We put two nesting boxes in our orchard a couple of years ago. They sit on opposite sides of the space, probably 200′ or so apart. Last year, a tree sparrow couple took up residence in the one closest to the house and graced us with a family of 5 that spent the summer pirouetting over the orchard.
A bluebird couple moved in to the 2nd home shortly after the tree sparrows arrived. The bluebirds are not that common around here – at least not in backyards — so we were delighted to have them move in.
About a week ago, we noticed 3 tree swallow males vying for one of the houses (tree swallow in photo above). Within a couple of days, the bluebird couple returned (I like to think it’s the same couple, but honestly, how would I know?) and claimed the very house the tree swallows had been sparring over. The female has been bringing nesting materials into the house for the past couple of days, as the male sits watch (see below).
The tree sparrows have stopped fighting among themselves and now have taken to sitting on the fence or the power line overhead, watching in disbelief that they have been supplanted. No more sparring. I’m hoping one of them will eventually realize that there is another empty house in the area.
Not bird related, but Tilly, our corgi, was enjoying the beautiful spring day yesterday as well. It’s wonderful to see new life all around us. And did I mention the peepers returned on April 10th! Always a delightful sign of spring.
See additional photos below from yesterday morning. It’s so wonderful to finally see the plants breaking through the ground and sending up new shoots. From upper left to right: peonies breaking ground; basal growth on sedum and alchemilla mollis; and on the bottom, rhubarb.