Thursday, September 20, 2007

LBBS, Bluebirds and Woodpeckers

We have become active in the LA Bayou Bluebird Society and are now one of the board members. This is a wonderful association that is trying to preserve Louisiana's population of Eastern Bluebirds by promoting bluebird trails and providing information about bluebirds and also nest boxes. Bluebirds nest in natural cavities like old woodpecker holes, but will quickly use a man made bird house of the right size. Natural cavities are hard to find these days with contractors and over cautious homeowners removing both live and dead trees because of development and Hurricane Katrina.

We leave dead trees of all sizes up all over our property for woodpeckers and other cavity nesting birds and animals. We've never had trouble with woodpeckers bothering the other cavity nesters. Only 1 time did a young red-bellied use a bluebird box for a winter roost. Last year we had bluebirds nesting in a box located less than 50 feet from a dead tree with a red-bellied woodpecker's cavity and they coexisted just fine. There are also Pileated, Red-headed & Downy woodpeckers, Northern Flickers and Brown-headed Nuthatches nesting all through our woods along with Great Crested Flycatchers, Prothonotary Warblers, Carolina Chickadees, C. Wrens and Tufted Titmice. The wood ducks use the Pileated's cavities (as well as houses) and the other secondary nesters use all of the other woodpecker's cavities (along with houses). We've never observed any discourse between any of them.

The only altercations we have seen were between Red-headed and Red-bellied Woodpeckers who were fighting over the same tree. And another time when the Blue Jays were hassling a Red-headed woodpecker.

To read more about nest box trails and cavity nesting birds visit our Building a Bluebird Nest Box Trail at Squidoo and Our Nest Box Trail on our Little Tchefuncte Habitat Page.

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