I must preface this blog with the fact that birds are extremely difficult to photograph—especially bluebirds (BB), who are the most timid of my back-yard birds. Therefore I apologize in advance for the slightly blurry images submitted here. All exposures were taken at maximum zoom through a window with solar film.
Yesterday morning I set up my tripod to capture a long awaited event—the fledging of three BB nestlings resting in my back yard bird box. Eighteen days had elapsed since I spotted the four perfect blue eggs and both parents have been very busy since they hatched. I am unable to supplement the bluebird diet with meal worms, as the resident mockingbird gobbles them up before the timid blues fly in.
Last year I had no nesting bluebirds. Tree swallows inhabited one bird box, and greatly entertained me with their beauty and impressive flight pattern. The year before, four BB nestlings died from a blowfly infestation, yet the remaining nine-day-old nestling survived following my emergency transport to the Waynesboro Wildlife Center across the mountain. Therefore with some trepidation, I spruced up my two nest boxes for the 2012 season.
Mary Mockingbird was mellow this spring and left the BB pair alone as they considered the remaining box. The other box was claimed early by a chickadee pair who raised two chicks out of six eggs.
The adult BB pair took turns feeding and observing as the three nestlings took turns poking their heads out of the opening. Alas, at eleven AM, I had to go on an errand, only to return to find the box empty—fledge successful.
The yard is not so interesting today, as it is quiet, except for Ethel, the flightless young Grackle, and of course, Mary Mockingbird, the bird who refuses to find another yard to inhabit.
Both bird boxes now stand empty, perhaps beckoning another brood. I look forward to being witness to this ongoing life process. As a monitor to both blue birds and butterflies, my life is enriched as never before.
So I ask you: when you are driving your automobile, slow down for the birds and flutterbies who cross your path, as their effort to thrive/survive in the wild is enormous, yet our benefit even greater.
And remember to slide your mouse over these images for captions.
Copyright © 2012 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved