Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bluebird Blog #1

I have put off posting for a brief period because I've been having photo software problems with the computer and didn't want to do the first bluebird post until I had some pictures to share. However, the issue is still not resolved and if I don't get busy blogging, the baby birds will have grown up, fledged and flown the nest before I get Bluebird Blog #1 posted. So... here goes.

It was my lucky, lucky day about three weeks ago when we were sitting on the screened porch one Sunday afternoon and I noticed one of the three pairs of Eastern bluebirds flying in and out under the awning of the garden shed. Sitting atop a great old potting bench are several birdhouses, two of which are open-fronted A-frames with baskets in the bottom of them. I could have sworn that those bluebirds were checking out one of those nesting boxes, but surely not. The box wasn't the right dimensions, the hole (there is no hole) wasn't the right size, it wasn't facing the proper direction.....all the things I'd always heard that bluebirds demanded of their nesting spot were wrong. As fortune would have it, this pair of bluebirds apparently had not read the nesting manual and the rules governing where they will and will not nest. So I watched.

Yes! Sure enough, the female bluebird was definitely checking out the open-fronted A-frame on the left--the one that was slightly obscured by some pots sitting in front of it. After a couple of hours of watching her rather intently, she took off to fetch an insect or two for supper and I took the opportunity to very quietly sneak over and check out the nesting location. The nest was there--perfectly built, but as yet unoccupied. I would wait.

Monday morning dawned sunny and beautiful and again I snuck out to very quietly and unobtrusively take a peek. Gold! One gorgeous little egg. By late that afternoon a second egg had appeared and by Wednesday morning, two more for a total of four. And so the waiting began.

I'm happy to tell you that, two weeks later, we have four absolutely perfect baby bluebirds and they are growing by leaps and bounds. Right now, they're all beak and skin. They're actually sort of ugly--but ugly in the most beautiful way! I noticed today that they are beginning to get a good layer of down on them now, which is good, given that we've had some cooler temperatures the past few days! Their eyes are still shut, but their hearing is incredibly acute. With even the slightest noise, four gaping beaks appear at the top of the nest and it is an absolute joy to see. I am taking pictures when I can, as long as I feel that I am not disturbing either the babies or the parents--so far, so good. As soon as I get this camera software running properly again, I'll post some pics so that you can see the precious young 'uns.

Until then, I'll just keep sneaking out from time to time to see what's going on. And I'll keep you posted!


Grace Peterson said...

Hi Troy~~ What a beautiful story. I could feel your anticipation as the events unfolded. I look forward to photos.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I've never had bluebirds in my nesting boxes. All the literature says they like to nest in cavities so your open box is interesting.

Easier for you to see what's going on. Good luck to the little family.