I’ll just give you the bottom line first– the babies didn’t fledge on day 17. But, they are getting close. When the parents deliver bugs now, they don’t go into the box like they have previously. There is no need to because the hungriest baby will be waiting at the entrance when they arrive. The first pic shows Daddy delivering a meal.
After feeding the baby, Daddy landed on the roof and you can see another baby peeking out wondering where his meal is. Right now they are only peering out of the box if one of the parents is present. When they start peering out without the parents around, they are thinking about making the leap into this big wonderful world.
Click on photos to enlarge.
The bluebirds get yard visits from close to thirty species daily and generally ignore and get along with most of them. They know the birds that are threats to their nest and the ones that aren’t. House Sparrows and starlings immediately put Daddy in attack mode. Native sparrows feed on broadcast grain daily and the bluebirds pay them no mind. We do have an occasional disagreement if one of the scissortails or mockingbirds decides the nest box makes a good bugging perch.
Daddy has become almost a pet. I can’t go out into the yard without him coming and giving me his melodious greeting. My son came down yesterday and we were installing a cool shade on the west side of the patio which is near the mealworm feeder. Daddy spent the entire time in a little Live Oak tree or perched on the gutter calling to me. I don’t understand all the bluebird dialect, but I think his call translates into something like, “Hey, LD, can you spare a few worms?”