Bluebird and Small Cavity Nester Conservation
Sialis - Bluebirds and other small cavity nesters

Nestbox or Hawk Perch?

Red-shouldered Hawk on Nestbox. Photo by Linda Ruth.

A Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) perches on a nestbox. Photo by Linda Ruth of Coventry, CT. A House Wren was in the process of building a nest in this box. It takes a lot to deter House Wrens. Three days after this photo was taken, the first egg was laid. The nest fledged six chicks (with one infertile egg.)

Donna Ulloa in Marlborough CT also had a Red-shouldered use a horizontal box as a perch. In spite of the company, the box was successfully used by Tree Swallows. Pauline Tom of TX indicated that she heard of a nesting pair deserting eggs after a hawk persisted in sitting on their nestbox. They didn't attack the bluebirds. Installing some tall poles with a flat piece of lumber for a hawk perch might encourage the hawk to move.

Red-shouldered Hawks primarily eat small mammals, but may take reptiles, amphibians and birds. I don't have them on my list of hawk/bluebird predators. Kestrels (Falco sparverius), Cooper's (Accipiter cooperii, Sharp-shinned (A. striatus), Swainson's (Buteo swainsoni) can be a problem at feeders. Red-tailed (Buteo jamaicensis) are an unlikely predator. See clues and preventing a hawk attack.


References and More Information:

Pictures of bluebirds and other cavity nesters

Previous Pictures of the Week: © Original photographs are copyrighted, and may not be used without the permission of the photographer. Please honor their copyright protection. If you would like to use a photo for educational purposes, you can contact me.

    A bluebird, famous for the scrap of sky
    Borne on his back - an indigo so bright
    That just a glimpse of his distinctive flight,
    All swoop and flurry, captivates the eye ...
    - George Bradley, "New Yorker" Mar. 19, 2001

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