NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 30, 2013

Attract bluebirds with nesting boxes, water

Last Saturday’s woodcock walk in the Industrial Park was a great success. Despite the cold, the timberdoodles emerged right on cue at about 20 minutes after sunset. We first heard the distinctive call of one bird and then another across the road.

We stood in the chilling air and could see one bird very clearly, body thrusting forward with each “peent.”It soon took the air, circled over us, and we could then hear the twittering sound of the wind moving through its wings as it fluttered back to earth.

This courtship display was repeated several times, but the cold soon overtook us as we sought shelter in the cars. We heard a couple of more birds as we drove along. The American woodcock was a life bird for two of the participants. Another happening event this early in spring is the beginning of the nesting season for some of our songbirds.

One of the earliest nesters is the Eastern bluebird. One customer has seen “her” male bluebird singing on top of his nesting box and, later, watched a female respond by visiting, inspecting, and (hopefully) approving the nest site.

I am so pleased to hear that so many customers are seeing bluebirds in their yards. This wasn’t the case when I first opened shop 18 years ago.

Now bluebirds are more prevalent due to the conservation efforts of many, and the efforts of individuals who put up nesting boxes for them. I always take pause when a bright blue male bluebird graces my presence. The sheer beauty of the male reflecting in the sunlight is a joy to behold.

Now is the time of year when the males take the females around saying, “how about you and me here,” as they scout out potential nesting sites. Soon a territory is established and then nest building will begin.

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