Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bluebirds are such scrappers

A Male Eastern Bluebird
A Male Eastern Bluebird,
originally uploaded by rivadock4.
I have seen and even admired bluebirds who fight with other birds to protect their nest, but this was very different.

The other day, while sitting at my desk, I heard noises outside. My desk is right next to a window that faces east. When I glanced outside, I saw a female bluebird sitting on a low hanging branch of a young oak tree.

Normally, bluebird noises are among my favorite. They sing a very sweet song as if they haven't a care in the world. But this morning, that wasn't the case. The female seemed to be looking toward the ground, so I got up to see what all the fuss was about.

There was a real ruckus going on.

There on the ground, right below my window, which is about nine feet from the tree where she sat, I saw flashes of blue and rust tumbling all around, wings spreading wildly, as two male bluebirds were squawked and nipped at each other.

They were obviously suitors fighting for the lady's attention.

My husband made a bluebird house and nailed it to the very tree on which she perched. The winner would likely lay claim to the house, where he and his lady would build their nest.
A few minutes later, two more males and one female joined the fray.
The girls got into the dirt just like the boys. Everybody--all six of them--were  fighting.

This went on for some time, until there was only one male and one female left. The others flew away relatively unscathed. There are other bluebird houses in the yard, so I'm not sure what all the fuss was about. But, I look forward to monitoring their progress this summer. I can't wait to see little the little fledgelings peak their beaks out of the house. 

 * * *
The following day I related this story to my husband who, after spending some quality alone time in the garage, emerged with a new bluebird house.

In addition to the house worth fighting for, the bluebirds have taken over our  purple martin house in the back yard and three other houses in the front yard. There have never been nests in all of those places at once, but who knows, if they are fighting for a home already, this could be an up-and-coming neighborhood.

I am anxious to monitor their progress as the season moves forward.