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Saturday
Nov212015

Searching for a New Home

A flash of blue wings outside the kitchen window caught my attention this week, and I stopped what I was doing to look. At least a half dozen male bluebirds were flying about, taking turns checking out a new birdhouse mounted only a few feet from the glass doors to the kitchen.When I bought the flashy red abode with metal roof and grand iron columns on each side of the entrance, I thought only about its decorative value. I already have birdhouses scattered over the property, and most of them have been occupied in past seasons by a variety of birds, including bluebirds, wrens, titmice, and chickadees. But this one was primarily ornamental, and I gave little thought to what critter would be attracted to it.

Nevertheless, the bluebirds were checking it out, and they completely ignored another birdhouse a few feet away, also decorative but not as ostentatious. Bluebirds do see colors, and I know they are drawn to the cobalt blue house next to the arbor garden. I did not know they also love red! 

I was amazed that all these male birds took turns looking it over, having heard through avian real estate channels about the latest addition to the neighborhood. No one tried to chase another away, and they were quite orderly. They even allowed a little yellow warbler to have a turn! This was obviously an open house affair. Perhaps the rusty bird on the back of the birdhouse was a draw.Maybe, like a lot of humans, they were curious after hearing rumors about a new house and wanted to see details for themselves. It was remarkable to me that the bluebirds not only arrived together, but departed all at the same time, too! 

Birds often choose their nesting boxes ahead of time. They may select several sites and then allow the female to make the final decision. It will be interesting to see who actually ends up in the red house come spring. 

It may not be a bird! I once had an anole lizard lay claim to a birdhouse, and he stayed there throughout the summer. So I was not surprised later that day to see this fellow, with his chameleon-like body assuming the exact colors of the rusty accessories.:An anole lizard checks out the new red birdhouse.

Of course, not all birds nest in boxes. Many are do-it-yourselfers, preferring to make their own nests. I caught this hawk with talons full of leaves, destined to be used as building material:With winter yet to come, these birds are already planning for spring. Or maybe those bluebirds were thinking of winter after all. During severe winter weather, birds often will crowd together in a sturdy house for protection from the elements. Whatever they do, I will have a front row seat from the comfort of my kitchen.

 

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Reader Comments (16)

Dear Deb, wow, that is one fancy bird house! The behavior of the bluebirds that you scribe is amazing to me, because I definitively remember birds fight over bird houses to nest in. Hope you keep us updated about who moves in at the end. Great photos of the birdies by the way! I love the one of the hawk. They are so majestic!
Wishing you a lovely rest of the weekend!
Christina

November 21, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterchristina

I adore watching birds - they are definitely the most interesting of creatures to me! Thanks for sharing! 😊

November 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChristi {Jealous Hands}

interesting that the bluebirds came in a friendly group

November 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

I love your new birdhouse, very fancy. I am jealous you get bluebirds. That is one bird I never see in my garden, no open fields or big forest trees around my garden. I had houses up, by they only attracted wasps. I wish I got the anoles too, they are cute. The hawks on the other hand, visit my garden frequently, they make sparrows a dinner. Lovely photos, both birds are usually shy, so great work at getting their photos.

November 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

What a beautiful birdhouse. I love the color and the cast iron embellishments, How fun that they all were "checking it out". Do you have purchase source for the birdhouse?

November 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMary Lise Parsons

It's a wonderful birdhouse and I hope you get a suitable tenant, Deb. While a number of birds, primarily finches, nest under our house eaves (one behind a light on an automatic timer which I suspect helps to keep mother and babies warm), I've never put up a birdhouse here. Perhaps I'll follow your example and see what kind of attention it gets.

November 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

Fascinating; your Bluebirds are beautiful and from your great position you got some perfect images. Interesting that the birds seem to favour specific colours. The lizard looked just like an additional rusted feature. Our lizards change a little to suit their background but never as dramatically as that.

November 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Love the bluebird photos! We never see them here. Great shot of the hawk, also.

November 23, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterjason

I wonder if your bluebirds are snow birds -- spending summers in my part of the country and then going south for the winter. I love the color-coordinated lizard.

November 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJean

Hello everyone! Thank you all for visiting. Each comment is important to me. Mary Lise, you asked about the source for the birdhouse. The birdhouse is a one-of-a-kind created by a craftsman at Myers Plants and Pottery in Pelham, Al. Myers had a great selection of his birdhouses when I visited. Deb

November 23, 2015 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

Oh this is just brilliant! I love the open house concept! Are you sure that hawk isn't the agent - clawing in the cash? How I wish we had bluebirds!

November 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Shoesmith

I've always wondered if bird houses were used in the winter, and now you have answered my question. Deb, what a gorgeous house...love it, and I'm sure the blue bird flying out of it in the spring will look equally stunning.

Jen

November 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJen @ The Light Laughed

What gorgeous photos! So interesting that so many birds were checking out the bird house...it will be really interesting to see who gets first pick in the spring! It really is a beautiful one too!

November 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKate R

I can see why the birds are checking out that stylish house!

November 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

Great story! I'll have to try that colour here in the PNW and hopefully attract some bluebirds here! How high above the ground is it Deb?

December 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJustine

Thank you everyone for your comments, and best wishes to you all! Justine, the birdhouse is mounted on a post 65 inches tall. Deb

December 4, 2015 | Registered CommenterDeborah Elliott

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