Thursday, April 14, 2016

Bluebird Nestwatch, Day 51

  I think, I hope, it's possible…they've hatched. Circumstantial evidence suggests hungry new nestling bluebirds, still too tiny to peep. Not 100% sure, since I can't hear them yet, but there's a lot more entering and leaving of the nest today, by both parents, at closer intervals, like every ten minutes. At least once I saw him enter when she was away, with a morsel that he prepared by smashing it on a bare branch before taking it in. Feeding babies?

But, boo-hoo, unless I've calculated wrong, this means I'll miss the fledge, as I'm scheduled to be out of town from April 27 to May 10th. Guidebooks offer different timetables, but the range for time from hatch to fledge is generally 15-21 days. If today is hatching day, then fledge day could be anytime from Apr 28-May 4. Poor timing for a trip.

Worthy trip, though. First to Boston for the New England SCBWI spring conference, then to Lansing, Michigan for one daughter's graduation, followed by a birding expedition at Indiana's Chain O' Lakes State Park.

 If I clean out the nest on return from trip, and if I'm lucky, the bluebirds will start another brood. The other two bluebird nestwatches I've conducted both ended in disappointment. One year I missed the moment of fledge for a doctor's appointment (grrr!). Another year the eggs never hatched (reason unknown), though the parents gave it a valiant effort, tending the eggs for about two weeks beyond normal hatching time before finally abandoning them.

Here's hoping 2016 will be the year. dkm

The eggs that never hatched,  May 2012 

One day after missing  the fledge, May 2011


Jane Robertson said...

Oh, I hope so too Deb. I hate to think of Mr and Mrs putting in all that work for no outcome. The eggs are the most beautiful blue.

Vernon Rempel said...

Thanks Deb