob Walshaw.
Knowledgeability = 10
Clarity of Response = 10
Politeness = 10
Very helpful and quick response. I will definitely use them again. thanks so much.
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 email@example.com 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.