From Susan Kierstead
The bluebirds have been staying in the neighborhood for the last 3 winters. We are gone, but several neighbors feed them. As soon as we got back last spring, I set up my feeder and managed to borrow a breeding pair from the neighbor. They immediately set up housekeeping in the box just outside my kitchen window, a box that had been ignored the previous summer. These pictures are all from inside the house.
Jeanne Nivard was kind enough to come over and teach me how to take care of my bluebirds. That included opening the box at regular intervals so I could check on the progress of the eggs and subsequent babies. I ended up having 3 clutches of 5 eggs each and all the babies were alive and well 4 days before they fledged. Within a week or two I saw the babies at the feeder. I only saw 4 at once, so I can’t say all 15 made it. Once I started keeping notes, I had a clue when they would fledge. Unfortunately, I never saw it happen. Once they were gone, mama and papa kept them in the trees for a while.
They are back this year, and so far I’ve seen 3 at once, but no one has started a nest in the feeder. I’ve seen them exploring it and am still hoping.
Bluebirds are not supposed to go to suet holders, but when I put the suet out, I crumble it and once that’s gone, they figure out how to hold the feeder. It was fun last summer watching the babies figure it out. And yes, bluebirds are aggressive. I saw papa chase a blue jay from the suet.
I can’t tell you how much enjoyment we got from watching this family.