Elizabeth Melton Parsons

Writing~Art~Life

Bluebirds, Sparrow Spookers, and Starling Attacks

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I wrote last spring about my bluebird woes. The house sparrows destroyed the two bluebird eggs in the nest and ran the parents off. The sparrows didn’t attempt to use the box, so I guess it was simply a vicious attack on a competitor. I’d heard about the sparrow spookers and decided to order one. Unfortunately no bluebirds came back to use the box last spring, but I was ready and waiting this year. About a week ago a lovely couple of bluebirds made a nest in the box and we began checking daily for eggs.

Two days ago we discovered the first little blue egg. Thrilled, we hurriedly put up the spooker while the parents were off feeding and then watched anxiously to see if they’d accept this strange contraption. When they came back, they perched on the fence, cautiously eyeing their nest box.  The male accepted the spooker almost immediately, flying over and sticking his head into the box to check the nest. He returned to the female, but she was having none of it and remained on the fence. The male flew off while mama continued to watch the box. Five minutes later she gathered her courage and flew to the box. Perched on the outside she checked the nest and was just beginning to enter the box when swooping from the side, she was attacked. House Sparrows?? No. It was a starling.

Mama bluebird was unharmed and flew to the fence where she was joined by the starling. He didn’t attack again and eventually flew off. Unfortunately shortly afterwards so did the female bluebird. The male bluebird returned and checked the box, not finding his mate in there, he flew off  and returned shortly with her. I assume the attack of the starling and the fluttering mylar on the box was probably all the same in her mind because they would not return to the box and eventually left. My husband went down and removed the spooker. By this time the sun was setting and I could no longer see if the blues had returned.

The next morning, the blues were coming and going from the box as usual. I decided to try the spooker once more. I attached it and watched. Mama and papa both accepted it within the first five minutes. Now if this thing actually works and the squirrels, snakes or other predators stay away, we’ll have baby blues soon. If so, I’ll post a picture of the babies.

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Author: Elizabeth Melton Parsons

I'm a novelist, poet, and artist. I love books, nature, art, and gardening. I'm a rock hound and there's a photo of me with a cool fossil rock on my about page, I take a lot of nature pictures. The background here is one of mine. Unfortunately I recently lost my wonderful husband, but I'm grateful to have the blessing of two beautiful sons. elizabethmeltonparsons.wordpress.com is © Elizabeth Melton Parsons 2007-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Elizabeth Melton Parsons with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

3 thoughts on “Bluebirds, Sparrow Spookers, and Starling Attacks

  1. I’ve not too long ago began a blog, the data you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all your time & work.

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  2. ….Species name ..Eastern Bluebird….Total hours of observation..time for this species 6 hours….Bluebird info..Links .. Other bird species..present Northern Cardinal Field Sparrow Brown-headed..Cowbird Red-winged Blackbird American Crow Eastern Phoebe Black-capped..Chickadee Wild Turkey House Wren Blue-gray Gnatcatcher other unidentifiable..species……….Summary of observations ..including hypotheses tested and data analyses ….Although formerly on the Threatened Species list throughout the Eastern Bluebird population has rebounded within the last..decade. This was..a hard time to try to observe the Eastern Bluebird – they were looking..for potential nest sites and did not remain in one place for long…A stayed in the vicinity..of a pair of bluebird houses for about a half an hour at one point the..male stood atop their preferred house and sang beautifully for about ten..minutes.

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