Inside a Bluebird Box

You know you are getting old, when you watch birds every morning, afternoon and evening.

Far Guy and I have two pairs of Bluebirds, one set near the house and another set along the driveway. We watch for them everyday. I know where to look, I know where the male loves to roost to defend his area. He is not bothered by our activity in the yard, or Chance playing ball. In fact he seems to watch the crazy dog sometimes. Bluebirds are gentle little souls, they aren’t flighty like the Goldfinches, they aren’t pushy like the Blue Jays. They seem very task orientated, and non social, everything they do is for the nest and the babies. Seems to me that there are some human parents that could take a lesson from the Bluebirds.

Far Guy was concerned one day, he said "I think there is a problem with the nest." He thought there were babies, and now they were gone..so it would be time to clean out the nest. They have been here since early April, so this was a possibility. I took my camera and we investigated. Far Guy wore gloves, even though they have a really poor sense of smell, and will not abandon a nest box if you open it.

We opened the nesting box, there were eggs! Once we saw the eggs we made our investigation so quick that we didn’t count the eggs..but we think there were three. I think they hatched on Thursday, that evening was the first time I saw the male with worms dangling from his beak on his roost in the Oaks.

Female Bluebird resting on the nesting box/bluebird house

Did you know that only the female Bluebird has a brood patch? It is a bare patch of abdominal skin..which makes her the nest sitter. It also makes her mate the nest watcher, and watch he does.. I have only seen them on their branch together a few times…I would like to get a photo of them together. Of course I would also like to get a photo of the baby Bluebirds fledging from the nest too…once they have fledged and the nest is empty, the box should be cleaned out, they may use it again to build another nest and raise another batch. It seems heartless to remove the empty nest, but all the "experts" say that you should. So I guess we will..unless she lays more eggs again before we get it cleaned out.

I am not sure how many of you are following the Live Loon Cam here in Minnesota, but this is the week! Larry thinks that the eggs will hatch sometime between Tuesday and Thursday. It is really something to see! The link is to the right on my page:)

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One Response to Inside a Bluebird Box

  1. Avatar of Kay Syvrud Kay Syvrud says:

    Bluebirds so near you can watch them! I envy you because as a child I always wanted to see a bluebird but my Dad told me that they lived in the deep woods…once, when we were in the deep woods at his deer “shack” he pointed out a bluebird to me and I got a fleeting glimpse. I think we have them in our woods but we are pretty high above the woods so the sight of bludbirds is still pretty rare. Have you seen a picture of “The Mad Bluebird”? I have a Mad Bluebird banner (for outside) but I hung it up inside so I can look at it. If you have not seen the MB, type in “Mad Bluebird” on Google and there is an interesting website about how the photographer got his now-famous picture.