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Submitted By

Bob Vuxinic

Crossville, TN, USA


The nest boxes that I have around the property for Eastern Bluebirds get lots of usage. First the Bluebirds use them; then the Tree Swallows take up residence; then House Wrens will occupy them after the Tree Swallows leave; and sometimes the Bluebirds will come back to raise a second brood…IF there is enough room left to add yet another nest on top of all the others.




Tree Swallow Using A Bluebird Nesting Box

Tree Swallow keeping its eye on me

2 replies on “Tree Swallow using a Bluebird nesting box”

Virginia says:

I have tree swallows in a bluebird box, can the babies get out?

Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

Hi Virginia, This is a good question for NestWatch. Tree Swallows use the same sized box as bluebirds (along with chickadees, wrens, and titmice), so NestWatch recommends adding a fledgling ladder to the inside of the box, just below the entrance hole, to help nestlings fledge. A fledgling ladder is simply a series of horizontal scores in the wood. That being said, we recommend that you wait to do this to your box until the young have fledged so as to reduce disturbance. Keep an eye on the box around fledging time – the nestlings will probably fledge fine, but if you have any worries, please contact your local wildlife rehabilitator before taking any action. If you’re not sure who that is, your state’s wildlife office should have a list of rehabilitators that are federally certified. If you have any additional questions, please email nestwatch at

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