Do Bluebirds do timeshare???

I have been blown away by all the activity around my Bluebird house! As you can see by my previous posts here, I have watched one pair of Bluebirds move into my birdhouse within three days of setting it up back in the beginning of April. They built a nest, laid 5 eggs which all hatched. I’ve watched them, taken pictures inside the box, and yesterday they fledged while I was at work. I was so disappointed to miss them leaving the box, but there is no evidence to make me think they didn’t fledge yesterday.

I opened the box after I was convinced that the babies had left the nest, and removed the old nest. Had it not been for the impending bad weather and a meeting I had to attend, I would have finished scrubbing out the box yesterday. Today when I got home from work I peeked into the box, and couldn’t believe my eyes. A new Bluebird nest had already been started in the box.

I decided to finish cleaning out the box with Chlorox as there wasn’t that much of a nest completed, and I was sure they would be better off with it cleaned properly. The pair of Bluebirds were soon back checking it out. This must surely be a new pair of Bluebirds since the first pair will still be feeding their fledglings and teaching them to find their own food for another month, unless something ate the fledglings before they flew.

I think my Bluebirds must have a time share plan going on for them to have changed occupants so fast.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

My babies have fledged

I missed it. By the time I got home from work yesterday my baby Bluebirds had fledged from the nest. Their house was empty except for the nest and fecal matter, so I removed the nest and will do the clean-up later. I was watching the weather yesterday with tornado watches out.

I’ve seen Mama and Papa around, and am watching for the babies. My eyes are leaving me a bit handicapped, but I hope to see them around soon.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Time for babies to leave the nest

Bluebird house and surroundingsI have been watching the bluebird box a lot the past three days expecting to see the babies leave the nest. I am convinced that the mama and papa bluebirds are trying to coax the babies out this evening. They have flown to the box and to the lowest board on our arbor that sits about ten feet in front of the birdhouse. Then they fly to the trees as well. There is no way short of opening the box to know how many are still in the box, so I’m waiting as patiently as I know how.  I also watched one bird take a bath in the birdbath.

I’m having to watch through two panes of window glass plus a screen, so I can’t be sure if I’m seeing a parent or a fledgling. On top of that I had eye surgery four days ago. My eyes aren’t working together well right now as my left eye is recovering to a new level of seeing-though it isn’t there yet. So dissappointing!

I went outside to get a picture of the birdhouse with the arbor and birdhouse all in the picture. Unfortunately the birds fly away when I go outside so no birds this time. While I was outside, I witnessed the bluebirds take on a much larger bird – possibly a hawk. They seem to have successfully driven it off.

Baby birds apparently don’t just take a notion to jump out of the nest when they are big enough to fly. The mama and papa Bluebirds are being so persistant. They will fly to the box at the same time, and while one goes inside the other hangs on the front opening or sits on top of the box or the post. This keeps happening over and over. I wish I had a video cam inside the box so I could see what is happening. I wonder if the bird that goes inside is pushing on the babies or anything.

The sun is setting and still the babies haven’t fledged. I wonder if the parents will continue trying once the sun goes down or will wait until morning. According to the information I have on Bluebirds, they should have fledged either Saturday, Sunday, or today (Monday). A mockingbird appeared on the scene a few minutes ago and I scared it away, along with Mama and Papa Bluebird.

Pictures and text copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Waiting for babies to fledge while convalescing

I sat and watched the mama and papa Bluebirds feed their babies for some time today. I was watching mostly to help them keep the Mocking Birds away. Every time I would see one in the yard I stormed out the door and yelled at it to go away. They have been really bad about harassing the Bluebirds and I’m afraid they will try to kill the babies when they fledge. They should fledge any day now.

I’m also convalescing while I watch them, so it has been good therapy for me. I had cataract surgery on Thursday and today started off pretty scary for me. It has settled down now so I hope I’m over the worst of it. I’m keeping a journal to keep my friends updated on my progress at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/janicedgreen. I suppose this may be overkill, as cataract surgery is pretty ordinary compared to the health problems so many have to go though, but my friends and relatives are so scattered that this makes it easy to keep them informed. I think the CaringBridge.org website is wonderful and anyone going through serious physical problems could use it to keep their friends informed.

Last peek in box before fledging

Last peek at near fledgling BluebirdsThis picture was taken on Tuesday, May 13, the last date I dared to peek into the box. If I peeked again I might cause the babies to fledge too soon and they might not survive.

Today is Saturday. The babies could fledge the nest anytime between today and Monday. The mama and papa are very busy feeding their babies.

Pictures and text copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Blue pin feathers on baby Bluebirds

Blue wing and tail feathers appearingHere are my babies again. Notice the baby’s eyes are open. Only one head can be seen, but in this crowded nest, what can we expect? The downy fluff hides a lot as well.

I learned that the white stuff on the walls is fecal matter (baby poop). I will clean everything out and wash the walls once the babies fly from the nest.

I expect to peek into the box one last time on Tuesday. After that it could cause the babies to fledge before they are ready to survive. Fledge means to leave the nest. The Mama and Papa birds will continue to feed them for another week or two after they fledge.

Pictures and text copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Growing baby bluebirds

Day 8, baby bluebirds

I peeked into the bluebird box again today. I only see four beaks, but I suspect all five are in there and alive. I suspect there is one in the back that is facing the back of the box and its bill is not visible. The color of the birds is uniform in the nest. I wonder if they can open their eyes yet. I don’t see any eyes, but the one on the front right looks like it could open. I found a web page that said they open their eyes at between eight to eleven days. I’ll have to wait another day or two and check again. I wish I knew what made the white spots on the back of the nest box.

Mama Bluebird watching me check her nest

Here’s Mom on the fence watching me peek into her nest. She is such a good mama, and Papa Bluebird is a good papa too. They both keep busy taking care of the babies and chasing away the Mockingbirds.

Pictures and text copyright © 2008 by Janice Green