Last week I noticed a group of about 5 Eastern Bluebirds, accompanied by some other species, working their way around the tops of some dying Norway Maples on our property that are full of woodpecker holes. What was interesting was that multiple bluebirds were entering the holes at once (probably Red-bellied woodpeckers) - sometimes 4 at a time!
This did not look like nest cavity investigation/displays, and I don't think it was because:
- Wrong time of year - bluebirds don't nest till mid March in my area
- Multiple males, and at least one female made up this group.
- I saw them exit the holes with what appeared to be grubs (food)
- The group included other species, and appeared near/with a typical wintertime foraging group (I think I remember seeing Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadee, and House Finch in/near the bluebirds too. The House Finch really seemed out of place in the group - in fact in the video you can clearly see one just sitting there watching the bluebirds!)
I was able to catch some of this on video - sorry its so shaky, but I had it at full zoom and nothing to brace the camera on. If you watch closely, the last bird that exits has something in its bill. Check it out: