In the 44 years we’ve lived here only once have we seen an eastern bluebird in the yard. Perhaps that’s because our habitat isn’t what anyone familiar with bluebirds’ preferences (or the birds themselves) would consider bluebird habitat. So it came as quite a surprise when our granddaughter looked out the kitchen window and exclaimed that there was a bluebird at the nestbox.
Shortly after we moved into our recently built house I found a small dead chestnut snag and cut it to take home; used a chain saw to make a suitable hollow in the snag; drilled a 1 ½ inch diameter entrance hole; and fastened a sheet metal plate on the backside to close the cavity and allow for cleaning out old nesting material. The hollowed-out snag was used for nesting by tufted titmice, Carolina wrens and uncounted pairs of house wrens. Eventually the snag deteriorated and the artificial cavity became unusable. But the snag was still solid enough so a nestbox could be mounted to it.
That box has also been used by nesting titmice and many house wrens –
The male bluebird was soon joined by the female and they took turns repeatedly examining the box –
The female spent a few minutes removing the few twigs that remained after last year’s house wren nest had been cleaned from the box –
It remains to be seen if the bluebirds will remain to raise a brood in the box, but for now they’ve brought happiness to those of us who have watched them at the nestbox.