A pleasant surprise!

Sometimes I like to be proven wrong– not often– OK rarely.  My pessimism in  Mama Too’s brooding abilities seems to have been unjustified.  I pretty much had it in my mind that these eggs were not going to hatch and I would have to remove them and the nest and just move on to round two.  Not

Click photos to enlarge.

the case.  I knocked gently on the box yesterday afternoon to make sure Mama T. wasn’t inside and was shocked to find a baby when I opened the door.  His head fuzz was dried out and all the eggshell was gone, so he had probably been hatched for a few hours.  Female bluebirds eat the eggshells to recover the calcium their bodies deposited in them.

This morning a second egg has hatched.  Today is the fifteenth day after the completed clutch.  Now I’m optimistic that the third egg will hatch.  Daddy has been busy this morning bringing teeny bugs to the newly-hatched chicks.  Even when mealworms are available, he knows they are too big for new babies and opts to bug the field behind the house for small bugs.  The more bluebirds on this red dirt hill, the better life is and life is good this morning.

I’ve previously mentioned the necessity to control House Sparrows if you host bluebirds. Over the winter I only had a couple of them visiting my feeders, but in the last few days about a dozen have become regulars.  New babies in the box demand a  little pre-emptive action.  I opened up the House Sparrow Hotel ( sparrow trap from sparrowtrap.net) and within a few hours 10 guests had checked in.  This is not an enjoyable aspect of hosting bluebirds, but a necessary one. HOSP’s are notorious murderers of bluebird babies and adults if they catch them in the box.  They will move right in and build a nest on top of the bluebirds’ corpses.  If I allowed a dozen sparrows in the back yard, I doubt these babies would survive, so one does what one has to do.

Brood Summary

  • Nest completed by previous female
  • First egg laid                                           28 May
  • Second egg                                               29 May
  • Third egg                                                  31  May
  • First chick hatches                                 13 June
  • Second chick hatches                            14 June

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.
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5 Responses to A pleasant surprise!

  1. Rose Marie B says:

    Yay Lindell! I’m so happy to read about your surprise…I have to admit I was a little sad for Daddy & Momma II with your last post. Go Babies Go! 🙂

  2. Wazeau says:

    So glad you were wrong 🙂 Looking forward to watching this batch grow up.

  3. lindell dillon says:

    As of 10:00 a.m. today the third egg is unhatched. Other two babies are doing fine. I showed them to some neighbors this morning. Didn’t have my camera outside with me, but when I cheeped, they both opened their mouths. Yesterday they were too weak to raise their heads. Hope the third egg hatches, it’s overdue.

  4. SHARI says:

    My fifth Bluby egg was laid May 27 and none have hatched. Mom and Dad are still in and out. The eggs feel warm to touch. Do you think they are still viable? What do I do? Last year I had 6 Bluby eggs that didn’t hatch (same box). I was gone for the summer so I could not monitor it, but I wonder if this is a repeat.:(

    • lindell dillon says:

      The eggs should have hatched within 14 days. Not going to hatch at this point. I’d remove the nest and eggs and let the bluebirds get on with another brood. Could be the eggs were unfertilized or maybe got cold or too hot, don’t know where you are.

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