As I mentioned last week, bluebirds have nested here on the grounds of John's sculpture restoration and repair studio for at least the past 12 years. For the last few years we've hosted the birds for three nestings each year in one of the Louisianna cypress and Gulf barnacle bird houses similar to the one on our back deck being used by the wren family I mentioned on June 16. This year however, when the parents came back for their second nesting they seemed unsettled. They went in and out of the barnacle house but at the same time spent as much time exploring a house on our porch made by our friend Lyle. It seemed like something was not quite right with the barnacle house and that possibly they were looking for a new location. Sure enough, after a week of going back and forth they finally settled into the porch house and the picture shows Dad getting ready to enter the house during the consturction phase of the nest a couple weeks ago. At this point in time they seem to be sitting on eggs so we're glad that at least they are settled though we are still perplexed as to why they did not select the usual locaiton.
Of course one possibility is that there is a broken egg in the old nest or possibly it had gotten infested with mites. We will wait another week or so to check in the box for this sort of problem and try to resolve it. In the mean time my theory is that I planted my mammouth sunflowers a little too close to the front of the nest. At the time the birds were checking it out the plants were only a few feet tall but now they are over 5 feet tall and completely block the entrance. Birds and other animals seem to have instincts for things like this and I believe it is one of those cases where they just knew the plants might be a future liability - a way for predators to gain access to the nest and also hamper their own view of the nest and quick entrance and entry into their home.