Nuthatches and Bluebirds Fight Over Birdhouse

Q: We setup a bluebird house in our rain garden. White-breasted nuthatchs went in and out for a few days. Then the bluebirds showed up and took over. Today the nuthatch is going in and out. Did the bluebirds just give up? Is this scenario normal?

A: Nuthatches and bluebirds prefer similar size nests so they fight over any appropriate housing. Bluebirds are bigger than nuthatches so they usually win, but not always.

Be sure your entrance hole is 1 1/2 inches in diameter; this is what bluebirds prefer. Nuthatches like a smaller opening of 1 inch wide. Whichever bird occupies your nest, know that you are contributing to needed ecological diversity in your landscape.

See Nuthatch vs Bluebird

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