While the horses are away, the bluebirds will play.

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A lot of juvenile bluebirds were flying back and forth between a tree and the arena fence at Bent Tree’s Saddle Club Horse Park yesterday evening.  They were moving fast, but I was able to get a couple of quick snapshots of a few of the birds.

August 31, 2017 - some of the young bluebirds at Bent Tree's Saddle Club Horse Park

August 31, 2017 – some of the young bluebirds at Bent Tree’s Saddle Club Horse Park

Home Improvement

The Bluebird Benefactors were busy over the winter. You may recall from earlier posts that two people took it upon themselves to maintain the twenty-something bluebird boxes around the Bent Tree golf course (and a few others around the community). Many of the old boxes were rotted out. So, over the winter, the couple built, stained, and installed new ones (see photos below). Some of the old deeper boxes were still in decent shape, but did not seem to attract bluebirds as well as the shallower ones. To remedy that situation, the couple placed pieces of 2x4s in the bottom of the deep boxes to make them shallow enough for the nesting birds. So far, so good. The BBs keep a diligent watch over the boxes for signs of predators, and clean/repair the boxes when necessary.

Note – if you’d like to read previous posts about the boxes, enter “benefactors” in the search box at the top of the page.

Click thumbnails to scroll through larger images:

This Place is For the Birds.

Continuing with the bird theme this week…The bluebirds were flying around like crazy again at the dam last Sunday. It was a chilly, but sunny morning, and they were zipping across the road, landing on rocks, the pavement, the valve operator, the purple martin houses (a new house recently appeared, so now there are two), signs, everything. While I was trying to take pictures of the bluebirds, a heron flew by and got in a couple of pictures. Click here for a similar post back in October.

Click thumbnails for larger images. The last picture is my favorite.

Bluebird Benefactors – Part 2

Yesterday’s post was about a couple of Bent Tree homeowners who took it upon themselves to clean, repair, replace, and monitor the neglected bluebird boxes on the golf course. They have become the caretakers of the bluebird boxes. Today’s post gives a few more details.

Some of the older boxes were constructed using nails and the boxes could not be easily opened for cleaning. Where needed, the caretakers replaced the nails with screws so the cleaning and other maintenance can be properly done. Squirrels and wasps have caused some issues. A squirrel gnawed around the hole on the newly installed front of one of the boxes. Wasps began building nests in several boxes, and the caretakers promptly cleaned them out.

Many of the renovated boxes have already been used for nesting and raising babies. As of the beginning of this week, at least one group of babies had already fledged. The caretakers have already cleaned out the box, and it is ready for the next nest. Sadly, a nest of dead babies was discovered. The caretakers dug a little hole and buried them, nest and all. Then they cleaned out that box and it is ready for the next nesting cycle.

Following are pictures of some of the bluebird boxes on the golf course (click thumbnail for larger image). This first photo (taken in February) shows a box before repairs were completed. You can see where some pieces have been replaced/added to the old houses. The new fronts and roofs have a fresh coat of green paint. The all green box is a total replacement for one that was beyond repair. Note: the locations of the boxes were not changed.

“…reflecting heaven from his back”

“… Bluebird brings us the first word of returning spring … reflecting heaven from his back and the ground from his breast, he floats between sky and earth like the winged voice of hope.” - William Dawson, 1903

Click for larger image

May 31, 2012 - Bluebird in tree behind #15 green, with food for his babies in his beak

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May 31, 2012 - He brings the food to the babies in the birdhouse next to #15 green

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May 31, 2012 - Getting ready to go find more food