Thursday, April 10, 2008

Blue Birds

We have had a blue bird box attached to a tree in our yard for several years now. Every year they raise several clutches of babies in that box. Until we moved to George County 10 years ago, I don't think I'd ever seen a blue bird. Now they are part of the family.

My first encounter with blue birds happened the first spring we moved up here. At the time, we lived in a mobile home. Our dryer vented on the front side of the house about 10 feet from the front door. I kept noticing a bird flying out from there when we went out the door. I checked it out and found a blue bird building a nest in the dryer vent. I pulled the grass out thinking she'd find another place. Wrong! She was dead set on building in that vent. I didn't want to roast her little babies (or set the house on fire) so I knew I had to do something. I stretched an old stocking over the vent to keep her out and wired a baby formula can directly under the vent. The vent and the can were just about the same diameter so it looked like our house had duel exhausts!

Mrs. Bird didn't seem to mind the substitution and started nest-building again. My girls were 8, 2, and infant at the time. The older 2 were amazed at being so close to real wild birds. The can was about 3 1/2 feet off the ground so they could see into it without much problem. Pretty soon we had eggs and then little babies. Then one day they were all gone. We were sorry to see them gone. But before we knew it, Mrs. Bird was busy again. I never knew that any kind of bird laid more than one clutch of eggs in a season. Blue birds will have 3 or 4 a year.

The next year, we made sure the vent was not accessible and put up a box on the utility pole close by. They made that move with no problems. When we built the house and moved the trailer (along with the utility pole), we put the box on a tree. They have made themselves at home every year. Katrina knocked the original box off, but by that time of year, no one was living there. We put up a new box the next spring. Mrs. Bird flies out of the box every morning as I drive past the tree.

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