Swamp Four Seasons

Swamp Four Seasons
Blessed by the beauty of Creation -
Sharing what I see from my little place in His world!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Battle for the Boxes

It's been a busy time in our backyard!  With the return of the tree swallows, there has been some competition for nest boxes going on between them and our bluebirds.  I'm hoping everything has settled down now and they are all happy with their boxes... but it was tough going there for awhile.

I think our bluebirds may have 'won' the box closest to our window, which they have been hanging out at the most.  You can see Papa on the top and Mama inside (at least you can see part of her tail).
The tree swallows seem to be using the upper box.

Which is also good!  There was some handy nesting material on the ground nearby.
But, first, there were some issues that had to be resolved.
The bluebird pair also liked the back box... and the tree swallows were checking out the front box.  
Things were bound to get complicated.
I thought Papa Bluebird would be the one to settle things.
I mean, he was the one sitting on the upper box right under the tree swallow.
And he was the one who seemed to zoom into action.
But a second later, when there was a fight between the tree swallow and a bluebird, it turned out to be Mama Bluebird who defended her territory (or at least set things straight!).
Both birds few away from this fight (which actually lasted several seconds)!

Peace seems to be back, for now at least.
In this photo, Mama Bluebird is sitting on top of the front box, Papa Bluebird is on the rear left fencepost, and a tree swallow is on the front of the back box.
The bluebirds and the tree swallows have, I think, worked things out!  There are several other boxes nearby, which hopefully will be used if house wrens want one! (Or chickadees... my husband saw a chickadee coming out of the front box one day).
This dark-eyed junco was no threat (they usually nest on the ground) but stopped by for a visit.  Mama didn't even seem to notice.

One day, a yellow-shafted flicker flew by just as I was taking Mama's picture.
 Mama and Papa Bluebird both have been catching lots of bugs in our yard.  They often fly up on top of their box to smash and then eat them.
Which may be why this American robin checked out the top of the box.  Smelled good, I wonder?
We never use pesticides or any other chemicals on our lawn.  I think it's beautiful just the way it is, with dandelions and violets blooming in it right now. 
 The birds certainly seem to like it, and that's good enough for me!
Update: Mama Bluebird is sitting on 4 eggs in the front box!