Just six days after her second brood of two babies fledged, Mama is working hard at building another nest. It usually takes several days to complete one, but this one is mostly done. Mama has done all the work. I haven’t seen Daddy bring in any grass. But, each time Mama leaves the box, Daddy sticks his head in as if to inspect her work.
Mama with some prairie grass. Click to enlarge photos.
The photo on the right shows the nearly completed nest. It is intricately woven, mostly of Little Bluestem from the red dirt hill behind the house. Bluebirds always build a nest with a deep cup. Occasionally there may be some fur or feathers in the lining of the cup which is usually 3-4 inches deep. I’ve read that Eastern Bluebirds sometimes include pine needles as nest material, but I’ve not seen it in central Oklahoma.
The mockingbirds are also building a second nest. Thankfully, it’s not near the bluebird box this time. They have selected a Nelly Stevens Holly in the front yard. It’s a thickly-leaved, stickery bush that should serve them well.
I saw the two juvenile bluebirds from the second brood yesterday while at a neighbor’s house across the road. Her property backs up to Turtle Creek, where Mama and Daddy always take the babies after they leave the nest. I’m certain it is them since Mama and Daddy paid them a visit while I was watching. This morning I saw one on a neighbor’s roof begging Mama to no avail. She is busy nest building; I think the second brood juvies are on their own. I also saw a young male bluebird that accompanied Daddy to the mealworm feeder. I’m thinking that he is probably one of the first brood since Daddy normally won’t tolerate another male bluebird in sight of the box.
Third Brood Summary:
- 16 June First sign of nest building