HARRIS COUNTY, Ga. — If you have a bluebird box in your backyard you’ve probably noticed it’s nesting time. A couple from Harris County volunteer each year to monitor the bluebird houses at Callaway Gardens.
Harry and Dottie Lange have been living in Harris County for a quarter of a century. For almost 20 years now they’ve volunteered at Callaway Gardens to monitor their bluebird boxes.
“We have to check each one of the boxes to make any repairs to the boxes. Clean them out,” says Harry Lange.
If you have bluebird boxes in your backyard, you’ve probably seen activity already.
“Probably late February to mid March is when you will have the first pair of bluebirds that start to nest,” says Harry Lange.
Dottie says the female pays close attention to how the male starts the nest construction.
“The male will gather a few pieces of straw. If the female likes them, then she’ll decide they’ll build a nest and lay eggs,” says Dottie Lange.
“It takes a couple of weeks for the eggs to incubate. After they have hatched it’s another couple of weeks for the birds to fledge,” says Harry Lange.
Bluebird are not only liked by humans they’re a delicacy for certain predators.
“There are critters around that love the eggs and love the babies. Raccoons primarily. Possums to some degree. Flying squirrels will come in. Snakes,” says Harry Lange.
“Callaway Gardens has fox squirrels which are really unusual. But you can see them here, and they’re predators also,” says Dottie Lange.
Harry and Dottie install a predator guard onto the bird house entrance for an added measure of protection. But the bluebirds aren’t timid.
“They are very protective and they will fight to the death to protect their young,” says Harry Lange.
Harry and Dottie say bluebirds will grow on you.
“You’re in a relationship with them. You kind of talk to them. There’s a group that’s beginning to have their fledge feathers and you know you’re not going to be back for another week. You’re gonna say, hey guys, I enjoyed this. Y’all have a good life and good luck to you. It’s fun to do that,” says Harry Lange.
“Had two sons and probably raised one thousand bluebird babies, so we’re proud parents!” says Dottie Lange.
Callaway has over 80 bluebird boxes on their property. Golfers probably recognized them, they’re used for the 150 yard markers on the golf course.