Thursday, February 16, 2012

Watching is for the Birds

Bluebird chicks- Day 1
Francis Skalicky reminds us in today's News-Leader that it is Time to make bluebirds welcome.  Bluebirds begin building their nests for their first broods from mid-February through March and will be apartment hunting in your neighborhood.  It is therefore time to clean out your bluebird boxes to have them ready to rent.

He describes what they are looking for: a nice neighborhood with preferably short grass, scattered trees to perch on, and a  sunny exposure, preferably not due south which heats the home too much in summer.  Nearby insect playgrounds are welcome,  but don't worry, they will find them on their own.

Supper Time!
In addition to their insect hunting, they provide lots of entertainment.  It is important to check the boxes every few days to clean out wasp nests or other unwanted visitors and to clean the nest after the chicks fledge.  The fun part is watching the chicks hatch and grow.  A tapping on the box will allow mom to get away to a nearby tree where she will watch you, then return when you leave.

Another opportunity to watch birds and advance science is the Greater Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) which starts this Friday, February 17th and runs through Monday the 20th.  It is simple to do, requires no technical expertise and is easy to report on line.  You can do it anywhere on any or all 4 days and it requires a minimum of 15 minutes of your time.  Click on this web site and watch the instructional video.  Then on the days you participate, simply go to the GBBC website and begin.

1 comment:

  1. Great reminder. House sparrows have moved into one of my bluebird boxes, but they are about to be evicted.

    A feeder filled with meal worms is a great way to coax bluebirds to frequent the backyard.