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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The First 18 Days in the Life of a Baby Bluebird

Well----many of you know that our first batch of baby Bluebirds disappeared a couple of months ago.  After that happened (we think it may have been a snake) ---we bought a new baffle to put on our nestbox pole.

Daddy Blue found himself a new woman ---and they immediately tried again... I didn't take a photo but I peeked into the nest and saw 5 little eggs toward the end of May.  I was so excited---yet a little worried,   just hoping and praying that this little batch would make it!!!  But I was also excited to be able to use my new toy.

In April, George bought us a Radio Frequency Shutter Release...  To put that in 'my' terms,  it's like a remote control for the camera... I can set the tripod up near a spot (like the nestbox) ---and sit WAY back out of the way.  When one of the birds would go to the nest,  I would CLICK that photo...

Above is a picture of my 'set-up'.   You can see the nestbox with the new baffle --and you can see my camera and tripod.... Needless to say I have spent some time in the backyard watching these busy Bluebirds  this month.  




Five Bluebird babies ---born on June 1, 2012
On June 1st ,   I looked in the nest and there were 5 precious little baby birds  (pictured  above)... I had done my research and knew that  on Day 5-8,  they open their eyes;  on Day 13-14,  they begin making blue feathers;  on Day 14,  some of the babies start looking out of the nestbox;  and they can fledge anytime between Day 16-21,  typically on Day 17 or 18.  If you read my blog post from June 4 (click HERE),   I predicted that these little bluebirds would fledge (leave the nest) on June 18th....Guess what????  I was RIGHT!!!!




Five Bluebird babies ---10 days old
Here is the only other picture I took of the Bluebird babies, inside the nest.  (Be sure to click on this one to enlarge it.)    I'm always afraid to open the lid --for fear of scaring them and making them try to fly out.   This picture was taken on June 10.   I marked all five of these little guys for you to see... See how much they have grown in 10 days??????  They are even getting some feathers.  Imagine how crowded the nest got by Day 18!!!

By the way,  Bluebirds are VERY clean birds.  Both parents feed the little ones,  and Daddy takes the fecal sac (poop) out of the nest ALOT....




Daddy Blue feeding the babies
As you can imagine,  I took probably 175 pictures of the Bluebirds this month....  I want to share with you a few more ---leading up to  their day of leaving the nest.

This picture shows Daddy bringing some delicious food to the babies...  I think it may be suet --since the Bluebirds love to get the suet and take it to the nestbox...




Mama Blue feeding the little ones
Here is a picture of Mama at the nestbox.  You can tell that Mama Bluebird has much more gray in her than Daddy's vivid blue color.




Bluebird peeking out of the nestbox
These are always some of my favorite photos.... I love seeing those new babies looking out at this big ole' world.....  Can you just imagine what they are thinking?????   Bet they are afraid... I would be,  wouldn't you?




Welcome to the world,  Baby Blue!!!!
Aren't they just precious????   Can you imagine my excitement getting to see all of this????  I will say that Mom and Dad Blue (mostly Dad) were both VERY VERY protective of these little ones,  as fledging day drew nearer.   Dad actually dive-bombed me when I got too close to the nestbox on Sunday.   I looked up at Dad and said: "Hey You---don't you know that I'm the woman who FEEDS you?????"  ha ha




One of the Baby Bluebirds in the grass --after leaving the nest
I had George helping me take pictures on Monday morning --when they all left the nest...  George got all of the way flat on the ground to get this photo of one of the little ones.   (George will say:  "See what I do for love?"  ha ha)




Baby Bluebird --in the grass,  after fledging--on June 18, 2012
Finally,  here's a good one I got of one of the little babies.   Isn't this just awesome?  Look back at what they looked like 18 days before...    Such a huge change....  Isn't he a Cutie???

I did see one of the little ones actually leave the nest --but didn't get a picture.   BUT--I'm hoping to see them at our bird feeders in a few weeks --once they learn how to fly well and once Mom/Dad bring them here to eat.

Now---I wonder if Dad/Mom will try again!!!!   Sometimes they do and sometimes not... I'll just have to wait and see!!!!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
As if this is not enough excitement around here,  we are also getting a new deck --and getting our house painted....    SO---all of our birds are not going to be very happy with all of the excitement around here for a few weeks....   Fun Fun !!!!!

Have a wonderful day.

Hugs,
Betsy

78 comments:

Maple Lane said...

Wonderful shots of the bluebirds, Betsy. Have a good day.

Ms. A said...

I envy you being able to see the blue babies hatch and grow up, the work on the house and deck, not so much. That's always better when it's over!

eileeninmd said...

HI Betsy, I love this bluebird post. Bluebirds are my favorites. The babies and juvies are so cute. Great setup for the camera. George is wonderful too, he took some cute shots of the baby. I hope to see some more soon. Have a great day!

Andrea said...

OMG Betsy, you got the best photos! I remember the previous egg posts, and now these. I love the ones peeking on the window or is it the door? How i wish our orioles are not so high up on the tree so we can also watch the young ones when they first left the nest. My nephew just said the youngs stayed on the branches for one day before finally flying out of the canopy. He saw also that the tails are still short like your baby blue on the ground! Congrats for the lovely shots.

Pam said...

Those are wonderful!! We don't encourage nesting around here because of the cats, though we have a baby robin that is just adorable and spends most of it's time splashing around in our bird bath.

Valerie said...

So amazing!! Love! Love!! Love!!! your photos of the whole process! Thanks for sharing all of it. School is almost done - 3 more days (all cleaning and packing). Can't wait to have time to sit in my yard to watch the birds!! (and maybe pull a thousand or so weeds - that are overtaking my yard!!)

Gail said...

Great shots. It is amazing how fast they grow.

RoeH said...

Sure wish we had bluebirds here. They are just adorable!

From the Kitchen said...

I love seeing baby birds all snuggled together in the nest. Amazing photos.

Best,
Bonnie

Mamabug said...

What a great series of photos Betsy. That last photo was just so sweet. Thanks for sharing the story of this little family.

Brenda said...

Oh, Betsy, HOW EXCITING!! It's wonderful that you got to record "the growing up" of the little ones! Your pictures are wonderful. We had bluebirds one year. I took many photos. I'll have to get them out sometime and share them. But when it's time to teach the little ones how to fly, they don't like you being around. We were sitting on the porch one morning. The daddy bird kept diving bombing us until we went inside and then I saw them bring the little ones out to fly. I watched from the window. It was just magnificent! And tell George it's WONDERFUL the many things he does for love! All is appreciated. My husband will get gas in my car the night before and say to me the next day, "Did you see the love this morning when you drove to work?" I always see the LOVE! Once again, Betsy, GREAT JOB on documenting such an event. I LOVED IT!
Brenda

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

This may be my favorite post of yours I've read. Love getting a glimpse into their growing lives!

FlowerLady said...

Fantastic photos, thanks for sharing this lovely event.

FlowerLady

Jeevan said...

Wow!! Glad to see they get grown in your yard and guard :)
Simple superb shots... esp. the baby bluebirds on ground! Congrats Betsy and George :)

I enjoyed this post and its so peaceful to check

Have Fun

Janice K said...

Wow, Betsy....What a way to start the day! I bet you were anxious to get up every morning to see what was going to happen next. I am so happy for you that you were able to watch and get pictures of these precious moments. Your pictures are great...Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

Donna said...

These are incredible! Thank you so much for sharing! 18 days, huh? At our former home we had a birdbath right outside our kitchen window. I got to watch a new bluebird mom & dad teach their little ones to wash up. It was a hilarious to watch. The momma bird had to keep nudging them into the water and then would start flinging water on them. Dad mostly did "lookout" duty. If you have a birdbath, you might want to keep an eye out for this kind of event!

Wanda plain~N~simple said...

Betsy, I am so happy that Daddy Blue found himself a new partner and all the new baby Blues survived! I love the photo of the baby peeking out of the nestbox! ♥

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Betsy this is better than reading about the birds in a field guide. I love watching the little ones take that first wobbly flight.I have seen Wrens do it a few times,but of course no pictures.

Anita Johnson said...

I'm so glad I stopped by today! Congrats on these sweet babies! We have had the saddest summer with bluebirds...3 batches of eggs destroyed and one female killed. Our male (we can tell by his banded leg) found a new female and they have 4 eggs now...I sure hope they make it this time. After the nesting season we plan on moving the boxes to change things up! Great photos!

linda m said...

Very happy to see that your hard work paid off. I am so glad the babies made it this time. The pictures you took to document their progress are awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Happy@Home said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I love all birds, but I think bluebirds are my favorite. The first time I ever saw one was in my parent's backyard in Fairfield Glade. Since then we have put out two nestboxes and enjoyed watching them set up housekeeping. If you have a chance, stop by my blog and read my recent post about our latest little family.
Your photos are wonderful. I love the little baby in the grass.

EM Illustrator said...

Wow! How lovely to see these pictures of these baby bluebirds. I really enjoyed it. Have a great day!

Hugs,
Eva

Sandra said...

those remote clickers are really cool, i saw a man on a video i was watching on youtube using one for macro shots of tiny things on the table, it keeps the camera movment to nil. great job on the photos and those babies are A-dorable!

MTWaggin said...

Very fun and you did a great job with your new toy. I was just sitting on the deck listening to the large family of baby mountain bluebirds in my one pine tree last night as well.

Darla said...

Excellent post! Love watching nature..the little birdie peeking out of the nest box looked as if he wasn't sure about this big ole' world. The things Mr. George does for love, lol. You can also put oil on the post..

Linda said...

How blessed you were to be able to see and photograph all this. The last photo, of the baby in the grass, is superb.

Susannah said...

Oh Betsy...this was wonderful to be able to see the little blue birds growing up and leaving the nest! What marvelous pictures! I hope the Mom and Dad have another set of babies.

Small Kucing said...

Betsy, you must have spend a lot of time watching them. The photos are awesome. :)

Katherine Aucoin said...

Betsy, you really got some up close and terrific shots of the babies and they are adorable!

I have 4 finch eggs in a nest in my fern on the front porch, my second batch this season. Now I'm going have to really keep an eye on them!

Shug said...

What a neat gadget for the camera...I just might have to look into getting one..
These are wonderful shots of these precious baby birds.....
Happy that they made it...
Have a great day..
Shug

TexWisGirl said...

i love the ones peeking from the box, too. congrats on a successful fledge!

Jeanne said...

Isn't it amazing how fast they fledge! I've been watching the Decorah Eagles on live cam and they are just now fledging and I think they hatched the first week in April.
Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures!

imac said...

Great record of the birds Betsy, love the pics.

Sylvia K said...

I do love all your pics of the Bluebirds and babies! How delightful! I, too, love seeing them peeking out of the bird house! Thanks for sharing, Betsy! Hope you're having a wonderful day! Enjoy!

Sylvia

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

This is an awesome post, Betsy. I love Bluebirds and it was fun to see the progress of these little ones. I sure hope they all do well and come to your feeder! And, I love your bluebird house...mind sharing where you got it?

Cicero Sings said...

Neat how you were able to capture pictures of the birds throughout their new life beginnings.

Twilight Man said...

Oh My God! Your photos are lovely and that was a fantastic job of yours! National Geographic would be ashamed if they didn't hire you! I think the baby blue said ... Hello Betsy! I love ya! Thanks for the home....

Happyone said...

Great shot of the baby bluebirds. What a great nature show!

Rose said...

Oh, Betsy, they are adorable, sure would be fun to sit and watch them. I don't think I would get anything else done.

Ginny said...

Oh my, these are wonderful, Betsy!!! You really put in your homework and it shows! If I had a tripod, I would get one of these remote control things. My favorite is the one George took laying down! Your pictures inside the house are top notch and could be in a nature magazine.

LV said...

Betsy I do believe this one wins the blue ribbon far this week. That is awesome how you captured so many different aspects of the birds. My son uses some type camera out where he hunts.

Fun60 said...

What a great post.I can feel your excitement as I read the blog. The pictures of the young ones peeping out of the hole in the nest box are adorable.

Terry and Linda said...

My blog post today is about Terry's Dad's and Grandfather's Dairy. I thank you for your comment! Terry's says we've improved because we aren't milking and delivering milk!


Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

Pearl@serenitycove said...

They are so cute! It's so much fun to watch them. Glad this batch made it okay. I had a nest of baby robins disappear which I think was a snake too. Nasty snakes:(
Enjoy your new deck! We need a new one too but have to get the roof replaced first. Always something!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Absolutely precious Betsy !
Just look at that little Bluebird, as cute as anything, I hope mom and dad bring them back to your garden often....
Well done to you and George for the effort it took in documenting this event !
~Jo

The Incredible Woody said...

Wonderful! Thanks for sharing!!

Ann said...

what a wonderful new toy and how cool to get those shots. They are adorable.

Busy Bee Suz said...

The first photo of the baby looking out from the nest is priceless. "What'cho talking' bout Willis?"
Glad this family survived....I do hope they make more.
Love your fancy smancy set up; George is awesome!!!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh, and best of luck with the deck and painting. You'll not have any peace for a while.
xoxox

Arvind said...

So even in bird community dad cleans the poop :D :D Nice shot btw and great detail out there.

Denise said...

What great photos of these little bluebirds Betsy. So happy to hear there were no problems this time. You and George sure poured a lot of love into making sure they were safe and happy this time.

Susie Swanson said...

Awww, thanks for the tour .I enjoyed these so much..They are so cute, especially when they fly off the nest..I love your equipment, wish I had something like that..Hope those birds are not to upset over the new deck..We put a roof on our deck last year and they are having a time playing in my Hanging pots of Wave Petunias..Hope you have a great week, stay cool...Susie

Daisy said...

How exciting to get to watch these little birds until they left the nest. You got some great pictures, Betsy. I know how much you must have loved being able to watch them grow.

Nellie said...

How very exciting! Our neighbors have a blue bird house, but we have never seen any hatch. We will occasionally have a dove that will make a nest under the overhang on our shed, but we haven't been able to see much with any babies.

Lynn said...

Betsy, You newest toy appears to be awesome, especially in situations like watching the baby birds in their nest. Amazing captures. God has such a sense of humor in nature. The female is drab, while the male has vivid, beautiful coloring! Always think this watching the mallard ducks I so love watching. Glad these little ones made it this time. Am sure you timed the building of the deck and painting of your home to coincide when the babies would be out of the nest. I really think a huge sign proclaiming, "Betsy's Bird Resort" would be fitting in your yard. You love the little creatures so. How can anyone look at one of those little birds in the next, follow their growth and see them on the grass in 18 days and not see the Lord? Such beauty in nature just proclaims his wonder and love for us. Blessings.

Rohrerbot said...

Congrats Betsy!! That is very exciting and I'm glad you fixed the nesting site up to prevent more mysterious diappearances:) It's very exciting to watch it all happen. I know what you mean about snapping shots of the babies. I felt the same way with our owl nest....and I still continue to track them as you'll see in a post coming up. Pretty exciting stuff. But also thank you for all the detail and work you put into this post....showing the set up and putting the numbers on the birds...that all takes time and it looks great. You both must be proud grandparents:) Enjoy and take more shots...they are such beautiful birds. And glad this is turning out well for everyone.

Grandma Bonnie said...

I just love your photos. The babies are so cute. It is so nice to see them grow up.

Out on the prairie said...

I got a few shots today of some early fledges. Love to always see them.

Karin said...

Thank you so much Betsy for sharing this whole process with us! I would never get a chance to see that in real life! Too cool! Love your equipment and that George would get way down to some special photos eye-to-eye as it were!

Chatty Crone said...

Betsy - I have never seen anything like this in my entire life! This was wonderful and thank you. Tell George thanks too. It was all worth it.

Those babies were so cute. And I wonder how long the parents stay with them once they leave the nest.

Very interesting!

sandie

Faye said...

Excellent, excellent post Betsy. Have never had the pleasure of such a closeup viewing of bluebirds. Every year a robin builds its next in the viburnum outside my front window so I can peek out the window and keep track of what's going on.

Those little bird heads peeking out for the first times are beyond precious.


Good luck with the deck project. My neighbor just built a screened in porch--I'm envious.

Pat Tillett said...

WOW! What a fantastic photo story Betsy! They were all so darn cute! Great job...

Rose from Oz is Back! said...

This is amazing Betsy and YES I can only but imagine your total and complete excitement and pleasure with this delightful endeavour. Just loved it!

Relindis said...

An exciting story and fascinating photos of it. It must be a pleasure to sit and watch these activities and the photo equipment must help.
Hope you can take a look at my new blog. I deleted my others earlier in the year and have started afresh.
My photos do not compare to yours as I take mine on a small digital, but my blog gives a 'flavour' of my life in words and pictures.
Have a good weekend, Betsy!

Farida of In Love With Sunflower said...

Wow, amazing! My nephews would surely love to see these in person though I promise myself to let them have a glimpse of the many photos you have provided :D

Betty Manousos said...

i thoroughly enjoyed your narrative and shots, betsy.
what an amazing process, thanks so much for sharing it:)

have a great day!

big hugs!

Nava said...

Betsy--LOVED seeing this. Precious. We have one box with the blue eggs--and another box where they have hatched. I liked seeing your box--and how you have put the armor around it.

amelia said...

These are beautiful pics Betsy! For the first time ever, we have bluebirds as we are now in a bluebird friendly location. We watch through the binoculars as they come and go to the nest box. The previous owners of our farm put nest boxes everywhere and we also have tree swallows nesting which we have never seen before either. Also in the nesting boxes.

ladyfi said...

Wow - what precious shots! So lovely.

Carletta said...

I'm so glad this little group made it. For me it's always nice to see new life happen in nature. And yes, your little bluebird reminds me of my little mockingbird. I can only imagine what they think of the big ole world out there waiting.
Have a good day Betsy!

carolina nana said...

What wonderful photos, that remote was worth the money on this one thing ! And the pics of the babies in the grass are precious.
I'm resting today and hoping for rain
Blessings
Marilyn

Beth said...

Betsy, your pictures are just wonderful! I love them all, but am partial to the ones of Baby Bluebird looking out at the Big Ol' World out here. You did the right thing to put the baffle on there. One year, we had a black snake somehow get past the baffle on our bluebird house pole, but luckily, we were able to grab him before he made it to the house. Well, I say "we" grabbed him, but actually it was my husband. Snake grabbing is not my thing. :-)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Precious post, Betsy! It was fun to see the blue birds grow up in your photos!

Annie said...

Joining the choir of adoring fans, Betsy. They are so adorable. I'm ooohing and aaaahing over my keyboard and Don thinks I'm in pain. LOL

SquirrelQueen said...

They are soooooo cute!
That is quite the set up you have for getting photos of these little guys and their parents. You and George got some really great photos of the family. I love the ones of the babies peeking out of the nest box.

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

What wonderful photos you got of the blue birds. The photo of the one looking out of the nest is just precious. Looks good for the new baffle helping too.
Congrats on the blue birds.
New deck and painting. Your place is going to be spiffy!

Marie said...

So exciting, Betsy! Such a wonderful way to get to enjoy these sweet little ones. I know you were thrilled to get your new gadget and be able to set the camera up to capture all the fun! LOVE the photos!

joy said...

These birds are so cute and it as very exciting to see their developement. Thanks for these Betsy:)