[Tweeters] Snohomish County Western Bluebirds on Eggs

stan Kostka lynn Schmidt lynnandstan at earthlink.net
Sun May 8 17:59:49 PDT 2016

Hi Tweets,

Way back in 2002 we installed some nestboxes in a nearby clearcut after observing bluebirds hanging out in the area through the month of March, and a pair nested that year. Over the next six years we installed more boxes at other cuts, and ended up with about 30 boxes in 8 cuts. Eventually we recorded about 15 pairs nesting, through 2010. The plantations regenerate quickly, and after about 5 years are really no longer what you would consider bluebird habitat. As the cuts grew up, and our enthusiasm waned, the project faded. We never removed any of the nestboxes.

Well, today I went for a walk, and out of curiosity tried to find some of the nestboxes. Most I could not even begin to locate, as the cuts are for the most part now impassible jungles of young conifers tangled with broom, salmonberries and blackberries, that you can't even see through in many places, let alone walk into. For whatever reason one site had not grown up as thick with brush among the trees, and I did locate the boxes , and was quite surprised to find a pair of Western Bluebirds using one rather overgrown nestbox, which contained eggs today. It's reasonable to assume that bluebirds have been using this box, at least intermittently, over the past five years when we were not checking it, and so continue to use it now, even though the area is no longer what I would consider " bluebird habitat".

Stan Kostka
lynnandstan at earthlink.net
Arlington (East of Bryant)

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