Bluebirds have fledged!

I just knew I had missed it. Dave and I left on Saturday morning to drive to Charlotte knowing we wouldn’t be back until Sunday afternoon. Four baby bluebirds were in the nest box and could fledge any time. What joy when I came home and discovered that the adult birds were still bringing food to the nest box.

In the heat of the afternoon, it must have been close to 100 degrees, the bluebird adults were drinking from the birdbath. I noticed other birds coming too, so I decided to add a little more fresh water. I think I scared them off doing it. I glanced out the window after adding the water, and I caught the tail end of a dog leaving the yard, which gave me the sinking feeling he might have caught a fledgling on the ground. I eventually dismissed this notion as the dog probably just happened by at the time. There were no feathers on the ground.

I didn’t see the adult birds come to the box over a long period of time, so I peeked inside the box and sure enough there was at least one bird still in there. I quickly closed it not trying to see how many were in the nest.

Then I parked myself in the recliner (elevating my sprained right ankle that had been neglected over the past 24 hours) and waited. After some waiting I saw Papa come to the box and then fly to the arbor. Then suddenly a bird popped out of the box and flew to the top bar of the arbor. It looked a little plump and ragged compared to Papa who flew up to it. I watched it a long time wishing I had picked up my binoculars before sitting in the recliner, but not daring to move now. Then it flew toward the roof and I didn’t see it any more. I continued to watch the birdhouse until it got too dark to see. I saw one of the adults fly to the roof so I suspect it was feeding and/or encouraging the fledgling.

That’s all I got to see. This morning I watched from the recliner again, but there was no bluebird activity. Eventually I peeked into the box again and found that the nest was empty, so I removed the nest and brushed out the loose nest material.

I have noticed what appears to be a tree swallow  hanging around the yard watching what is going on. I suspect it is interested in using the bluebird box. Thankfully there are two boxes available, one in our yard and one across the street, so we should be able to accommodate both.

I wish I could be privy to watching the adult birds feeding their babies while they learn to find their own food. But apparently the neighbor’s yards are better suited for that. I have yet to be able to observe this. I’m going to have to hang a bluebird feeder with some meal worms under the arbor before they nest again.

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