No Luck Attracting Bluebirds and Then

by Lori
(Fredericksburg, VA)

When we first moved to our home, we saw bluebirds.

They came for two years in a row, but we hadn't seen any for the eight years since then.

I tried everything I could think of to attract them, dried mealworms, live mealworms, oatmeal, which a neighbor mentioned he had luck with...but nothing!

Then I saw a bluebird house on sale at the garden center.

Thinking I had nothing to lose, I purchased it, and my husband and I fastened it to a metal pole in the yard, even though it was late in the season (June).

male eastern bluebird standing on top of birdhouse

Papa bluebird guarding as momma bluebird builds the nest

Who knew that's all that was needed? I couldn't believe it!

The next morning there was a pair of bluebirds building a nest.

They didn't even take the time to check it out for a few days first. They just set right to work building their nest.

I knew nothing about bluebirds and began researching to learn about them.

Squirrels were climbing the pole we had attached the house to.

Immediately, as recommended I ordered a baffle, and fortunately, it was delivered the next day.

We'd had a very wet spring and had an overabundance of grass clippings. They built the entire nest from them.

I don't even think they lined the nest with feathers.

A few days later there were two eggs in the nest.
two bluebird eggs in nest inside bluebird house

First Two Bluebird Eggs

I read that a predator guard and Noel should be used.

We installed both, but the bluebirds seemed unable to figure out how to enter the nest box with the Noel in place.

I removed it after several hours but left the predator guard in place. They returned to their activities.

Not wanting to disturb them anymore, I waited a few days to check the nest again. Five eggs!

A few days after that, still five eggs, but were those chips and a possible crack in two of them?

bluebird eggs beginning to hatch

Are Those Chips and Cracks Sign of Hatching?

A few days after that, and yes, indeed they were hatching. We had five sweet babies.

Momma bird was sitting on the nest when I opened the door, but she flew off immediately.

I'd made a lot of noise approaching the house, thinking she'd flown away before I got there and set up the ladder.

This is where the story ends for the time being. I felt badly shooing momma bird from brooding.

I won't check the nest again for at least a week until the chicks have feathers. I know they can't regulate their body temperature until they have feathers.

By the time I was back in the house, papa bluebird was back on top of his house guarding his family, in 60-degree weather and pouring rain.

That was yesterday. Today, papa bluebird is busily feeding & guarding his family. It's fun to watch him.

He is so caring and hard-working.

It's still pouring rain and cold here in Virginia, yet he's valiantly sitting on top of the birdhouse guarding his family.
hatchling bluebird in nest

Baby Bluebirds Just Hatched!

The weather is forecast to continue this weather for another five days.

It's so exciting and inspiring to watch these amazing, dedicated bluebirds!

I will update my story as the babies grow and eventually fledge.

As others have mentioned, it's really unbelievable how invested we've become in our little bluebird family.

It really is as if they are part of our family.

This is our first experience with having any kind of bird nest in our yard (at least that we've noticed).

It's our first birdhouse, as well. How exciting it has been so far!

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