Suggestions, Suggestions, Suggestions

June 4, 2011

I am ready to go roping

Open Wide

Who's First?

Look that away

Sorry, I didn't mean to blow you off the perch

Tea For Two But A Worm Will Do (sing the words)

So cute, I thought you might like it. (Third Clutch Three)



I checked on the bluebirds this morning and they must have learned their lesson, at least for the time being. They are staying in the back of the box with the parents going inside to feed them. I thought this morning would have been a good time to get some still shots since the video equipment is out of town so to speak but not once did I see a little beak peeking out. Mommy and Daddy are still bringing in the food, one beak-full after another.

I was asked why sometimes in the still photos the Owl Box and the Bluebird Box look almost a bright orangish gold but most of the time they show up as a grayish weathered wood. Those photos are taken in what is called the sweet light just before and as the sun comes up giving everything a beautiful goldish tent. Almost all great landscape photos are taken at sunrise.

We have had many suggestions of how to protect the baby bluebirds with the most common suggestion being to take the perch off the box. If you look at the photo of the hawk, you will clearly see that she did not use the perch, so to take it off would not accomplish anything. Plus the bluebirds love the perch; if you notice they use it almost every time they come to the Bluebird Box. Some birdhouse builders say to use a perch others say they are not needed. We chose to use them because we find the birds like them. The only way to get rid of the hawk is to kill it or remove the Bluebird box and neither one of those solutions is acceptable. We will let nature take its course.

Also, I do not visit or read the SPO site ever (I don’t have time) but people send me notes of what’s posted there sometimes. Like last night I received an email saying that a lady had posted screen shots of Molly and McGee on the SPO site. The only problem was we were not broadcasting and the screen shots she sent me were of the Oceanside box, Sydney and Mel. Sorry, that’s not Molly and McGee.

Also, we support all the owl boxes and recommend you check them out. Each one gives you a different view of the owls. It is okay to discuss the other owls/owl boxes/birds in our chat room, but links are turned off. We don’t allow links in our chat room except those posted by our moderators for obvious reasons.

We hope to have the Bluebird Box back up live sometime Sunday morning.

You can what Austin’s BMX Broadcast today by going to or . I think the actions starts at 1 PM PDT.

All the best,

Carlos, Donna and Austin

35 Responses to “Suggestions, Suggestions, Suggestions”

  1. SARose69 Says:

    Love your pix–always! Third Clutch photo brought back happy memories. I love watching during the day the swaying mostly grown owlets at that stage!

  2. CAequuslvr Says:

    Carlos, these photos are stunning. Thank-you so very much for posting them.

    Mother Nature has been around for eons and knows what she is doing. We human beings are the major thing that messes up Nature.

    People, please don’t be giving Carlos a hard time about what is natural in the bird world. As we know he has always done what is best.

  3. Beautiful shots of the blue birds and a sweet one of the owlets looking their cutest.

    Not one of the bird houses I bought commercially have any perches on the outside, but one of the blue bird houses has a perch on the inside. I see that the blue birds are using your perch though. Must be a reason not to have them on the houses, probably to make it harder for predators?

    • carlosroyal Says:

      Commercial bird houses don’t have perches because they are cheaper to build without them. They also create a problem for packaging.

  4. Leslee Says:

    Just know, Carlos, you have HUGE supporters in EVERY way in the SPO site…more than you may know.

  5. Jerri Weed Says:

    Dear Royal Family,

    Thank U Again For Sharing Nature In Your BackYard With Us…KS Really Appreciates Very Much..

    SARose–SPO is Sportmens Paradise Online but KS doesn’t go there either since Too many Other Wonderful Boxes To Visit and Bald Eagle Sites as well…Just Not Enough Hours in a Day..

    Anyway Thank U Again Carlos and Donna…KS Learns something New everyday about Nature..<3

    • Elizabeth Mason Says:

      These pictures are AMAZING! Thanks so much for sharing them.

      • Says:

        i love eerything carlos does for us too and i thank them for allowing all of us to see what happens in their back yard. love you carlos, donna and austin

  6. NatureLuver Says:


    Great blog entry! All I know is you can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t mess with mother nature, oh well ;)-

    I presently have a White-winged Dove in a cat carrier outside with bird food and water. It has an injured wing and can’t fly. It was hiding under an azalea bush in my backyard….a very dangerous place due to many neighborhood cats. I’ve also seen a hawk come thru twice to pick off a Dove at my feeders. I plan to take the Dove to a rehab place as soon as I can get there. Already rescued one Dove from a cat who managed to pull out all its tail & back feathers. Luckily it will survive.

    All my cats are on house arrest while I am feeding the birds. Many mom and dads bringing their new fledglings to the bird bath and feeders. I have Red-bellied woodpeckers, Downy woodpeckers, House Sparrows, Grackles, Blue Jays, Doves, and lots of Carolina Chickadees all with lots of babies! I think I have so many more birds this year due to our long drought. The Chickadees fly through the garden hose water within 3 feet of me….too cool.

    Ooops, sorry for being so chatty.
    Keep the great pictures coming and hope Austin’s BMX broadcast went well today.

    Deet Deet Deet <3
    Liz G., League City, TX

  7. carlosroyal Says:

    I would also like to point out that the floor to the bird house is several inches below the opening but the bluebirds build up the flooring so the baby birds can reach the opening. The nest is actually all the way to back of the birdhouse. Think of the bird house as having a front room and backroom. The bluebirds will build up the backroom floor with about 2inches of nesting material but the front room will only be built up with about an inch of material. The back room is where they lay their eggs and nest. The front is like a step down waiting room where the babies go once they are big enough to go to the front of the box. It is a very interesting nest design that the bluebirds use or at least that is how they do it in my box. How do I know this? My birdhouse lifts straight up off the floor so I can see exactly what they built and I can clean it which I do every year.

    Putting up owl boxes or birdhouses is not interfering with nature, it is only providing possible habitat. The bird still has to decide if it wants to use the box provided, sometime they don’t.

  8. Sue Couch Says:

    Thanks for these wonderful photos, Carlos. It’s great to expand the collection with the bluebirds. And the third clutch photo is so fun to see. To perch or not to perch….I always use my so-called “gut feeling.” And if that doesn’t work…toss a coin. Whatever decision is made will be the “right” one.

    Hope the BMX broadcat went well.

    I’ll look forward to watching the bluebird box tomorrow…after the French Open tennis final between Federer and Nadal…not be be missed if one is a tennis fan..atic, which I am!

    Thanks again for the chance to peep into the lives of these beautiful bluebirds.

  9. D.K. Parg Says:

    Love your photos of the bluebirds. I’ve had bluebird boxes for years and have never had a problem with the hawks latching onto the box like that — stunning photo! Around here, our boxes are smooth on the outside, no siding. It appears the hawk is latching onto the siding, and I’m wondering wether that is helping it or not. Also, the opening on my box appears to be smaller — I don’t think two babies could stick their heads out of it. We have had very cool weather this year, and I’m afraid for the survival of our bluebird babies!

  10. Liela M. Maielua Says:

    Enjoy your photos so much you capture nature at its best, thanks for sharing with us.

  11. FloridaSkye Says:

    Thank you again for the wonderful photos!!

  12. Joanne Borle Says:

    Hi Carlos, Donna, and Austin,
    Wonderful still photos Carlos …. I love the Blue Birds and live in general in your back yard!!!
    Thank you for sharing :0)
    Joanne aka .. joanne51 in the chat room.
    from Burnaby, B.C./Canada .. currently watching Vancouver Canucks vs Boston he,he…
    Just thot I would add that!

  13. donna Says:

    Awesome pictures carlos, thanks for sharing the bluebirds with us. I’m glad to hear they moved to the back, I hope the rest of them are okay. I’m wondering if Molly & McGee have been back in the box?? Looking forward to more pics and more info from you. Take care and thank you all!

  14. Carlos
    You now have 8001 Emails – I just sent you an Email with a photo of how World Bird Sanctuary “Wires” songbird houses so squirrels raccoons and big birds cant get in. There was no way for me to describe it, so I sent a photo I had of a WBS birdhouse.

  15. Deb Lay Says:

    More georgous pictures! Can’t wait to see how much the babies have grow in this short time.

    Thanks for everything!

  16. mandozee Says:

    carlos grat pics as always mandozee

  17. Marilee Godsil Says:

    Such a delight to have the wonderful opportunity to see the bluebirds’ family ways. Sweet and so lovingly dedicated……just like you and Donna have been, to let us all into the lives of 3 clutches of owlets, made possible by Molly & McGee’s bond and nature’s way. Thank you. You’re a peach!

  18. NatureLuver Says:

    I’m with you Carlos. Man has taken so much habitat away from animals/birds that I think it is our duty to help them out any where we can.

    Need to add to my previous comment some more birds that have been visiting my feeder; Mourning Doves, Cardinals, Squirrels-not a bird-lol, and tonight I had an Eastern Screech Owl in the birdbath. Wish I had night vision!

    Liz G., TX

  19. joly2u Says:

    You are setting a good example, Carlos, because we all have to discern in various situations what the truly right thing to do is, and it requires a base of knowledge to do so. You’re a natural educator, unfortunately it hasn’t always been the most pleasant task. Some of the questions these natural events have raised are things that this human family should be thinking about and coming to terms with. I once knew someone who never thought about death until on his death bed. We would do well to be more thoughtful, about many topics of life. So these events although somewhat wrenching, are fruitful for those who face them in the right spirit, especially since you have proved compassionate & willing to change when change is right, and discerning when it might not be as good as first seems.

  20. Sherrie Pearl Says:


    Thank you so much for the beautiful pics, as always they are breath taking. I have learned so much.


  21. Judy Sackson Says:

    The bluebirds are really an interesting change from the owls! I have never been a bird watcher until I became a MOD, but now I seem to be very much into it. I’m rather glad that I didn’t know about the hawk until today, I’m sure sure it would have upset me, but I’m sure that Carlos is right in that we cannot suddenly change the way of nature to our own liking.
    Thank you as always, Carlos, for your beautiful photos, and for all you do for all of us. We can’t show enough appreciation to you and Donna and Austin. Hope Austin’s broadcast went really well!
    (Too wordy, as usual)

  22. Sandy Says:

    love the bluebird pictures! Thank you for posting them. Hope to see the cam up again soon. Happy Sunday to you all.

  23. jacque green Says:

    thanks for all amazing picture. Beautiful bluebirds. I know people don’t understand nature I was one it hard some time ,but you made me see nature for what it is I appreciation that. you and the family Have wonderful day.

  24. sally Says:

    Yes I have the “preferred” bluebird box with the baffle over the entry hole that prevents larger birds from entering(minus a perch). This is the only way to keep the predator birds out. Though your pics of outside-the-hole feedings are gorgeous as the parents sit on the perch -this is creating the problem. The babies become “sitting (and trapped) ducks” for predation by leaving the perch. It would be easy to remove and the parents have to trouble clutching the hole and hopping in to feed. I sincerely hope you decide to remove the perch. Sally in Charlotte NC

  25. Robert Says:

    I wanted to mention a wonderful, informative website dedicated to all things bluebird. Sialis is latin for eastern bluebird and this particular website is of the same name with .org added. It has great info. on all varieties of bluebirds.

    I’m new at this myself and hope you don’t mind if I share a few things I’ve recently learned:
    Since bluebirds are unable to make their own cavities to nest, they must find natural hollowed out areas in trees which are becoming more scarce due to development and competition from non-native species like starlings and house sparrows. Just like Carlos and Donna have so generously done, we can be a great help with bluebird recovery by providing nesting boxes.

    In some parts of the country, house sparrows have decimated bluebird populations which is why some people often like bluebird houses without the exterior perch. Some experts feel that the perches tend to attract house sparrows, who will instinctively and aggressively enter to kill bluebirds and all their young before taking over the box.

    Steve Gilbertson is one nationally recognized, award-winning, nestbox designer and builder who has designed and sells online an affordable nesting box make of pvc pipe that will help our bluebirds by detering starlings, raccoons, and most house sparrows. Starlings can’t get into the smaller 1.5 inch opening, the exterior surface is too slick for predators to grab onto, and the depth of the inside box is shallow (4.5 inches), which bluebirds don’t mind, but house sparrows do not like. I am hoping to put up a couple of these boxes this year since we have had a big problem with both house sparrows and starlings our area. Thanks, Carlos and Donna, for sharing your wildlife paradise with us-and sorry for the long post.

  26. sally Says:

    I have now seen the photo of the hawk at the bluebird box. I can’t agree with the statement that taking the perch off will do nothing to stop the hawk. The hawk’s abilities to attack this box have to do with many other factors: the depth of the box, the hole protective baffle with appropriate size hole and also the the roof that should be slanted down towards the front and overhanging the entry hole. Some boxes have been created to appear ‘cutesy’ but are not appropriate. I have a NightHawk mini cam inside my bluebird box and Have watched my BB boxed for 18 years in Charlotte NC. A snake got in my BB box and ate all 4 almost ready to fledge babies. I learned the valuable lesson: make the box suitable and predator protected. Good luck. Still say remove the perch. It will help some. Sally

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