Although I'm not fond of the summer heat (I will never move to Florida!) I am thrilled to see so many of our summer birds returning to our neighborhood. The Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds are one of my favorites along with the Orioles and the Bluebirds. We've also had visits from the Rose-breasted Grosbeak and of course the little 'campers', the American Goldfinch.
But one bird that we always had but did not see around last year was the Tree Swallow. They just seem to have the most fun flying - I can relate since if I could fly (one of my most-wanted superpowers), I would spend a lot of time diving and soaring high above the trees, also. As I said, I missed seeing them last year and wondered why they didn't return. So I was thrilled when I saw one flying around out front where our bird houses are and was hoping they were back to nest.
But then I saw something that bothered me and sent me searching on Google to find out what was going on. As the Tree Swallow tried to make a landing on a birdhouse that was unoccupied, I saw our Bluebird, who is already using one of the other birdhouses, fly in and chase him off! I couldn't believe it! My search showed that yes, they are competitive with the Tree Swallows and usually get their way since the Tree Swallows are smaller than the Bluebirds.
Fortunately we have a lot of property so all I need to do is have my husband, Jim, build a house specifically for the Tree Swallow, away from the Bluebird. I hope that will encourage the Tree Swallow to return to our property again each year. And satisfy the Bluebird to stay in his own neighborhood!