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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!!!!

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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