As the pressure of population increasingly regiments us and crowds us closer together, an association with the wild, winged freedom of the birds will fill an ever growing need in our lives.
– Edwin Way Teale, introduction to Songbirds in Your Garden, 1953
We took a short trip to Prosper, TX, for the Fourth of July weekend. I expected the eggs to hatch around 07 July. But when I checked the box after arriving home on the Fourth, I found two newly hatched chicks and one little blue egg. I checked a few minutes later and the remaining chick had hatched and Mama had eaten the eggshell. Female bluebirds eat the eggshells to replenish depleted calcium levels in their bodies.
Recently a raccoon has been raiding the yard at night, tearing up bird feeders and opening the birdseed storage barrel. Not one to underestimate the persistence and ingenuity of a raccoon, I worried that when the eggs hatched the chicks would be a midnight snack for this marauder. A little peanut butter in a live trap and Rocky was soon in raccoon jail. He was not a happy camper, tried to bite and urinate on his jailer. Terms of his release were that he move to a neighborhood with no human neighbors. Up until his release, Rocky claimed he was ‘entrapped’. Some FeBreze was required post release. The things I do for these bluebirds!
It’s hot now and heat is a killer of bluebird eggs and babies. I have the box located so that by early afternoon it is in the shade of a live oak tree. The Sparrow Spooker is attached and we are ready to rear these babies. Most of the time our babies fledge on the 17th day. That means these should hop out into the big wide world on 21 July. Hopefully this will happen with no drama.
Total chicks fledged from this site is 67.
Third Brood 2016
- First sign of nest building 15 June
- Three eggs 21 June
- Three eggs hatch 04 July