Empty nest syndrome

It’s a dreary day weather-wise made even worse by an episode of empty nest syndrome.  You’d think going through this twenty years ago with a couple of kids would have us prepared, but it’s a little lonely and boring without the bluebird babies today.

They fledged unnoticed during the rain this morning.  When I hadn’t seen either parent for about an hour and there were still mealworms in the feeder, I told Carolyn that I suspect the babies are gone.  After lunch I went out and opened the box to confirm. I really wish we could have recorded the event. I’m guessing the parents have them down on the creek like they did both broods last year.  Mama and Daddy will likely bring them back for a visit in a week or so when they are stronger fliers. Daddy knows where the groceries are.  Last year the first brood babies continued to visit the yard even after the parents were hatching a second brood.

Daddy delivering breakfast in the rain.       Click on photos to enlarge.

Once bluebird babies leave the nest, they won’t return. They are strong fliers by 28 days and can catch food for themselves by the time they are a month old. But in nature, seasons really never end. I always say they just change with the winds. There will likely be a sequel to this story with a second brood in about a month. Last year Mama started building a second nest on 25 May and laid her first egg on 31 May.

The natural world is full of surprises. Just when we were feeling a little melancholy about not seeing the babies off, Mother Nature brightened our day with a burst of color– our first of season Baltimore Oriole. It was sitting on one of our hummingbird feeders sipping nectar. I have an oriole feeder with grape jelly in the back yard but he didn’t find it. Hopefully he will return to one of the feeders.

There may not be much to report for a few days, but you can subscribe to the blog and be notified by email when a new entry is made.  This story is far from over.


  • 14 March First sign of nest-building
  • 16 March Nest completed
  • 20 March First egg laid
  • 22 March Second egg laid
  • 23 March Third egg laid
  • 24 March Fourth egg laid
  • 25 March Fifth egg laid
  • 08 April 3 eggs hatch, two were unfertilized
  • 27 April babies fledged

About lindell dillon

Lindell Dillon is retired and lives in Norman, OK. He grew up in Duncan, attended Cameron College and graduated from the University of Oklahoma. His interests include photography, nature, birding, and investing. Oklahoma Master Naturalist, alumnus Norman Police Department Citizens Academy.
This entry was posted in Birding, Bluebirds, Nature, Oklahoma and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Empty nest syndrome

  1. Swampy says:

    Sorry you missed the fledging. Would you go down to where you think they might be to see if you can see them? Nice pics throughout.

  2. lindell dillon says:

    Swampy, I can see a lot of the creek area from my house. Binocs are always handy and a 60x scope if I need to id a bird. I also have some neighbors on the lookout. I suspect Daddy will show up for mealworms in the morning and will gather up a mouthful and take to the babies. I’ll try to track him.

  3. kateri says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your blue birds with us. I will be looking forward to updates.

  4. kimberly roulet says:

    The fledglings will be fine. Just like the kids that flew Mom and Dad’s coop 20 years ago. Mama and Daddy did a good job just as you and Mom did. The work is still not done… They have so much to learn 🙂 I’m preparing as we speak. I only hope I have done a good job. Dillon is testing his wings. He’s ready to fledge… Hope UNT isn’t far to fly. I sure hope he sings like a blue bird when he gets there! Love you guys! K

  5. Memories of when my fledglings left the nest. It was an empty feeling for a while, but when we adjust to the change, we find more good things to occupy us – like bird watching!

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