House Hunting is for the Birds

Spring is house hunting time. The new house must be perfect. It can't be too small or too large. A lavishly decorated house is nice, but a simple little cottage will do just fine. Of course, the house must have a garden!

The birds are house hunting again! The chickadees are scouting around the bluebird houses to select a nesting home. The bluebird population is very high here in our neighborhood, too.

There are bluebird houses mounted along the board fencing throughout our neighborhood of open meadows. We have two more birdhouses behind our house, too. When there aren't enough birdhouses to go around, the bluebirds nest in the wooden newspaper tubes below everyone's mailbox!

Each year, the chickadees are the first to nest in our bluebird houses. After they raise their young, a bluebird pair takes over the same house. Our birdhouses are four feet off the ground and positioned along the edge of our woods, facing the open meadow.

We've noticed a male chickadee standing guard on top of one of the bluebird houses. The female has been going in and out of the house for several days, carrying nesting material. However, the male chickadee isn't very territorial compared to bluebirds!

If there is a car parked in our driveway when the bluebirds are nesting, there is a problem. The male fusses at his reflection in the side mirrors for hours and hours at a time. My son left his car parked here while he was in college. I had to tie grocery bags over the car mirrors to give the poor bluebird a break from his guard duty!

Meanwhile, we'll keep the bird feeders full of seeds for the nesting couples. Nesting season is another reminder that spring is in the air!

I published this story on my blog one year ago. The birds must be on the same schedule this year as they are back at house hunting. The bird activity is a reminder to make sure we have birdhouses available—cleaned before the new occupants move in. Only the title for today's story has been changed to avoid confusion with the March 2009 story.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel.


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