Skidaway Audubon has supported the building of the Dave Scott Bluebird Trail on our golf courses from our beginning back in 1997, as a committee of The Landings Club. There are now 185 bluebird boxes alongside every golf course at The Landings making it the largest monitored trail in the southeast. Volunteer monitors take on the responsibility of tending boxes, keeping track of the activity of the bluebirds and counting birds fledged.
“Bluebird houses” are actually bird houses that are suitable for multiple cavity nesters. There are a variety of songbirds who will nest in the bird houses from the beginning of spring throughout the summer months.
Carolina Chickadees and Brown-headed Nuthatches are the songbirds who will also use the birdhouses. They usually build early in March, so the bluebirds will have plenty of time to nest in the same house. The chickadees and nuthatches will only nest once every year. The Eastern Bluebirds will nest two to three times in one year.
We want to help the chickadees and nuthatches nest because their numbers are not nearly as high as the bluebird population now. You can change the metal portal (bird house entry hole plate) to a smaller size - there are both chickadee and nuthatch portals available. You can just use the nuthatch portal for both species. After they nest, clean it out and change the portal, the bluebirds will nest soon! After each nest you should clean out the box and everyone will be very thankful to have a clean house.
You may also see the Tufted Titmice nest, it is not very common, but they seem to enjoy nesting in the bird houses from time to time.
Bluebirds use mostly pine straw with some decorations, such as grasses and a feather or two to create their nests. Chickadees will begin with a pretty green moss followed by an assortment of leaf matter or bark, they will then complete the nest with a soft bowl of fluff. Nuthatches will use pine cone seedlings and bark or wood pieces - their nest is usually messy!
You will see that the Dave Scott Bluebird Trail have the bird houses on posts (or pole) with a baffle (the metal cylinder) to keep the houses off of trees and away from predators. If houses are on trees or near bushes snakes, raccoons and squirrels have the likelihood of finding the eggs and/or babies.
Happy bird monitoring! Bluebirds, Chickadees, Nuthatches and maybe even Titmice!
Learn how the Day Scott Bluebird Trail got started