Bluebirds being bullied by robins?

mm21153

Have a ”cage type bluebird feeder that I’ve kept dried mealworms in for 3 years, and we now have quite a few blues, however, lately, the chickadees, have started eating most of the worms, but the mystery, is that robins will allow the chickadees to go in and eat the worms, but will constantly chase all of the blues off when they try to come and eat, and they have young, whom they are trying to feed. It’s very frustrating, its crazy, the robins will leave the chickadees alone but will bully the bluebirds, any help??

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catherinet

The only thing I can think of is that maybe the robins have learned that the chickadees aren't intimidated by them, but the bluebirds are. In my experience, bluebirds are very gentle and don't put up much of a fight. It's funny.....I've often wondered how various animals can be right next to certain other animals (even larger ones), and not be intimidated, but they might be scared off by other things. I guess that's part of animal instinct we might not understand.

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Old Forester ( Zones 8a-6a ) Ga/NC

I wouldn't worry about the blue birds, they are tougher than you think. I have several pairs inhabiting my landscape. They are frequent users of the suet cakes and shelled sunflowers. They seem quite capable of holding their own. But, yes there is a pecking order among the species. The red headed woodpecker is the undisputed king, even the blue jays wont mess with him !

Last year, I had a bluebird pair raise their young in one of my houses. It wasn't long after they vacated the house before a chickadee and another bluebird squabbled over the same house. I witnessed the bluebird grabbing the chickadee by the head and pulling it out of the birdhouse !

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catherinet

Thanks Old Forester! It's good to know that they can rise to the occasion when necessary! :)

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Pat z5/6 SEMich

I have been trying to keep Red-breasted Grosbeaks in my yard this Spring instead of disappearing like they did last Spring, so when a very small Hairy or Downy woodpecker attacked one of my male RBGs on a feeder I nearly passed out. The RBG never came back! But the Hairy or Downy comes all day long every day. Grrrrrr.

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Rob Armstrong

I agree with Old Forester's comments above. I have been observing and photographing bluebirds (professionally) for over 20 year and I can confirm that they are very tough and very resourceful. Mealworms are almost always only a small portion of their diet (like a treat or a snack). They are constantly catching insects and worms all day long (literally hundreds of times each day!) And, if necessary, a Bluebird will hold it own. In fact, when they are nesting, I have seen them attacking and successfully chasing away Robins, Thrashers, Cardinals and a variety of smaller birds. They will even attack squirrels and cats.

Here is the link to my site. In case anyone likes bluebird pictures as much as I do! Link: BluebirdsPlus

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