The Mountain Bluebird Mating Habits
There is not much known about the mating habits and displays of Mountain Bluebirds. What is obvious though is that these birds that are usually found in small flocks during the fall and winter retreat into solitary pairs once mating season begins. Mountain bluebirds are also known to be a monogamous breed with the pair usually returning to their old nesting site during breeding season.
Mating season starts with the male Mountain bluebird singing loudly on treetops to attract female mountain bluebirds. The mating song though serves another purpose, which is to mark of his territory and warn other male birds nearby. The male bluebird begins its song at dawn just as the sun rises and continues until a female mountain bluebird is spotted. Once the male bird sees a female mountain bluebird it starts exhibiting various kinds of behaviors as it tries to attract the female bird and entice it to look at the available nesting cavities in the area so that the female bird can choose one in which to lay eggs. Some mating behaviors of the male mountain bluebird include flicking its wing(s) open at a moderate pace, poking its head in and out of a nest hole again and again, and perching on the side of a nest box showing off with a wing-wave.
When a female mountain bluebird is interested it will follow the male bird into the nesting cavities and even enter some of them to inspect those offered. It isnt until both birds go inside one nesting cavity several times though that they are considered to be paired. They, of course use the nesting cavity that they entered a several times. After choosing the nesting site the female mountain bluebird promptly begins to build the nest within the nest box.
The male mountain bluebird stays attentive during the entire nest building process and stays close by to guard its mate from other unattached males. Male mountain bluebirds are known to be zealous in protecting their mate. During this time the male also collects food and feeds it to the female bird while spends most of her time just building the nest. This behavior is called mate-feeding. When the male mountain bird has to go away to collect food it makes sure that it stays in contact with the female bird by calling out and engaging in various visual displays.
Copulation happens anytime from the start of the nest building up until the female bird starts incubating. The birds always copulate neat the nest box if not right on top of it.