Our Bluebird Blessings

April 05, 2019  •  1 Comment

Greetings from the Deep South!

This is my first post on my site and I am eager to talk about our resident Bluebirds! I'll start at the beginning.

In 2017 I placed a metal, decorative bird house near our backyard patio to add some whimsy to the yard. One early March day I observed a pair of Eastern Bluebirds checking out the ornamental box. The male brought a small twig to the hole and dropped it in. The female came to inspect, then left. Soon, I noticed both the male and female bringing nesting material to the box. Below is mama with a huge bundle. She was serious.

bluebird nest buildingbluebird nest building

In mid-March three eggs were laid. On April 2, 2017 mom and dad began a flurry of back-and-forth activity. All. Day. Long. Peeking inside the hole, I was excited to see three little hatchlings with yellow mouths wide open, hungrily begging to be fed.

Copyright Gail A. DixonBaby Bluebird

Copyright Gail A. DixonMom with a wormFeeding time!

Then on April 20, the day I left for a girls weekend trip, they fledged (flew out of the nest)! My husband got to see it, but I missed it. :(

Shortly thereafter, the pair, which we named Deacon and Rayna after the Nashville TV show (fictional country singers who began their careers at the Bluebird Cafe), were at it again. The second clutch was a success also; however, by the time they tried for a third clutch, the oppressive heat put the kibosh on the whole operation. Rayna sat on the nest for weeks on end with no babies. I consulted many websites and they said she'd figure it out, to let nature take its course. But after too many weeks and considering the fact that the box was made of metal, I was afraid Rayna would cook herself to death. So one day while she was away, I sadly chunked the whole contraption into the trash. First I candled the eggs with a flashlight, and saw that there was nothing but yolks inside. My instincts were proven right. 

After that episode, I was afraid I'd never see Deacon and Rayna again. Not letting that deter me, I went to Wild Birds Unlimited and promptly purchased a proper Bluebird house. Then I purchased a Gilbertson PVC box online and set it up under the Crape Myrtle tree. In 2018 they returned and we successfully fledged three sets of Bluebirds from the Gilbertson box, losing only one egg this time. They have never used or shown any interest in the Wild Birds Unlimited box.

We had a mild winter, so our pair never left. I can't say with certainty it's the same pair, but we still call them Deacon and Rayna. They are amusing to watch, and for the most part don't mind our presence. I learned that the adults like dried mealworms, so for the price of a bag of nasty looking worms, I am afforded VIP access with my camera. They even let me inspect the eggs/babies inside the box. But if I take too long they begin flapping their wings above me, chattering all sorts of obscenities, I imagine. :)

Since then I've added two more Gilbertson boxes, but they still like the original spot under the Crape Myrtle. Here are a few pics from this year's activity. They laid four eggs with three successful hatchlings. They are getting so big and close to fledging. As soon as they fledge, I will need to remove the unhatched egg.

Copyright Gail A. DixonDeaconDad with dried mealworm. 2019.03.30.bluebirds.GAD_13332019.03.30.bluebirds.GAD_1333 Copyright Gail A. DixonRayneMom observing me from the Crape Myrtle tree  

Well, that's all for now. I hope Spring has brought you some sweet blessings as well. 


Comments

Linda Walcroft(non-registered)
Congratulations to the bluebird family!
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