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Click to go to Audubon Society of Omaha Home Page Audubon Society of OmahaEastern Bluebird

Welcome to The Bluebird Box since 1995
Best of Bluebird Mailing Lists Classified

Fall/Winter Bluebirding (Part 2)

Also see Winterizing Nestboxes


Subj: BB behavior & a migration question?
Date: 1/4/00 5:02:40 PM Central Standard Time
From: hjsher1"at"yahoo.com (Horace Sher)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: hjsher1"at"yahoo.com
To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu

Hello, I'm Horace in Durham, NC. Some BB questions: (1) For people who have been noticing BB's lately coming to your yard...about when in the day have you noticed this..early morn. or late afternoon; was it sunny or cloudy? And how may birds were there? Also, how long do they usually stay in your yard? What activity have you noticed, i.e. going to bird bath, going to BB house, feeder, etc? (2) Migration question: Also, I'm interested in knowing what other birds have migrated to your backyard(or front) this winter(birds that aren't there during spring & summer) and are still around now? In my backyard of the country(Durham, NC.) I'm having the following come down from northern areas... Dark-eyed Junco,White-throated Sparrow,Yellow-bellied Sapsucker,Pine Siskin,Brown Creeper,Cedar Waxwing.. If you're wondering why all these kinds of questions...I'm informally studying bird behavior and appreciate all your responses. Also, if anyone has noticed any unusual BB behavior, please let me know. (I had a BB nibble at the peanut butter suet in mid-air & on crumbs on the ground. Another day a BB took a peanut piece from the main feeder(which has mostly sunflower seeds) & took it to nearby branch to chop & eat it like a Titmouse.) If you notice any unusual BB activity in future, I'm interested in reading about it. When you reply, please note your location...city, state. Thx. again for your respomses. Horace..
 


Subj: need BB help
Date: 1/8/00 2:18:12 PM Central Standard Time
From: EighteenK"at"aol.com
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: EighteenK"at"aol.com
To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu

Hello all-
I am new to bluebirding, and this list, and am astounded by the number of  BB's I've seen around here this winter. I walked out back the other day to take the dogs out (noonish, 50 degrees,  sunny) and there was a large commotion in the a broken tulip poplar tree. i  stopped and became aware of about 20 BB's that seemed to be playing and  chasing one another around. they were hopping from branch to branch,  singing, and carrying on like crazy.

I thought they were migratory. What are they doing around here this time of  year? Do some of them not go south for the winter?

I have not put up nesting boxes yet, I was waiting for spring. Should I put them out now?

Thanks,
Kathleen from Great Falls, VA.

 


Subj: Re: need BB help
Date: 1/8/00 3:44:16 PM Central Standard Time
From: hubertrap"at"webtv.net (Joe Huber)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: hubertrap"at"webtv.net
To: EighteenK"at"aol.com, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Hello Kathleen, and welcome, Seeing Bluebirds
during the winter is not uncommon in Va. No one knows for sure how many stay but they are seen in most of the northern states. They seem to pick a habitat that has many trees and bushes that produce berries. They live on them during severe weather. Many people don't see any Bluebirds during the winter even if the birds are only minutes away. They gather in flocks and stay near feeding areas. You just happen to live near a good source of food for them. In Ohio they were seen every winter for over 25 years. No one knows for sure if these are your local birds or not but I've seen evidence that at least some are local.
Enjoy them while you can. Look at the photo of winter roosting Bluebirds below. Taken in 1977 on January 13 at 3:15 AM Temperature 0 In Heath Ohio. Joe Huber Venice Fl.

Charter member NABS, Charter member OBS, Life member OBS Joe Huber
hubertrap"at"webtv.net

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/HOUSESPARROWCONTROL

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/RoostingBluebirds

 


Subj: VA in Jan.
Date: 1/8/00 3:49:37 PM Central Standard Time
From: blueburd"at"srnet.com (Bruce Burdett)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: blueburd"at"srnet.com
To: EighteenK"at"aol.com
CC: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Kathleen, et al,
Eastern Bluebirds don't apparently migrate much. They seem to sort of drift in a southerly direction until they find a place that suits their needs for food and milder weather. Listers tell us that they've been wintering in Virginia, commonly, for years. Some hardy ones even winter in southern New Hampshire now. My SUSPICION is ( and I stress that it's only a suspicion, - a hypothesis,) that the ones who winter in NH nest up in Maine or Canada, whereas the ones you have in Virginia now might have nested in, say, Pennsylvania. Perhaps the ones who nest in Virginia, the less hardy strains, drift south to some place like Florida, or Georgia. Many creatures have developed strains, through the millennia, that equip them to live in a variety of climates.

Honeybees certainly have. Strains raised in Vermont can stand much harsher winters than strains OF THE SAME SPECIES that were raised in Louisiana.
I hope someone tips you off to the BLUEBIRD-L Reference List. I don't have the URL at hand, but most listers know how to bring it up. Keep asking. And you should probably get yourself a good book. I gather, too, that Western and Mountain Bluebirds have migratory habits quite different from Easterns.
Bruce Burdett, NH Bluebird Conspiracy, Sunapee NH

 


Subj: Re: need BB help
Date: 1/8/00 4:40:25 PM Central Standard Time
From: randyj"at"enter.net (Randy Jones)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: randyj"at"enter.net
To: EighteenK"at"aol.com
CC: bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu (Bluebird Listserve)

Hi! I have not seen any here since August, but friends just told me today that they had seen a male bluebird just north of here. I am coming to believe that either they do not migrate, or that they just "do what feels good." Meaning, if there's winter food, they stick around. When they stick, I think they check out nestboxes, along with all other possible cavities which might be a nesting site. SO, I say put them up. I just got done completing a new 20-nestbox trail in our neighborhood. "If you build it, they will come!"

Randy Jones
Allentown PA

...
 


Subj: need BB help
Date: 1/8/00 5:32:52 PM Central Standard Time
From: skimlatte"at"juno.com (KIM E MILLER)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: skimlatte"at"juno.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Hello all
I just subscribed today having some of the very same questions. I thought this may be a good source and it already has shown that.

I live rurally in Southern Wisconsin (20 mi south of Madison). For the first time, we have just one male BB this year staying over. I thought I was seeing things in early December, since the juncos had arrived and it was late in the day. But much to my delight (and worry, I must say) it was indeed a bluebird. We have six nestboxes that we leave up year round. It appears he has attempted to try one out - there is some grass in the bottom that wasn't there earlier in Nov when I checked it out.

He has been eating berries from my asparagus plants. I've made some suet mixture from a recipe I found in a Bluebird book - It has cornmeal, raisins, flour, peanut butter and lard. I've put it out for him in the little feeders we use during the summer to feed mealworms in. He hasn't seemed interested and it doesn't last long as sadly we have about 10 starlings that come midmorning and eat everything in site.

I plan on trying mealworms in a feeder my husband has constructed using cedar boards and a large mouthed, extra big glass jar that sits on it's side. We saw something like this at a local bird store.

Although we have had quite a mild winter, it is now in the 20s - 2 inch of snow on the ground and 2-3" predicted tomorrow night - does anyone have any other suggestions as to what may have worked for them in the past as far as offering supplemental food during these cold times?

Many thanks,
Kim

 


Subj: Re: need BB help
Date: 1/8/00 7:31:17 PM Central Standard Time
From: erigby"at"home.com (Elaine Rigby)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: erigby"at"home.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD)

Hi Kathleen,

We have Blue Birds here near here pretty much all year round. They are MIA a lot during the Winter, but they come back every week or so.

Laney : )
Outside Richmond VA



....


Subj: Bluebird Migration
Date: 1/8/00 8:27:29 PM Central Standard Time
From: springer"at"alltel.net (Gary Springer)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: springer"at"alltel.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)
CC: springer"at"alltel.net (Gary Springer)

Hello All,

The migration question has arisen again.

For newcomers, I recommend reading previous posts to this list that are recorded in The Best of Bluebird-L.

There is more and more evidence that during the fall and winter many, if not most, Eastern Bluebirds travel no further from their breeding territories than the nearest thick forested area. In fact, the breeding territory and forested wintering grounds often overlap.

This summer there were reports of two white Bluebirds in Maryland. As of the beginning of January, both of these birds, or 100 percent of the birds in this population which we can definitely identify, are wintering very near their breeding territories. If anyone knows the exact distance between the breeding area and the wintering grounds of these two birds, please post this distance, as well as whether or not the birds have been seen on the breeding territory as well.

Banding recovery data was recently posted to this list. Unfortunately, no conclusions could be drawn because out of thousands of birds banded, the only birds reported in these results were the small handful of birds that were eventually recovered in a state other than the state in which they were banded(an average of less than 10 birds per state). No mention was made of the number of Bluebirds recovered within a mile or two of where they were banded, or even the number of birds recovered in the same state in which banded.

Observing reports in which the exceptions are reported(recoveries in another state) instead of the majority(recoveries in the same state) makes me suspicious that there is a group of people that are holding tight to the traditional belief that most Eastern Bluebirds migrate, and want others to continue to embrace it as well. I just hope the banding researchers don't fall into this group.

If there are any Bluebird banders on our list, would you please enlighten us on whether or not statistics are kept on recoveries of birds in the same state and same territory in which they were banded, and if so, what the numbers are and the dates they were recovered.

Sincerely,

Gary Springer

 


Subj: Birdmigratin/weather/rambling
Date: 1/9/00 8:51:10 AM Central Standard Time
From: kridler"at"1starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: kridler"at"1starnet.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas another night at 48*F for a low.

Bluebird migration can be tied in with the Hardiness Zone Map found in nearly any seed catalog. If you will go to the Christmas bird count maps and overlay them with the Hardiness zone map then you will see that the bluebirds by the average Christmas have only vacated zone 3 or where in a normal winter the temperatures drop to -30 -40*F. Remember this year Minnesota has been setting all kinds of heat records for December. Bluebirds normally are found all winter long in zone 5 which stretches from eastern half of Colorado to the Atlantic coast of Maine. Only during food shortages or extreme weather do some species like the Evening and Rose Breasted Grosbeak ever migrate far enough south for me to see them (none in the last 6 years). The white bluebirds are located in zone 6 well within the "non-migratory" population of bluebirds and very near zone 7 which I am in, although we have really been in zone 9 for the last 3 years (not under 20*F except for a couple of hours). We have not even had 350 cooling hours under 40*F for the peach growers these years!

I was born in the northeast corner of Ohio & the combination of cold winters in the late 50's and DDT wiped the bluebirds out by 1957 in Stark Co. I never saw a bluebird until moving to Texas in 1964. The last pair nesting on our farm was in 1956, (the next one wasn't until 1974) before I was old enough to be interested. For example on March 26, 1960 our water lines were frozen at 36" deep and snow was drifted over the tops of our mink ranch sheds at a height of 8 feet. Tunnels were dug between sheds to feed and carry water and mink smothered in snow inside sheds in their cages. I remember this only because it was the day my little baby sister was born. I remember winters where our fuel oil (diesel) tank turned to gel in the cold and we were without heat. This cold cycle again returned in the late 70's to Ohio but since then most of the northern states have been normal or above normal.

In 1978 I raised 1,235 in 279 nestboxes in part of one Texas county while the entire state of Minnesota didn't even report 10,000. Average wise VERY
FEW bluebirds even live in areas where they need to migrate. During warm cycles many far north bluebirds tend to stay put until the next cold cycle wipes them out. It will be the TINY remmanant of the bluebird population in the far north that remembers to migrate that will have to repopulate or the few lucky bluebird families that now receive mealworms (I never thought I would type that word:-)..."Bluebird treat" ETC. feeding stations and foods for bluebirds were unheard of even 25 years ago. Bluebird pioneers like Larry Zeleny, Joe Huber & Dean Sheldon in the east could be counted on your fingers back 25 years! I may type faster and write more than those guys did and do but I have a ways to go to even move up to the front row when they are on the podium!! This "BLUEBIRD FEVER" that is consuming the US with tens of thousands of monitors and hundreds of thousands of nestboxes is just occurring within the last recorded second of Bluebird History. Only time will tell what we actually can accomplish over another 50 years! KK

 


Subj: Re: Birdmigratin/weather/rambling
Date: 1/9/00 9:14:37 AM Central Standard Time
From: RWil2654"at"aol.com
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: RWil2654"at"aol.com
To: kridler"at"1starnet.com, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Hi Keith; & All;
Here in western Colorado we have all three species that stay here year around. On the Christmas count we had 26 EABL, 45 WEBL and 130 MOBL. We are
not sure why they stay as it does get cold and snow. In the high country above 7,000 you cannot find any bluebirds.

Bob Wilson
2654 Sperber Lane
Grand Junction, CO 81506
(970) 242-5190
39* 06.21N
108*33.61 W
4,635 elevation
http://www.crosswinds.net/~bluebirdbob/

 


Subj: Bluebird Migration
Date: 1/9/00 11:15:38 PM Central Standard Time
From: springer"at"alltel.net (Gary Springer)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: springer"at"alltel.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)
CC: springer"at"alltel.net (Gary Springer)

Many folks are of the opinion that Eastern Bluebird populations across most zones shift southward slightly meaning that the Blues in your yard during the summer are not the Blues in your yard during the winter, but instead, came from a little further north.

With the possible exception of the E.Blues in the extreme northern part of the breeding range, I do not believe this is the case. Based on information from Joe Huber about Blues in Ohio and other posts on this list about identifying Blues by noticing learned activities, there are many cases in which its obvious that the birds being observed in the winter are the same birds that were there in the summer.

The white Bluebirds didn't move south at all, and, most people that really get to know the individual summer Blues in their yard see winter Blues doing things that a bird that just wandered in just wouldn't be able to pick up on.

The only thing that has me wandering is the increased activity in the sky during the fall. I hope we can get more detailed information about what is going on overhead next October.

Gary Springer

 


Subj: hardiness zone map links
Date: 1/10/00 6:30:29 AM Central Standard Time
From: kridler"at"1starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: kridler"at"1starnet.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas
I have had several requests for more information on the hardiness zone "theory". Below is a link to the maps. They are really simple but at Christmas bird counts "most" Eastern Bluebirds are congregating or very simply, there are more of them being counted in zone 8 or the average minimum low of 10*F20*F. Although this temperature zone is south of my zone 7, the western half of Oregon and Washington are normally warmer than where I live! These maps show that bluebirds nesting in central New York can drift a 100 miles east or west and change three temperature zones and never leave their home state!

This is not allowing for micro climates of power plant lakes, hidden valleys in mountains with south exposure to winter sun ETC.

I have a busy week but maybe someone could post the links to the breeding bird survey maps of the three species of bluebirds and also the three maps of the Christmas bird count to the list in a similar manner. I think you will find the heaviest concentration of "wintering" bluebirds in central east Texas also is one of the highest concentrations of "breeding" bird populations. KK

http://www.hcs.ohio-state.edu/mg/studentlinks/hzones/hzones.htm

 


Subj: Re: Bluebird Migration
Date: 1/10/00 8:41:26 AM Central Standard Time
From: dsheldonjr"at"hotmail.com (dean sheldon)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: dsheldonjr"at"hotmail.com
To: springer"at"alltel.net
CC: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Gary: Many thanks for your continuing observations on this subject. I want to report to you that I have been surprised by the number of people who have
taken the time to let me know that they are in agreement with the observations which I made in the Winter, 1999 "Bluebird Monitor"[Ohio Bluebird Society quarterly journal]. I sent a copy of that to you. More than that, a number of them have stopped the "mealie" supplements and the offering of other BB "goodies" in favor of letting nature take its course. I'm very pleased about that because I honestly think that that is the way to go with this thing. Some of the micromanagement" ideas proffered on this Listserv are a bit of a concern to me. But I really believe that most of them are the result of a lack of knowledge and experience. Experienced bluebirders know, full well, just how adaptable these birds are and, by virtue of that, they let THEM handle life at the nest box...with minimimal intrusion. And that, in my opinion, is REALLY the way to go. Thanks, again.....Dean
...
 


Subj: Re: Bluebird Migration
Date: 1/10/00 9:03:31 AM Central Standard Time
From: RWil2654"at"aol.com
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: RWil2654"at"aol.com
To: dsheldonjr"at"hotmail.com, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

This address give a good over view of the distribution of bluebird in the U. S. and Canada not by zones but by states. http://birdsource.tc.cornell.edu/birdhouse/results-all.htm?

Bob Wilson
2654 Sperber Lane
Grand Junction, CO 81506
(970) 242-5190
39* 06.21N
108*33.61 W
4,635 elevation
http://www.crosswinds.net/~bluebirdbob/
http://www.dnr.state.co.us/wildlife/volunteer/bluebirdproject.htm

 


Subj: Re: Bluebird Migration
Date: 1/10/00 2:28:00 PM Central Standard Time
From: m-r-sumner"at"juno.com (Maynard R Sumner)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: m-r-sumner"at"juno.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu

I think they move into the woods for the winter.

Maynard R Sumner
Flint, Michigan

...
 


Subj: Re: Bluebird Migration
Date: 1/12/00 1:41:12 AM Central Standard Time
From: springer"at"alltel.net (Gary Springer)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: springer"at"alltel.net
To: bakerbon"at"sni.net (Bonnie & Ed)
CC: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L), springer"at"alltel.net (Gary Springer)

Dear Bonnie,

In answering your question, I'll start with the last point you made. We can only hypothesize about Bluebird migration. This is so despite banding tens of thousands of Bluebirds. Apparently there have been comparatively few found in states outside the state in which originally banded.

You can never prove a bird does not migrate by banding. Quite the contrary. Even if only one bird of ten thousand is found some distance from where it
was banded, that one recovery supports the migration theory. What banding recovery result will show that the bird does not migrate?

It is quite possible that there are areas in which Blues breed but they do not winter over and your place may be one of them. A lot of animals move from territory to territory, high elevations to low, open areas to wooded areas. But this type of movement does not qualify as migration as we speak of with respect to birds.

My understanding is that migrate means that birds have a built in mechanism that causes them to head to specific different areas which are in most cases many hundreds or thousands of miles away. This movement occurs regardless of the daily temperatures or food supply. They have a built in clock and compass and when a certain time of the year arrives, they depart for another area many hundreds or thousands of miles away, regardless of the temperatures or food supply. It appears that most Bluebirds do not demonstrate this tendency. It appears that they will travel no further than the nearest food supply.

I live close to the border of zone 6 and zone 7 which extends from Georgia all the way up to Pennsylvania. For 5 years I too thought my Blues had migrated because I didn't see any between late November and late February. Then, I read posts from people on this list that were seeing Blues all winter long in Michigan and Ohio. I figured they must be here too so I went looking for them.

I searched almost every day for three weeks before I finally found the first one. Three weeks to locate birds that I watched in my yard everyday all summer long. Three weeks to locate birds that I never saw in the winter for five winters before this year. Three weeks to find Blues that had gone from my yard down over the hill 200 YARDS.

Now I can find them nearly every day because I know where to look. But I'd never have seen them looking for them where I saw them during the summer.
I'm sure I'm not the only one that thought the Bluebirds had migrated when they were just hiding out in a thick wooded area less than a mile away? I'd wager that I can find Blues within a mile of a lot of people on this list that would bet theirs had all migrated.

And, finally, where did all the "migrating" flocks we observed in October and November go? They must not have gone to the same place or even the same
region because the bird counts conducted during the winter months show LESS Blues in EVERY STATE, even those in the SOUTH. So apparently they don't
have a built in mechanism that tells them to go some place where it is warmer because this place does not exist. Otherwise there would be reports of increased numbers of Blues in the winter some place, not decreases in counts everywhere.

Bees and termites swarm too. That doesn't mean they migrate.

I hope you can see why I and a number of others are questioning the Bluebird migration theory.

I must add that I am not positive what all this means except that the term migration and its traditional meaning is not a good description for what we are learning about our blue friends. We have a lot of work ahead of us before we really understand the Bluebird. Doesn't that make it exciting?

Have you gone into the forests within a mile or two from your home sitting still from 8:00 AM until 10:00 AM on sunny mornings on several occasions this winter hunting out Bluebirds? There's no way of knowing if the Blues are there unless you go out and look for them. You just might be pleasantly
surprised.

Gary Springer,
Carnesville, GA

PS To confuse the matter further, I just talked to Paul from Connecticut tonight. He is seeing a lot of flocking of Bluebirds, and even flocks of more than 100 Chickadees, in October. Do Chickadees migrate? What about the Tufted Titmouse?

 


Subj: Re: Bluebird Migration
Date: 1/15/00 5:09:42 AM Central Standard Time
From: springer"at"alltel.net (Gary Springer)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: springer"at"alltel.net
To: bakerbon"at"sni.net (Bonnie & Ed)
CC: springer"at"alltel.net (Gary Springer), BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Dear Bonnie,

I see CNN is predicting a cloudy weekend for Dillon, Colorado.

If it is cloudy your odds of seeing Bluebirds will be greatly reduced.

They seem to hide away even more when its cloudy.

I believe it would have been just as appropriate to have named them Sunbirds as Bluebirds. Bright sunny days, regardless of temperatures, brings them out from wherever it is that they spend their time on cloudy winter days.

My earlier post should have said I can find them nearly every SUNNY day.

Of course, if you already have the time and place set, I'm sure you'll see plenty of birds and other animals to make a morning stump sitting quite enjoyable. Plus, you'll find out if your clothing is warm enough to keep you comfortable while sitting still in the cold.

Happy birding,

Gary Springer

 


Subj: 2 pair in the nestbox
Date: 1/15/00 11:09:41 PM Central Standard Time
From: moorefam"at"bpsinet.com (Randy W Moore)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: moorefam"at"bpsinet.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu

What a pleasant surprise to look out the kitchen window to see 2 pair of bluebirds in and out of the nestbox this morning around 8:30. The bluebirds ran off a house sparrow thus saving me a trip to the gun safe. The crabapple trees in the front yard haven't been touched this winter. We've only had 1.5" of snow which lasted less than 48 hours. I credit the neighbor's 1.2 acres of mowed field directly behind the house, several 25 year old green spruce trees, the Indiana DNR for helping convert a corn / soybean field measuring a half mile by half mile to a forest and an accurate air rifle made for house sparrows.

Amazing how the bluebirds return as soon as I return to the house while the few remaining sparrows have become a bit shy. Should I offer the sparrows a one way ticket back to Europe?

We haven't seen bluebirds for a few months until this morning. Thank God for pleasant surprises.

Randy in Marion Grant County, IN

P.S. - The wife is showing signs of becoming a bluebirder; however, she remains discontented with my sparrow target practice as I'm sure some of you
must be. Traps are fine too as is the "bright" house architecture.

 


Subj: Report from -40*
Date: 1/17/00 10:16:42 PM Central Standard Time
From: hpandtl"at"crocker.com (Haleya Priest/Thom Levy)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: hpandtl"at"crocker.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD)

Haleya Priest Amherst MA

This is the third of fourth or fifth (?) and final day and night of bitter, bitter cold. We've had temps below zero and wind chills up to -40*. But I am more convinced as each day progresses that bluebirds can withstand this cold. I believe it was KK who told us that the famous pix of the "mad bluebird" was taken on a -20* day. I've been watching "my family" closely, and there are no signs that they are tired out, dragged out or ready to collapse from this cold. Yes, they aren't as playful, but who would be when you can hardly stand up straight from the biting wind. Still, they were checking out the boxes today - despite the cold and the $%&"at"#mockingbird who often would not let them feed (if not one thing another!!). But they sure didn't look like they were starving to death. Tomorrow it will be a sultry 10-20* with no wind!!! Anyway, it must be the icestorms that really get to them. Not so much the cold or the wind. In any event, all hats off to these hardy and fully prepared awesome troopers. H

 


Subj: Winter bluebirds in Maine!
Date: 1/19/00 9:40:56 PM Central Standard Time
From: cybermom"at"acadia.net (Dottie)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: cybermom"at"acadia.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

There are 5 bluebirds who didn't study the range maps and have been hanging around my house in mid-coast Maine since mid-December. It's been pretty mild
until now, but the last few evenings have been below zero, and I'm worried about the little creatures. I see them every day eating wild red berries (I don't know what kind.) I made a lard, peanut butter, corn meal, peanut, raisin, sunflower heart combo and have put it on the ground near the berry bushes, but haven't seen anybody touch it (except chickadees and squirrels). Does anybody have any suggestions as to what else I might do to help them survive? They look pretty happy!! Thanks for any ideas!

 


Subj: Re: Winter bluebirds in Maine!
Date: 1/20/00 8:14:07 AM Central Standard Time
From: hpandtl"at"crocker.com (Haleya Priest/Thom Levy)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: hpandtl"at"crocker.com
To: cybermom"at"acadia.net, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD)

Haleya Priest Amherst MA

Thinking more about Dottie's EABL. EABL come to feeders for the first time after ice storms and such. This is when people who have never seen them before see them for a short time and then are never seen again.  I also remember Andy Troyer's story of when he hadn't seen his bluebirds in weeks during the winter. Now remember, this guy feeds bluebirds out of his hand!!!! Then one day they had a terrible ice (snow?) storm, and "his" bluebirds came with all their flock who had never come before. He felt so sorry for them that he gave them all the mealies they wanted. Then they were gone.  I think the birds know when they are desperate, and if they haven't come to your plate of food right under their nose, you know they must be getting plenty to eat. Happy hardy bluebirding! :-) H

 


Subj: Re: Early Nesting
Date: 1/22/00 8:45:58 PM Central Standard Time
From: ylbordelon"at"juno.com (Yvonne L. L. Bordelon)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: ylbordelon"at"juno.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Yvonne Bordelon Covington, LA Rainy, 70's
Our pair is still going in & out of their nest box and there is already quite a bit of pine straw in the box. The temps are warm now, but a real cold front is coming through with temps expected to go below freezing every night next week. I imagine that this will slow down their enthusiasm.

Thanks for all of the information & for the addresses of the wonderful websites. I have only begun to peruse them & have already printed out pages & pages of great stuff.

 


Subj: Re:Increase in Number of Bluebirds
Date: 1/23/00 7:54:41 AM Central Standard Time
From: bluebird"at"waveone.net (Jim Auer)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: bluebird"at"waveone.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Hello Everyone!

I have been very excited in the last few days......all winter so far we have had 3 bluebirds coming for mealworms.....they come only in the morning and then in the afternoon. We had our first good snow this past week and I noticed a stray male that wasn't with the group of three. I started putting mealworms in another feeder in the front of the house that I had used last winter.....this morning we had 7 front yard bluebirds(I guess the stray male brought all his friends) and 3 backyard bluebirds.
They are really beautiful in the snow!

Ann Auer
Northern Indiana---30 degrees this morning and more snow
expected tonight.

 


Subj: Bluebirds in the snow!
Date: 1/23/00 8:26:26 AM Central Standard Time
From: CBCHRISTIE"at"aol.com
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: CBCHRISTIE"at"aol.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Had a very special site yesterday at the bird bath. Three bluebirds (two males and a female) decided to stop by for a drink. First bluebirds I've seen all winter in my area (Potterville Michigan). Got the camera out (35 mm with zoom lens) and took 14 great pics. One problem though, my camera said I had taken 13 PICS so I figured I had plenty of film to take the 14 pics. Wrong! After taking the pics I went to change the roll of film and found out there wasn't any in the camera to start with. How disappointing, sure hope they come back today, I have three cameras with different lens on each and all loaded with film this time! Bluebirds in the snow, not much else in this world that is so beautiful.

CLARENCE B CHRISTIE
POTTERVILLE MICHIGAN
TEMP 22 WITH LIGHT WINDS AND A DUSTING OF SNOW

 


Subj: questions
Date: 1/24/00 4:47:38 PM Central Standard Time
From: leonar26"at"pilot.msu.edu (Cheryll Leonard)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: leonar26"at"pilot.msu.edu
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRDers)

Good evening....I only discovered this list on the 20th and have been enjoying reading the notices/postings. I was also wishing that we could see bluebirds in the winter up here, and I admit to feeling jealous when the gentleman from Potterville, MI said that he had them.....since that is a bit north of us.

Saturday, my husband and I found an old, heated water dish in the barn that used to be used when we had cats out there and decided to put it out for the birds. WE had only seen one bird using it until this evening, when much to my delight and surprise, I looked out there and saw TWO MALE BLUEBIRDS! WE are thrilled, but don't know if we dare hope to see them again. Is there anything that we can do, other than keeping the water available to them, to feed and encourage them? We have had one nesting pair for three years, and last year had a second join us. In the spring and summer of last year we fledged 13....and I was able to see each of the babies at one point or another so I know that they made it past the first two weeks out of the box.....between three broods. I feed mealworms from April through July, but don't think that would work right now. Any advice and suggestions would be great.....and I hope this works since I haven't tried to write to people this way before.

CHeryll Leonard....Adrian, MI where it's about 10 degrees with calm winds and moderate snow cover.
 


Subj: Remember our friends in the snow
Date: 1/25/00 4:08:30 PM Central Standard Time
From: erigby"at"home.com (Elaine Rigby)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: erigby"at"home.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD)

This is a note to those backyard bluebirders in the south which is getting lambasted with a snowstorm to end all snowstorms (16+ inches here in Richmond).

Please if your Box is up and reachable from your house, go and check it. Our feathered friends may be looking for a place to ride out the storm, and if the box is full of snow (as ours was this AM) it's not going to be an option for them. You also want to make sure no one got trapped in there with the wind and snow last night.

Make sure, your feeders are full and cleaned out from under the snow. They are hungry and right now bugs are slim pickens. Berries are hidden under a foot of snow. So, let's remember when we brush off our cars, and shovel the drive, to brush off the feeders and clean out the boxes.

Laney
Richmond VA
SNOW?????? OMG, it's SNOW!


Subj: Winter BBs
Date: 12/9/99 10:48:38 PM Central Standard Time
From: eemmuu"at"att.net (carriers)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: eemmuu"at"att.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (Bluebird talk)

Hello again, Paul from CT

I would like to tell about a sighting I had last January about Bluebirds.

I went out birding one very cold, but clear January day. The high for the day was not over freezing, in fact the high was at about 1:00, and probably 30f tops.
I drove through a farm country road area, and on the south sloping side of a pasture, I spotted several Bluebirds. I parked the car to see what they were up to. On both sides were multaflora roses, with plenty of hips on them. I noticed one male perched just above a wet area ( all frozen ) looking down at the ground as they do in the summer for insects. What was he looking at?(or for?). I assumed he was full of berries and hips, having the morning to exploit that source, so what was he up too? In a short time, he flew down onto the ground, next to a grass clump so common in shallow marshy areas, and seemed to be looking within the grass for something.Did he see a movement there of interest? I did not see him actually pick something from there, but he sure scrutinized the area for about a minute or two, picking and probing all the while. Even on such a cold and frozen day, could this grass clump, with the sun hitting it, produce a micro climate warm enough to awaken the likes of some insects to eat?
 

From what i saw, I would assume it did, for what else was he doing there?

Any input to this out there?.......paul from CT


Subj: Snow storm of the century in NC.
Date: 1/26/00 2:18:41 PM Central Standard Time
From: hjsher1"at"yahoo.com (Horace Sher)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: hjsher1"at"yahoo.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu

Hello, everyone. As most of you probably have heard by now, on Mon. evening & through the night, we got the biggest snow storm of the century.. almost 2 ft. where I live in Durham, NC. I was up at dawn yesterday & today trying to save as many birds as I can by making sure there's food for all type birds in our 5 feeders, especially the BB feeder. Many birds have used all feeders.. which made me happy to see this. However, the one bird that I'm worried about, I haven't seen yesterday or today. That's our BB. Prior to the snowstorm, they were coming around fairly regularly. Snow outside is almost 2 ft., temps ranging 14-32, & I expect little or no melting for next few days. So I hope our BB down here either migrated out in time or are just roosting nearby & hanging on for Dear life. Let's hope & pray all those BB in the snow areas from I think SC. up to maybe Maine are going to make it. Horace in NC.

 


Subj: Re: Snow storm of the century in NC.
Date: 1/26/00 3:13:01 PM Central Standard Time
From: birdlady"at"netstorm.net (Elizabeth Nichols)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: birdlady"at"netstorm.net
To: hjsher1"at"yahoo.com
CC: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu

...

At noon today Jan. 26 I visited the trail w/3 BB feeders. Missed yesterday due to blizzard conditions. When I arrived at the first box not a Blueie was in sight. The can holding mealies & miracle meal inside the feeder appeared untouched. Suddenly I spotted 6 Blues watching me from a nearby tree. I never even whistled for them. Somehow, they knew I was there. The snow had blown into the 1.5" hole & some had accumulated in the feeder. This indicated to me they were hunkered down somewhere close by and they only came to the feeder when I was ten paces away. They ate hungrily from the can atop the feeder and will venture inside the feeder later today.

I visited the next feeder and a group of ten Blues arrived chirping happily. They seemed to be everywhere -- as soon as I took ten paces they were at the feeder two & three at a time on the can outside the feeder--they too will venture inside before seeking cover in nearby pine & cedar trees at dusk.

The third feeder produced similar results except they had consumed the mealies inside the feeder.

They all appeared frisky and chirping among one another and none the worse for the wear. 15" of snow & blizzard of yesterday appeared to add to their glee. These little birds can withstand more than we give them credit for. Ah, the joys of Bluebirding!

Betty Nichols, near the mountains in Frederick Co. Maryland

 


Subj: Re: Snow storm of the century in NC.
Date: 1/26/00 3:13:05 PM Central Standard Time
From: bjohnso3"at"midsouth.rr.com (Bruce Johnson)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: bjohnso3"at"midsouth.rr.com
To: hjsher1"at"yahoo.com
CC: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu

Hello Horace & all the gang:

It is situations like this that make me believe in feeding the bluebirds, at least enough to let them know where to come for food in conditions like this. The same thing applies for shelter.

If You Build It, They Will Come. If You Supply It, They
Will Know Where To Come."

Best regards,

Bruce Johnson ~ Life Mbr. NABS
2795 Long Oak Drive
Germantown TN 38138
901-755-6842

...


Subj: Re: Bluebirds in the snow!
Date: 1/28/00 4:58:14 AM Central Standard Time
From: mikkelsen"at"mindspring.com (emily mikkelsen)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: mikkelsen"at"mindspring.com
To: m-r-sumner"at"juno.com, Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu

greetings from atlanta, yes my bluebirds come often when it is cold. they like the pnut butter suet i make for them. i keep a heater in the birdbath also and many like that also. we rarely have enough snow for photos,perhaps tomorrow. the cardinal against the snow is also lovely. have a great day!
emily mikkelsen
...


Subj: Winter Storm Woes
Date: 1/28/00 11:25:25 AM Central Standard Time
From: pomeroy"at"pinehurst.net (Ken & Marilyn Pomeroy)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: pomeroy"at"pinehurst.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu)

Marilyn Pomeroy
Whispering Pines, NC, 20 degrees

We were without power for 2 1/2 days during our worst winter storm since at least recordkeeping began. Our birds have given us untold joy right on our deck. I luckily laid in a supply of dogwood berries and also sunflower chips. Bluebirds readily ate both of those. They were even trying the suet - a first for us. I may try a few raisins; maybe they will try those since bugs are indeed slim pickins. We have had five bluebirds at one time on our deck. We were thinking it may be mom and pop and the three little ones. (You can see, we had a lot of time on our hands!). I am continually astonished of the variety of birds around here. With another storm approaching, I made two pans of brownies so we can keep up our energy to feed the birds!

 


Subj: Re: Snow, natural wx forecasters, etc.
Date: 1/28/00 12:17:48 PM Central Standard Time
From: koby_2004"at"yahoo.com (Koby Prater)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: koby_2004"at"yahoo.com
To: bdarnell"at"centurytel.net, bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu

Hello Bill et all,
Bill I think I gave you a pretty fair warning that it was coming your way. From now on I'll tell you when it is snowing then it'll go across Missouri and hit you. Here in SW Missouri we have 3 to 4 inches of snow on the ground, but it has stopped. All feeders are crazy-busy including the Bluebird feeder which early this morning gave me a roll of pictures in less than a minute.

Wendell- I would like to know what kind of lens you use and how much you bought it for.

Happy Bluebirding from the young Koby Prater in snowy SW corner of Missouri near Joplin.

...


Subj: bored and ......... save the day
Date: 1/28/00 3:49:43 PM Central Standard Time
From: koby_2004"at"yahoo.com (Koby Prater)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: koby_2004"at"yahoo.com
To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu

Koby Prater: Seneca, MO: 30s and snow 3 inches of snow on the ground, but man are the Bluebirds really Blue against white.

Hello all,
I have some comments and questions. First of all I comment that the bluebirds have been back and forth from my feeder, birdbath (which are about 20 feet apart), and then they go the same direction they came from. I spotted where they go and got the binoculars out and kapang about 20 to 30 blues sitting at the top of a tree. I have saw at least five take a bath.
1)Wouldn't they be really really cold?
2)Is this usual for the EABL to sit in the top of the tree and to only eat Bluebird Treat?

Thanks in advance
Koby Prater

PS- Can anyone figure out what the dots are for? Send me your answers when you reply.


Subj: To Bruce and List........re: Missing Birds.
Date: 1/29/00 8:26:31 PM Central Standard Time
From: joschultz"at"hotmail.com (Joe Schultz)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: joschultz"at"hotmail.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

To Bruce and list
I know why we don't see bluebirds in the winter....their smart! I don't have any cardinals this winter.Why? I saw three small flocks of  American Robins in three separate winter months last winter and heard of other sightings in the central part of the state which is unheard of.I am almost out of a 50 pound bag of niger seed for my tube feeder and the birds just quit using it! Why? I have a black sunflower seed feeder in the back yard and I throw a lot of it on the snow in the area not far from my heated birdbath.At 6:00 A.M. you can see a couple rabbits.When it starts to get light the mourning doves show up and then the Juncos,Jays, etc.. until the squirrels show up and pretty much kick everybody out.This goes on every day like clockwork.It could be that your neighbors site makes the birds feel more secure like placing a bluebird box in that perfect place. I move some of my boxes every fall looking for that perfect location if there is such a place for every bluebird box.

Joe Schultz
Plover WI.


Subj: Re: Quazy
Date: 1/30/00 2:26:10 PM Central Standard Time
From: cas"at"superior.net (Chickie Smith)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: cas"at"superior.net
To: hjsher1"at"yahoo.com (Horace Sher)
CC: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (bluebird)

Hi Horace,
The bluebirds were here this morning and the temperature was about 4 degrees. I know that they are roosting in one of the nesting boxes cause I trudged through the deep snow to check and there were some droppings in the box. I think they are drinking the water, but they are not touching the raisins. Maybe they are finding enough to eat elsewhere on the property.Anyway, I am sure glad to see them. They make a dull winter a lot brighter, don't they. I JUST LOVE THEM. Chickie Smith-Fonda, NY
...
 


Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 03:42:04 PST
From: "dean sheldon" dsheldonjr"at"hotmail.com
To: wendyg"at"jps.net, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Do you have Bluebirds?

Yes...we,ve had lots of EABL all winter long, but have observed no investigative activity at the nest boxes as yet. Dean Sheldon, Huron County,  OH [north central OH just one county south of Lake Erie]

...


Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 07:42:06 -0500
From: "Bruce Burdett" blueburd"at"srnet.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Zilch

To: Everybody

I haven't seen a Bluebird since November. I've NEVER seen one, any year, between November and March.

Bruce Burdett, NH Bluebird Conspiracy, Sunapee NH

 


Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 06:52:47 -0600
From: Kathleen Oschwald nestbox"at"1starnet.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Do you have Bluebirds?

At 06:21 AM 2/10/00 -0800, you wrote:

Greetings from Rescue, California (where it's pouring down rain)
It would be interesting to see who has seen Bluebirds right now and who
hasn't, and where they are. Wendy Guglieri Rescue, California

I'm so accustomed to seeing bluebirds all year, in their "usual" spots, that I haven't bothered reporting them. As Keith Kridler mentioned in an earlier post they are actively going in and out of nestboxes. In my visit with him on Wednesday, we saw them everywhere--I'm so used to seeing them, I didn't remark on it in my posts! I should have at least commented on the sheer numbers of them. Besides seeing them on their usual perches on my own 18 acres, I see them all along my walking route all winter, and on the wires along the highway, most in the vicinity of a nestbox.

Kate Oschwald
Sumner, TX

 


Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 07:57:08 -0500
From: "Brenda and/or John Best" jabbest"at"dreamscape.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Do you have Bluebirds?

I've seen bluebirds around, but not at nestboxes yet.

Brenda
--
Brenda Best
Durhamville, NY (where it's only 3 degrees F this morning!)
jabbest"at"dreamscape.com

The Nature Club of Central New York
http://natureclubofcny.8m.com/

 


Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 09:08:06 EST
From: Tvlady"at"aol.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Cc: springer"at"alltel.net
Subject: I've got bluebirds

Joanne Cox - Monroe, GA (45 miles east of Atlanta) where it's been in the 60s and 70s for the past few days

I've had bluebirds all winter. I was invaded by a flock of American Goldfinches at about 7:45 this morning. I wished I had 10 feeders out there so they could all eat at once. This daily invasion has taken place for a week now. I see the EABLs right behind them.

I have a pair of bb nestboxes in the front of my house (purchased from Wildbirds Unlimited). I paired them as Bruce Burdett had recommended, but have since learned that we don't have Tree Swallows here in Georgia, Bruce! Carolina Wrens have been roosting in one of them until recently. EABLs would come along and look inside that one but wouldn't go in. I cleaned it out and about an hour later the same male came back and went inside. The female sat on top when a Carolina Wren tried to fly on top of the box, but she wouldn't have it. Even a Goldfinch tried to land there, but she shooed it away. No one seemed to be interested in the OTHER nestbox, until I spotted a male sitting on top of it yesterday. Yippee.

Gary Springer, a very fine gentleman from north Georgia, was gracious enough to come by my home several weeks ago to personally deliver three of his Real Bird Homes. Wow! You should see them. They are great! He even brought me three poles and mounted one in my backyard for me, but so far no activity there. (But that's only because I don't look out the back as much as I look out the front. Will get on ladder today to see if there are any droppings or claim straws.) Gary gave me advice as to where I could place one in a neighbor's yard (who agreed to let me place one there). My husband mounted it on a pole, and I am happy to report that my neighbor says there is a male bb who will NOT let anyone else near it. Gary told me that bbs WILL nest in his boxes, and he is right. It's like they were waiting for it. For newbies on this list and others who don't make boxes themselves, I highly recommend Gary's homes. Go to http://www.realbirdhomes.com.

I must add that I've been trying to share what I've learned from this list with many of my neighbors. One neighbor told me that the nestbox she had mounted a nestbox on a tree last year and she found an egg on the ground. I told her that predators had likely invaded it. She is now removing it from the tree and placing it on a pole. Yay! That's how we educate -- one person at a time, I guess.

The third Real Bird Home I purchased from Gary was given to an office friend who lives in the city and who has spotted bbs. On Feb. 3, I brought her the nestbox and pole on which to mount it. That morning, I brought into the office the nestbox so I could show her. She loved it. I was going to drive to her home the next day and take her the pole. I have a big Suburban; she has a little Volvo. However, slight problem. That afternoon my Suburban was STOLEN from the parking lot in Atlanta where I work. What a nightmare. Police never came. Had to rent a car to drive to the police station to make the report. Blah blah blah. To make a long story short, it was recovered on Feb. 9 -- in one piece. It's a miracle. They stole everything that was inside of it. However, the pole was still in there. So, happily, once my Suburban is repaired, I will deliver the pole and she can mount the box. I hate the delay, because the bbs ARE shopping for homes right now.

Sorry to make this so long. I have been quietly listening to all the chatter on the ListServ and am learning so much. Thanks to all of you.

P.S. Wendell, your latest "story" was a doozey. And Bruce in NH, I hope you see some bbs soon. Gary, thanks for all your help and advice. And as I sign this off, I hear a bb singing outside of my window. I'm so excited! I told you they always follow the Goldfinches.

 


Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 09:22:43 -0500
From: "Patricia Haught" phaught"at"dellnet.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Do you have Bluebirds?/Claim straw

Hi Everyone, We've had bluebirds here all winter. I've mentioned before that we have one pair that visit one of our boxes almost daily. We had two males eating suet last week; also a male and female at the feeder on another occasion. A few weeks ago, I observed two females and one male at the box closest to our house. We have boxes at our parents as well. My in-laws have watched the pair of bluebirds and their four fledglings all winter. My parents have had two pairs (males and females) with their children. By the way, what is the correct name for these grown chicks? Regardless, we've had bluebirds here all winter too. I should note that we've had a pretty mild winter overall.

I also noticed the comment on claim straws. Hadn't heard that before either. Look forward to the discussion.

Patty and Terry Haught

Fairview, WV20

February has arrived and with it comes thoughts of love with a focus on cards, flowers, and candy. But what is real love?
John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Jesus said in John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." God gave his son and Jesus gave his life because they loved you and me. That's real love!

 


Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 09:27:05 -0500
From: "Fawzi P. Emad femad <at> fpemad <dot> com
To: wendyg"at"jps.net, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Do you have Bluebirds?

Fawzi Emad, Laytonsville, Maryland

I have not seen EABL for about 3 or 4 weeks now. Las time I saw 4 coming to drink. It was cold and frozen allover. They came to drink from the heated water which attracted them. They do not seem attracted to the seed which I have out for the song birds. I can hardly wait to see the BB again!


Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 11:58:50 -0500
From: "asumner" asumner"at"gateway.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Bluebirds are here in Duluth, Ga.

To: Wendy Guglieri,

I have had the Eastern Bluebirds in my yard for about a month now; A pair appeared about a month ago, and just sat on my upper deck rail and stared at me as I came out onto the porch. Then I didn't see them for a couple weeks; But, they came back to inspect my 3 nestboxes, as they did last year(didn't use any of them last year). So, as I did last summer(for the first time), I ran out to Bird Watcher's to get some mealworms, and started putting them out twice a day in a special feeder on a pole in the yard, and in a special window feeder on the upper deck(at kitchen). To my surprise(as the window feeder was new, but the same kind as the one in the yard), they came twice a day to both feeders to get the worms.

I have a feeling that the pair, or possible 2 pairs(I can't tell them apart), were the same ones who were here last year, but not as early; could be the parents, and possible fledglings from last year; Because, last year I did see a mama bluebird feed her babies at my yard feeder and on the ground(the mealworms).

Is there anyone else in Georgia who has already seen the bluebirds? I guess Gary Springer has, but I don't remember if he commented on this question or not.

From: Arlene Sumner; Duluth, Georgia.


Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 12:23:42 -0500
From: "Randy W Moore" moorefam"at"bpsinet.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Bluebirds in Marion, IN

Last years bluebird parents have ran the kids (last years fledglings) off, at least so I thought. The female has once again selected the nestbox of last year's brood and this winter's roost box. They never left, only to buy cigarettes.

We enjoyed the subtle bright blue reflecting the sky from the female's backside in the early morning sunshine as she came and went from her nestbox. The proud red chested male stood watch on top of the box, basking in the 28F sunshine. My wife commented as to how she did all the work. The kids grabbed the binoculars as if we needed them to watch events 25' into the backyard. What a fine morning !

Along came the English sparrow after 20 minutes of blissful watching. The buttermilk pancakes were steadily coming off my two shiny black cast iron skillets and the coffee was hot so I didn't prefer going upstairs, opening the gun safe and helping my blue buddies. I grumbled to myself recalling the 5 broken eggs of last spring and suddenly at the bottom of my anguish a second pair of eastern bluebirds came to the aid of what I believe to be their parents.

I'm glad the Indiana eastern bluebirds are as tough as their white oak nestboxes.

Randy
Grant Co IN via Greenup Co. KY
75 miles north northeast of Indianapolis, IN
55 miles south southeast of Fort Wayne, IN
30 miles east of Kokomo, IN20


Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 14:42:30 -0500 (EST)
From: hubertrap"at"webtv.net (Joe Huber)
To: wendyg"at"jps.net, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Do you have Bluebirds?

Hello Wendy and all, You were wondering who had Bluebirds over winter or at least seen them this winter. I have kept a partial record since

December. Dec.10 Payson AZ -50 WEBL Linda Johnson. Dec. 10 Fonda, NY- 10 EABL Chickie Smith DEc 13 Central PA 5 EABL ? Dec 19 Grand Junction CO. 18 WEBL- 17 MOBL 7 EABL Bob Wilson Dec 16 Amherst MA. 16 EABL -Haleya Priest Another report by Bob Wilson may be xmas bird count for his area 130 MOBL, 45 WEBL, 26 EABL. DEC 26 Windham CT 4 EABL by Mary K Dec 27 READING PA. 2 EABL by Lynn Emerich Dec 31 at

Indiana 4 EABL by Julie LaFollette Dec 31 Durham NC 4 EABL by Horace Sher Jan 8 Seneca Co 10 BB at feeder by Koby Prater Jan12 in TN EABL,s at duck box by Bill Darnell Jan 15 Savana TN. 7 EABL at box site by Bill Darnell Jan 15- Grant County In. 4 visiting boxes by Randy Moore Jan17 Ridge NY EABL,s in Cedar tree by Jane Pond Jan 18 at Amherst MA 0 degrees EABL at boxes by Haleya Priest Jan19 in Maine- below 0 EABL,s eating berries by Dottie Jan 23 in Indiana 7 EABL by Jim ? Jan23 Potterville Mi 3 EABL by Clarence Christie Jan26 in Amherst Ma -6 EABL by Haleya Priest Jan 26 MD 6-10 after snow by Betty Nichols Jan 26 Tn. dozen EABL by Bill Darnell Jan 27 NY. groupe of EABL in cedar tree by Jane Hope Jan 30 Fonda Ny. Bluebird

droppings in box -4 degrees by Chickie Smith Feb 2 -in Ct. 2 EABL in neighbors yard 0 degrees. by Paul Carriers This is a partial list of those that were reported on this list. Seems they are everywhere except for Sunapee NH where Bruce is. The truth is very few do see them even if they are around. Joe Huber Venice Fl.


Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 14:54:44 EST
From: RWil2654"at"aol.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Have you seen bluebirds

Bob Wilson
2654 Sperber Lane
Grand Junction, CO 81506
(970) 242-5190
39* 06.21N
108*33.61 W
4,635 elevation

http://www.crosswinds.net/~bluebirdbob/
http://www.dnr.state.co.us/wildlife/volunteer/bluebirdproject.htm

We repaced 30 nesting boxes that were in poor shape with my Wilson PVC boxes on the Tiara Rado Golf Course today. It was cold 47* and cloudy and spitting snow.

And now for the good news. We saw EABL and WEBL in large numbers but no MOBL. I did see them(MOBL) earlier in the week though in large numbers. We must have seen at least 50 or 60 of the WEBL & EABL. I am sure they (MOBL about 100) must have been migragating to Montana and Canada because they were not here today.

I did use my tape of the EABL's song and they came flocking to see what was going on. Several were looking in the new boxes before we left the course.

ANY DAY YOU SEE BLUEBIRDS IS A GREAT DAY.


Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 16:44:02 -0800
From: Maynard R Sumner m-r-sumner"at"juno.com
To: blueburd"at"srnet.com
Cc: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Zilch

Bruce,

Are you in a lot of open territory? In the winter they are in the woods most of the time. If you go set in the woods maybe you would see some. I have woods on my land and they come to the feeders about once a week .

Maynard R Sumner Flint, Michigan

Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Galatian 6:7


Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 17:33:55 EST
From: LauraSue14"at"aol.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Early birds and boxes

Like Bruce, I don't see bluebirds here in my area, central CT, during the winter. However I did see a half dozen or so of males a couple of times last week while in my car. From others on the list, I think they're around, just not around me! I hope to plant more berry producing plants around our property and maybe I will see them in winter, then I'll feed them mealworms and suet type recipes.

By the way, of the 3 nest boxes in my yard, my most successful box is made of mahogany (15 yrs. old) . We're about to replace the other two with boxes made of the same. There is no problem with mahogany, it there? I wouldn't use it if I needed to make many boxes (ecology, expense, etc.) but we inherited a few boards that we're stored for years and they do last a long time and need no special treatment.

Laura, Marlborough, CT


Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 19:05:39 -0500
From: Lynn Emerich lemerich"at"epix.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Do you have Bluebirds?

I have had them most of the time coming to my birdbath. The last 3 days the haven't been around, or at least I haven't seen them. Was checking my video camera this morning, and for the first time, I saw 5 bb on the birdbath at one time. I took the video last week, but evidently was concentrating on the shot rather than what I was shooting. Really looked good against the snow background.

Lynn near Reading Pa.

...


Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 21:54:11 -0500
From: "Debbie O'Donnell" dville"at"mindspring.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Bluebirds in Georgia

Hello, I started seeing the bluebirds in my yard on Monday Feb.7. I live about 20 miles west of Atlanta in Douglasville.

debbieo

 


Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 22:01:51 EST
From: Okatsam"at"aol.com
To: wendyg"at"jps.net, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Do you have Bluebirds?

Malinda Mastako
SE MICHIGAN---10 degrees this morning......

Bluebirds have been in my yard, or the woods behind it, since I moved to this house in the early spring of 1996. Almost four years now, and they have never left. I think many people living within a few miles of here might think that the bluebirds leave in the winter--I always thought they left Michigan, and I have lived here all my life. I think I see them regularly now because of the woods bordering my property, and the fact that I feed them, especially when the weather is bad. The old woods provide berries, roosting sites, and cover. I originally thought that they were only staying here because I fed them, but I pass several different areas in my town where there are no homes for over a mile, yet I see bluebirds flying across the road, along railroad tracks for example. I know these birds are not fed by anyone, but there are woods nearby each of the areas where they are regularly seen. These beautiful birds seem to be much tougher than you might think, Michigan is not always kind, and we have had several weeks where the temps barely reached the teens. So you folks down South, don't worry when it hits the 40's and you think it is too cold for the bluebirds--up here in Michigan, that's when they hit the birdbath and call it SPRING!! Those of you who have not seen your bluebirds since fall really make me appreciate how neat it is to have them never leave my area. It is a great sight to see them all puffed up sitting on a snowy pine tree. Now if the hummers could just figure out a way to do the same thing......I think I would have heaven! I guess we all have to wait for something!

Malind Mastako
SE Michigan (30 miles west of Detroit)


Date: 12 Feb 00 21:03:37 MST
From: Linda Johnson linary"at"netscape.net
To: bluebird listserve BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Bluebirds in Winter

Do you have bluebirds?

Yes, the Western Bluebirds are still hanging around Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. They are getting really, really bright blue and rust. Their favorite spot is the Netleaf Hackberry Tree which is about five feet from and shallow pond that they love congregating around and drinking out of and bathing in.  About eight miles south of town is Barnhardt Trailhead where the Mountain Bluebirds hang out. There are hundreds down there that show up in February and March and then finally go north just south of Flagstaff. We have seen them up there around the lakes. The elevation south of Payson is about 4,000 feet. Here at the Bridge is about 4,500 and up by Flagstaff it's around 7,000.

Linda Johnson
Payson, AZ
90 miles north of Phoenix, 90 miles south of Flagstaff
Just below the Mogollon Rim


Date: Tue, 07 Mar 2000 06:18:31 PST
From: "dean sheldon" dsheldonjr"at"hotmail.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: WINTER ROOSTING: NEST BOXES

Better than half of the 33 boxes which I visited yesterday for spring cleaning/repair had evidence [seeds combined with some dried fecal matter] of winter roosting in those boxes by EABL. That is a sure and certain indication that the birds are overwintering in this part of northern Ohio. There were no dead birds in the boxes. It also sends a clear Message that it is important to make these boxes available for the use of the birds for this purpose throughout the entire winter season. This was, by far, the biggest year which we have ever had for the use of nest boxes for winter roosting. Dean Sheldon, Huron County, Ohio [one county south of Lake Erie].

 


Fall/Winter Bluebirding (Part 3)


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eyboard). (This change was made to discourage spammers.)
If you are the author of a posting and would like to see a particular post (or posts) removed from these web pages, please contact me with the page AND date of the post(s), and I will remove whatever material you like.  If you have a different opinion from one posted here, you need not contact me, as often I will have a different opinion too. The intent is to try and provide both sides to the issues facing bluebirders, and to do so in an impartial and objective manner.
If you have problems, encounter broken links (unless they are within an e-mail thread, as I do not maintain those links), or have suggestions on how the site can be improved to make it more useful, please contact the Best of Bluebird-L Classifieds webmaster
Website design by Chimalis