Skip to main content

View Diary: 2013 Backyard Science Yardbird Race Tally #4 (141 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  A couple weeks ago I counted 24 different species (10+ / 0-)

    at the feeders, not all at one time but all during the same day. That's the first time I've ever taken a species count in any one day so for now it's a record. For the most part they do get along together at the feeders. There is actually more fighting within same species than there is between different species. But no serious battles there either.

    That bluebird is actually a blue jay, not sure if you knew that or not but you called it a blue bird, which it is of course, but not a Bluebird, which is entirely different. We have them too, year round except in really severe winters, but they don't use the feeders. Strictly bug eaters, though I don't know how they find enough to eat during the winter, they hang out more in the woods than the yard during the winter so I expect they scratch around in the leaves and find bugs that are spending the winter under the insulating layer of leaves. They are wonderful little birds.
     photo bluebirdDec_zps9e2b9e48.jpg

    Just give me some truth. John Lennon

    by burnt out on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 12:07:56 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  My bad! Thanks. (5+ / 0-)

      The jays I see are Steller's, who are a gorgeous deep blue (and black). They don't have that pretty blue and white patterning your jays have.

      Bluebirds. An interesting story on them in this area. They used to be fairly common until land was cleared for fields about a hundred years ago. Until just recently they were entirely gone. The habitat they prefer is open woodland, in particular Garry oak. That habitat was promoted by Indians who burned certain areas so camas would grow out in the open (important nutritious food staple). The oaks benefited because they survived the low burning that got rid of the firs, which otherwise shaded them, wiping them out. After settlement it was all open fields or fir forest, bluebirds didn't prosper. These are the western bluebirds, Sialia mexicana.

      Recently, one of the parks on San Juan Island put up a lot of bird boxes, and has been bringing in pairs of bluebirds. They have started breeding. There's a real chance they may repopulate the island, given enough of the right habitat.

      •  Eastern bluebird populations also suffered when (5+ / 0-)

        so much land was cleared for agriculture. It was seen that the bluebirds were hurting and bird enthusiasts all over the country went to work and put up houses to replace the lost nesting sites when the trees were removed. The program was a huge success and the BB numbers have rebounded and then some.  I have so many bluebird houses up it's probably overkill but almost all of them get used every year, mostly by bluebirds but several other species use them as well. The bluebirds in particular seem to be very comfortable using the man-made nest boxes. And they are very simple to make. (Plans abound on the internet). I recently made four of them in less than half a day just piddling around in the shop, ( I take lot's of breaks) and it took only about ten bucks in lumber to make all four.

        Just give me some truth. John Lennon

        by burnt out on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 02:16:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site