By now followers must realize my adoration of the US Native Bluebird. Four years ago, with the help of three bluebird experts, I joined the ranks of bluebird monitors. After a few rough starts and mortality rates, this year appears to be my most successful year. The following photos were shot this morning through my glass door, so some may appear blurry, yet the moment cannot be replaced. I hope that you enjoy!
for clarification this slightly blurry shot shows the predator guard acting as a perch for the 28 day old bluebird chicks. I rigged this private BB feeder in an unused BB box noel guard. It has worked splendidly–keeping other birds out.
28 day old chick safely explores the feeding ground below main feeder
adult male feeds chick and is instrumental in keeping fledglings healthy with food
OK, Smarty, as I named him, is the first chick to actually fly up into the private BB feeder
female adult perches amongst the chicks, as she has already completed her second nest in the other box used earlier (cleaned out by moi). I expect new eggs any day now.
Smarty enjoying the morning sun and awaiting more mealworms
notice Smarty’s blue tail feathers…at day 28 already we can see Smarty is a male. And how VERY adult he looks ~ very streamlined!
clever Smarty turned to the feeding bowl
I know, I am guilty of sharing too many photos, yet moi feels like a proud grandparent, with the hard parts left to the adult bluebirds
I surmise these three chicks are the ones that fledged first, before the last two from this clutch. If you recall, the last two chicks fledged two days after these, and I believe that somehow they do not associate themselves with the first three. I spotted a single chick with the adult male yesterday, a loner, who flew directly into my glass door window (despite the window ribbon) as I stood there, gasping. It was not killed, and flapped its way over the rooftop. The fifth chick alludes me to date. I shall hope to see all five together in order to soothe my concerns.
Observing wild birds can be difficult at times, as Mother Nature will take her course, despite the best efforts by moi. After all, I can only help so much, yet the hand wringing continues…
If you wish to see my other bluebird posts, merely type the word bluebird into the search bar on this site. I invite comments from readers more experienced than I. Yet, today I am one proud and grateful bluebird monitor. Kudos to the many naturalists who monitor bluebird trails and cope with hundreds of these beauties.
At home, garden, life, one box at a time is all I can manage.
Update as of 5/31. This face-guard is my adaptation to keep a nosy Thrasher out of the mealworm feeder. She happened by when adult BB was feeding the chicks. This quick contraption, made from another butter box, works perfectly.
PS I should mention another bird blessing this spring. A pair of robins decided to build their nest in the Little Gem magnolia, just outside my bedroom window. So close is the nest, that I merely need to glance through the pane to see their chicks eagerly gaping for food. A first for this birding woman, and a joy to behold.
PPS Just spotted Uno (the chick who crashed into the door glass yesterday) at the feeder. Female adult ignored it, yet in zoomed the adult male, who promptly stuffed Uno’s gullet with mealworms. Yay!
And off in the distance the din of a zillion cicadas….
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