What weather we have here in Missouri! Just when you think spring is here, here comes wind, wind, wind, and rain, and a little sleet. We have had a week of different temps, and weather. I think here at the trails we have received around 2.00 inches of rain. It sure helps the grass green up. I did some burning on the trails, and it sure made it look better, and the burned area is already greening up.
I have been enjoying feeding mealworms this week. The Blues have been singing in the front yard and coming to the front porch. One came by yesterday, and she was so cold. I can imagine how hard it is on their nesting right now. However, they are beginning to think about nesting, starting to build in many boxes. I also, as I have said earlier, noticed a lot of Tree Swallows here earlier than normal. They are very hard on the first nesting for bluebirds. They build very quickly, and lay up to 7 eggs. They are very prolific. I try to keep them out by covering the boxes with plastic sacks until they move on, but it is very hard to keep up with them.
In just a few weeks, the Wrens will be arriving, and they are very hard on the Blues also. Wrens will basically destroy a bluebird nest and eggs in 30 minutes if they are dead set on building a nest in that particular house. House Sparrows will do much the same thing. I try to monitor about every day in the early spring, so I can remove other nests from the Blues’ houses.
Time and dedication to a bluebird trail is what it takes to keep the blues around. Also when you first start a trail, it takes several years for the blues to show up. They can be a very timid bird, and Wrens, Tree Swallows, and House Sparrows are very aggressive. This personality makes it hard for them to raise a first hatch. Usually a Tree Swallow only lays one batch of eggs per year, so after June it is easier for them, but the Wren and House Sparrow will just keep trying.
Once I get some nests up and going, I will keep you posted on their progress. Until next time, good bird watching.