Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bluebird Update . .

They've hatched!  I know because I opened the box to look inside, when I was sure both parents were gone.  I think it happened Sunday, April 17 (my grandson's third birthday :-).   For two weeks, Sir Bluebird has been ever watchful of his home, perching at various places around the yard while Madam sits on the eggs.  She peeks out of the house occasionally, leaving only for short periods---to take a break?  Find food?  Go potty?  All of the above?  She never stays gone long.   Yesterday, Sir began entering the house for the first time---briefly and often, leading me to suspect he had new mouths to feed.

Too bad photography is not in my skillset.  This is the best I could do with Sir on his most frequent perch, the dying dogwood near the nest.

According to the North American Bluebird Society it is okay to peek in the nest while they are still young, so I did.  I waited until Madam flew out and away, and Sir was nowhere to be seen.  Bingo! A lumpy ball of gray fluff in the deep of the nest, with one wobbly wide open mouth emerging from the fluff---BIG mouth, bright yellow rim of beak and inside lining.  Camera couldn't see inside, but I could. And such a beautiful nest.  Notice the green moss from the yard.

Now counting days to make sure I get to see them fledge.  NABS says the eggs incubate for 13-14 days, and once hatched, the nestlings stay in the nest 17-18 days.  By my calculations, that makes fledge day fall on May 4 or 5.  I will begin my all-morning watches on May 1st, to be sure.  The other three fledges  I've observed since beginning this blog (brown headed nuthatches and house wrens) have all happened between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m.  Clearing my calendar now, dear reader. dkm

10 comments:

Book Worm said...

So fun! Hope you get to see the big day.

Niki said...

aw Sir Bird is a stunning blue. Beautiful photo. Cant wait to see the bubby.

Jane Robertson said...

This is exciting - I have an ear-to-ear grin! I love the wooden nest box (did you make that especially?). And your Sir Bluebird is just as blue as the ones I googled.

Isn't the timing wonderful. I know that chicks will start to hatch 21 days after the beginning of incubation. We are surrounded by little daily miracles...

I hope they all make it safely to adolescence and adulthood :)

dkm said...

Yes to the small miracles of natural order---and to the joy of noticing. I only wish I could be as orderly in my habits!

You raise chooks, too?

The bluebird box was purchased at my local hardware store. Has a National Audubon Society stamp on it. The top hinge makes it easy to clean out at end of season---and to peek inside mid-season! I've read that bluebirds are on the comeback thanks to a recent campaign to put up boxes across the country---they had been in a serious state of decline after their habitats were nearly destroyed by development in the U.S.

Jane Robertson said...

Yes (to chooks). That was how I got to know Niki. I bought hens from her (on TradeMe) and so met Niki and Geoff :-)

dkm said...

To Jane: Way cool. I assumed you were family friends from way back. Love these internet trans-city, trans-country, trans-world connections. Eventually it may be the path to World Peace :-)

Bookworm: Do you have a blog? I'd like to return the favor.

Patricia Lichen said...

What fun! I love that you've calculated out when they might fledge (and here's hoping for better success than last year). And yes, the moss is a nice touch--your bluebirds have quite the eye for decorating.

Jane Robertson said...

Love the squirrel!!

Niki said...

Awww the squirrel. Gorgeous haha :)))))

Nicole said...

They are such beautiful birds!