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Mr. Bluebird On My Shoulder

What is it about bluebirds that makes you just want to stand by your window and watch and watch and watch?  For the last 4 or 5 years we have been lucky enough to have our own flock of bluebirds that seem to just love watching us. I swear they wait on the electric line waiting for my husband to walk outside with the bag of mealy worms we get just for them. Those spoiled birds swoop down as soon as he turns around and starts for our house. Of course the other birds are also there enjoying this special treat, especially on these nasty winter days.

I have to say, I don’t think we have ever seen so many bluebirds this time of year as we have this year. A few weeks ago I saw 5 or 6 hanging on the trunk of our oak tree waiting for their turn to eat. As of now, we have 3 bluebird houses and it has been so much fun watching the war between the English sparrows, the bluebirds and my husband.  When the sparrows try to claim a nest box, my husband goes out there and shoos them away. Pulls out whatever nesting material they put in there and waits for his bluebirds to take over. Sometimes I think they are just laughing at the human trying to make sure only bluebirds nest in the boxes. But I am sure Mr. Bluebird appreciates the extra help. For me, I just annoy my husband by saying things like, those poor, poor sparrows, they need a home too!”

Of course, to have these birds, you must have a certain type of house with the correct size hole. The hole needs to face East and should look at an open habitat.  Once you get a pair and they have a clutch and have fledged, you should always clean out the box. That way you can have more then one nest attempt. We had 3 last year in one box. You can find plans to build your own bluebird nest box with a quick google search, but for us, we just bought our boxes from Behnke’s.

I hope this Spring, if you have the right conditions, you try having your own bluebirds. Get some mealy worms and see if any are watching you. You just might be surprised!

by Stephanie Fleming, Behnke’s Vice President

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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