Pine nesting Western Bluebirds
28 Jun 2019, 7:00 AM,
#1
Pine nesting Western Bluebirds
Birders,

Here at the family cabin in Pine, Western Bluebirds are nesting for the third time in the same nest box.  I assume this is the same nesting pair.  The first two clutches had three eggs each, and all hatched successfully.  I noticed activity in the box again last weekend, and I counted five more eggs! I have often noted them nesting twice in the same box, but never three times.  I was waiting to clean out the box, thinking they might not re-nest if the old one is not cleaned out, but the bluebirds just pile new grasses on top of the used nest and don't seem to mind.  Has anyone ever experienced this?  Maybe they are taking advantage of the cooler, wetter weather this spring/summer?

Thanks,

Brian Ison
lwrkenai@cox.net
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28 Jun 2019, 9:22 PM,
#2
RE: Pine nesting Western Bluebirds
Triple broods are suspected in several species but difficult to document accurately. As you note: it is assumed to be the same breeding pair. Western Bluebirds often have nest helpers, and initiate breeding early in spring, so are excellent candidates for multiple broods under favorable conditions. I have noticed that some individual pairs (of several species) seem to really 'get the hang of it' and can fledge second broods with remarkable speed and efficiency, so why not a third?
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29 Jun 2019, 11:01 AM,
#3
RE: Pine nesting Western Bluebirds
[attachment=20054 Wrote:Roger pid='22941' dateline='1561782151']Triple broods are suspected in several species but difficult to document accurately. As you note: it is assumed to be the same breeding pair. Western Bluebirds often have nest helpers, and initiate breeding early in spring, so are excellent candidates for multiple broods under favorable conditions. I have noticed that some individual pairs (of several species) seem to really 'get the hang of it' and can fledge second broods with remarkable speed and efficiency, so why not a third?
Thanks Roger.  Interesting that the pair didn't wait until I cleaned out the nest box this time.  I have seen a juvenile close to the box, so possibly a nest helper from an earlier brood?  It has been fun to watch the male defend the nest, dive-bombing squirrels and even flying aggressively at people as we watch from the cabin deck! Smile


Attached Files Image(s)
   
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29 Jun 2019, 11:20 AM,
#4
RE: Pine nesting Western Bluebirds
(29 Jun 2019, 11:01 AM)BCIson Wrote: Interesting that the pair didn't wait until I cleaned out the nest box this time.  I have seen a juvenile close to the box, so possibly a nest helper from an earlier brood?  It has been fun to watch the male defend the nest, dive-bombing squirrels and even flying aggressively at people as we watch from the cabin deck! Smile

When they are of a mind, they waste no time. Lesser Goldfinch ♀s will rebuild and lay the second clutch as soon as young are out of the nest, with the ♂ feeding them away from the nest while she incubates. Anna's Hummingbirds will build a new nest while still feeding young in the first nest. I noted one ANHU ♀ begin sitting on the new nest the same day her first brood fledged. Towhees will aggressively chase the first brood away from the nest, but then enjoy a lengthy relationship with the second fledglings. Different strategies to maximize success. Fun stuff.
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6 Jul 2019, 4:38 PM,
#5
RE: Pine nesting Western Bluebirds
Juvenile Western Bluebird helping to feed the five nestlings today; they have been in the box at least two weeks so should be fledging any day!


Attached Files Image(s)
   
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6 Jul 2019, 6:38 PM,
#6
RE: Pine nesting Western Bluebirds
Thanks TI haven’t seen the female for quite a while.  Looks like
only the juvenile and the adult male are feeding the nestlings. I hope this works out.
Reply
7 Jul 2019, 5:47 AM,
#7
RE: Pine nesting Western Bluebirds
Great observations and image. Thanks for the followup!
Reply


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