Western bluebird vs. Mountain chickadee

Daniel Estes

I'm curious to see if anyone has any insights on this situation: I have a birdhouse that, earlier this season, had a bunch of interest from both some mountain chickadees and some western bluebirds. Even though the bluebirds were more aggressive (they'd try to scare off the chickadees every time the chickadees would inspect the house), the chickadees prevailed and have now moved in. Chicks were born about a week ago (I can hear them and see mom and dad fly in and feed them). SInce then, the bluebirds are back (now with three juveniles) and are obsessed with the chickadees' house. The bluebirds perch nearby and harass mom and dad, then peer in the house (but don't go in).
Anyway, I'm curious what's going on. Do bluebirds eat baby chickadees? If that was the case, it seems like it would have happed by now. Any other ideas?

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They are just prospecting for a home to raise their second brood, most likely. Bluebirds will not eat chickadee nestlings and usually aren't aggressive enough to usurp an active nest of another species. When the chickadees are done nesting, remove the nesting material and maybe the bluebirds will move in.

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