Bluebird Nesting Behavior

My male bluebird has "sweet talked" another female into nest building in my east facing nest box. I've never seen what I call "nesting persuasion" described before so I'll give it a try here.

The male bluebird does what can only be described as a flying dance around the nest box with much fluttering of the wings and low sweet complex murmuring song. He flutters around the nest box hole for about three seconds then flutters off and returns and repeats this behavior about five times. Then he lands hanging from the hole and barely pokes his head into the hole for about a second and pulls his head out. He repeats this for about three minutes going deeper and deeper into the hole still singing softly. Finally his whole body except for his tail is in the hole and he holds this position for about five seconds and completely enters the box. He stays in the box about five seconds and then pops out. Fluttering around the box for a few seconds, he then lands on the top of the box still softly singing. The female flies up from nowhere and hovers in front of the hole for a second, lands hanging from the hole and then enters the box. She stays in for a few seconds and then they both fly off together.

This is the second time I've observed this behavior. Whether or not the female's acceptance of the box is signified by entering the box is unknown but after both times the female entered the box, a bluebird nest was built. Whether it was by the same female is unknown.

This behavior was observed 8 May 2003 around three o'clock. A previous abandoned nest and eggs were removed from the box about two weeks before.




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