Mockingbirds and bluebirds defending their territories

In two previous years we have had mockingbirds to nest in our grape arbor. They can be very territorial and agressive and would dive-bomb us if we got too close to their nest. I had already decided that if they nested in the arbor again I would remove the nest because we want to be able to enjoy our arbor and tend to the flowers and plants that are growing on it.

Now that the bluebirds have begun nesting in the bluebird house which is about 15-20 feet from the arbor, I frequently see the mocking birds trying to chase the bluebirds away. The bluebirds do a pretty good job of holding their own, however.

My husband noticed that when the bluebirds are on the bird feeders the other birds pretty well leave them alone and wait for them to leave before coming for food themselves. This is true even of the more aggressive cardinals who often chase the other birds away from the feeder. So our bluebirds aren’t wimps, even if they are small.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

When will the bluebird eggs hatch?

I keep wondering when the bluebird eggs will hatch. I peeked again today and should have counted the eggs. At the time I was only thinking about whether they were hatched or not, so didn’t study them long enough to be sure. There are probably five eggs, though maybe only four.

I found a web page about Eastern Bluebirds to gather more information about their nesting habbits. (http://www.alaweb.com/~kenwood/saba/birdinfo/bluebird.htm) I also put some information on a calender to help me keep up with what is happening and to give me a better idea on when to expect them to hatch. Here are the dates so far:

April 2: Set up birdhouses
April 5: Two pair of bluebirds fighting over nest box
April 6: Moved our second box to make it more attractive for second pair of bluebirds
April 12: Nest in birdhouse but no eggs yet
April 14: Two eggs in nest
April 16, 17 or 18: last egg was laid (They lay one egg a day and I’m not sure of the count)
April 30, May 1 or 2: expected time for birds to hatch (13-14 days from the date the last egg was laid)

The last time I checked, there was no sign of any nesting in the second box we moved to our neighbor’s yard.

I will try to remember to take my camera and a stool to stand on so I can take pictures of the eggs in the nest before they hatch.

 Pictures and text copyright © 2008 by Janice Green