Constantly amazed with the birds

I just have to say I’m constantly amazed at the number of different kinds of birds we have around our house and yard. Yesterday I saw another first for me–the Summer Tanager. It is a totally red bird–the color is almost psychedelic. At first I thought it was a cardinal but the color was a little different with no black around the beak and no crest on its head. Its wings were barely darker than the rest of its body but still red which tipped me off to look under tanager in the bird guide book. I saw the same bird again this evening. Both times, the bird was eating from the suet basket while hovering like a hummingbird.

I also saw another visitor that I don’t see often this evening–the Indigo Bunting. I’ve seen them before, but very seldom.

Then we had all the regular visitors: Blue Jays, Cardinals, Mocking Birds, Downy Woodpecker, House Finch, Chickadee, Red Bellied Woodpecker, Titmouse, Morning Doves, Eastern Bluebirds (in front yard). They love our bird feeders. I wish I was better at catching them with the camera.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Bluebird eggs in nest – picture

Eastern Bluebird eggsI took my camera with me today to get a picture and an exact count on the number of eggs in the nest. There are five eggs. This means the last egg would have been laid on the 17th so they could hatch as early as April 30.

I found a great site for bird lovers to learn about birds of all kinds. It is maintained by Cornell and has so much information including live nest cams that constantly monitor selected bird nests. The URL for this website is http://www.birds.cornell.edu/.

Pictures and text copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Mockingbirds and bluebirds defending their territories

In two previous years we have had mockingbirds to nest in our grape arbor. They can be very territorial and agressive and would dive-bomb us if we got too close to their nest. I had already decided that if they nested in the arbor again I would remove the nest because we want to be able to enjoy our arbor and tend to the flowers and plants that are growing on it.

Now that the bluebirds have begun nesting in the bluebird house which is about 15-20 feet from the arbor, I frequently see the mocking birds trying to chase the bluebirds away. The bluebirds do a pretty good job of holding their own, however.

My husband noticed that when the bluebirds are on the bird feeders the other birds pretty well leave them alone and wait for them to leave before coming for food themselves. This is true even of the more aggressive cardinals who often chase the other birds away from the feeder. So our bluebirds aren’t wimps, even if they are small.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

When will the bluebird eggs hatch?

I keep wondering when the bluebird eggs will hatch. I peeked again today and should have counted the eggs. At the time I was only thinking about whether they were hatched or not, so didn’t study them long enough to be sure. There are probably five eggs, though maybe only four.

I found a web page about Eastern Bluebirds to gather more information about their nesting habbits. (http://www.alaweb.com/~kenwood/saba/birdinfo/bluebird.htm) I also put some information on a calender to help me keep up with what is happening and to give me a better idea on when to expect them to hatch. Here are the dates so far:

April 2: Set up birdhouses
April 5: Two pair of bluebirds fighting over nest box
April 6: Moved our second box to make it more attractive for second pair of bluebirds
April 12: Nest in birdhouse but no eggs yet
April 14: Two eggs in nest
April 16, 17 or 18: last egg was laid (They lay one egg a day and I’m not sure of the count)
April 30, May 1 or 2: expected time for birds to hatch (13-14 days from the date the last egg was laid)

The last time I checked, there was no sign of any nesting in the second box we moved to our neighbor’s yard.

I will try to remember to take my camera and a stool to stand on so I can take pictures of the eggs in the nest before they hatch.

 Pictures and text copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

We've been blessed!!!

I peeked again today and there were two blue eggs in the nest in the bluebird house. We have been blessed. I’ll be posting along as the family progresses. I dare not peek too often. I understand that preditors can smell our footprints and may lead preditors to the nest.

(PS I wrote this two days ago and discovered today that it was still in draft mode. So for the record, the two eggs were discovered on April 14. )

We’ve been blessed!!!

I peeked again today and there were two blue eggs in the nest in the bluebird house. We have been blessed. I’ll be posting along as the family progresses. I dare not peek too often. I understand that preditors can smell our footprints and may lead preditors to the nest.

(PS I wrote this two days ago and discovered today that it was still in draft mode. So for the record, the two eggs were discovered on April 14. )

Peeking into the bluebird nest

Peeking at bluebird nestI used a small stepladder so I could see if there were eggs in the bottom of the bluebird nest. I was sad to learn there were none. But the nest is clean so I’ll keep waiting and watching and hoping. I found a great website on bluebirds. It gave me some hope that they still might return and stay.

http://www.sialis.org/index.html