Feeding bluebirds?

I have bluebirds nesting in my bluebird house again this spring. This time there are six eggs in the nest. If you read my earlier posts on bluebirds you will see pictures of several stages in the growing process.

But I have been disappointed every time the babies fledged. I’ve never seen it happen and the birds mysteriously disappear as a new nest is begun. I don’t know for sure if they have successfully fledged or not. I know the mocking birds give them a hard time throughout the nesting process, so maybe once the babies fledge they find a safer place to finish their parenting role.

So here is my dilemna. I want to keep the babies around so I can watch them too. I plan to set out a feeder to entice them to stick around. But bluebirds eat expensive food that the mockingbirds will also want to eat. I need a bluebird feeder that is the right size for the bluebird while the larger mocking birds can’t get to the food.

I hope I have a few readers who can offer some suggestions on how to feed bluebirds without feeding the mocking birds as well.

Bluebird nest catchup time

Feed me!The second baby bluebird hatched on June 22 which is unusual. Normally bluebirds don’t start incubating the eggs until all are laid so the babies will all hatch on the same day. Since South Carolina had some extremely hot weather about the time the Mama bird was laying eggs, I suspect incubation began immediately without the parent birds sitting on the nest. That would cause the eggs to hatch one a day because they are laid one a day. This picture was taken on June 24th

I’m glad to see that these babies are both alive and growing. They usually lay so still when I peek in on them that I’ve often wondered if they were alive.Sound asleep

The second picture shows the same babies photographed on June 27th. They were sleeping so soundly that I moved each just a little with my finger to see if they were alive, and I still wasn’t sure. But I could see one of them breathing so decided they were OK. They must sleep through the heat of the day. This has been one hot summer! I wish I could think of a good way to put some shade or A/C on the birdhouse.

Pictures and text copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Missing the bluebirds… Oh wait!

Our bluebirds seem to be gone. I was so hopeful that I could continue to write about their progress every now and then, but I’ve only seen them twice all week.

We moved the second birdhouse across the street so it wouldn’t be too close to a tree or to the first birdhouse. I don’t know if they felt intimidated when we moved the one, or if they had already moved on, or if they began killing each other off fighting over the first birdhouse.

I do see what appears to be a nicely completed nest in the first box. It isn’t just a bunch of sticks, but very well shaped. It appears to be made mostly from pine straw wrapped around and around.

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 Oh, oh!  Joy upon joy! I am looking out the window just now as I write and see two bluebirds fly from our arbor to the birdhouse. 

Maybe they aren’t gone after all!!!!! YES!!! 

I just hope they will stay rather than move on. They don’t seem to hang around long, I no longer see them by the time I finished editing this.