Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bluebirds Nesting a Success!

Eastern bluebird
 This is our second year for nesting bluebirds in one of Gerry's birdhouses.

male bluebird
 Even though the female builds the nest and incubates the eggs for about 14 days, the male guards the area from predators. We've watched him swoop down on squirrels who come anywhere near the birdhouse.

  We knew there were babies in the box, you could hear them chirping when the parents left to find food. Recently they've begun to stick their heads out.

There's at least two and they look kind of grumpy. The female will lay 4 to 6 eggs, so they may well be more inside. Wonder if these two are standing on their nest-mates heads.

female feeding young
Bluebirds consume about four grams of food per day, or about 12% of their body weight. This is equivalent to a 200 pound human eating 24 pounds of food each day. Whoever came up with the phrase "she eats like a bird" to mean she eats very little?!

yum! a big juicy caterpillar, thanks dad!
 A bluebird can spot caterpillars and insects in tall grass at the remarkable distance of over 150 feet.
more food!
 Male bluebirds deliver food to incubating females and participate equally in feeding nestlings and fledglings.

come back!!
Nestlings get fed about every 15 minutes but they still act as if they're starving.

The nestlings will finally fledge the nest in 16 to 20 days after hatching. Then they'll be fledglings. They'll stick around and still beg to be fed.

I don't understand why dad is just standing there, doesn't he have hungry mouths to feed.......

   Mom gets the job of removing the "fecal sac"! Gotta keep a clean house!

  Here's another interesting fact I found online.
Bluebirds have no blue pigments in their feathers. Instead, each feather barb has a thin layer of cells that absorb all wavelengths of color except blue. Only the blue wavelength is reflected and scattered, resulting in their blue appearance to our eyes.


  1. Fabulous pictures and narration. I'm becoming a real "bird brain" between the Decorah Bald Eagle nest, our own Philly Franklin Institute RedTail Hawk nest and now your husband and you! Loving every bit of it.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. I so enjoyed reading this wonderful post! Glorious bluebird behavior images! We've had bluebirds nesting in our nest boxes for the last 5 years. One brood fledged last week. They are so much fun to observe. A joy to visit your outstanding blog!

  3. Love your photos and design. Congrats on having a happy bluebird family!