Am I Crazy?
by B Sellers
(Triangle Area, North Carolina)
I have begun a journey that I'm not sure any other birder may have experienced. I recently completed a remodel of one of my bluebird boxes...to make it ADA(handicapped)compliant. Why you ask? and Are you Crazy?
The reason is simple, I have a female, with only one leg, and her mate which have chosen on of my boxes to raise a family.
For a couple of weeks in mid May, a very handsome fella and his best girl had been visiting the box. One day I noticed that the female would fly over, around, and land on top of the box, but never entered. Upon a closer look, I realized she had but one leg. Apparently, the lack of two good grippers limited her ability to enter the box. The real shocker?...this female was familiar to me. She was one of four hatchlings from last year's first brood, at this very same box!
Needless to say, my brain went into overdrive trying to come up with a way to help this special bird-friend earn her "mommy wings". What I came up with: I cut a small paint roller screen in half and attached it about 1.5 inches below the box's entry. This ledge worked beautifully and within a couple of days, I saw both parents enter the box successfully. Oh, but then I saw how much difficulty she had getting OUT of the box. Mmmmm. To fix this secondary issue, I placed a small perch inside the box just below the entry. Now, a week later, both birds enter and exit easily and nesting (though difficult)has begun.
I haven't taken pictures yet, waiting for them to become fully attached to the box with nest and perhaps eggs. I do have a pic of the proud papa in a nearby tree.
Thank you for sharing your delightful story. You belong in the Grand Lodge of Bird Caretakers!