Happy little bluebirds

“Birds fly over the rainbow, Why then – oh, why can’t I? If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow why, oh why, can’t I”   Lyman Frank Baum

It looks like this brood is going to consist of only two babies.  I opened the box this morning, planning to remove the two unhatched eggs and was surprised to see the bluebirds had removed one egg. I removed the other and performed a crude backyard necropsy.  There was an embryo, but it was far from mature.  My guess is the heat got to the unhatched eggs.

Click photos to enlarge.

It amazes me how the bluebirds instinctively know how to care for their babies.  When the chicks are small, they feed small bugs only.  So small sometimes I can hardly see the bug in their beak. As the chicks grow, they begin to feed bigger bugs and the mealworms I provide.  I haven’t seen them feed any mealworms to these two chicks.  This morning Daddy began gathering up worms in his beak, which usually means he is taking them to the babies.  But then, he just wolfed them down.

Second Brood Summary

  • First sign of nest building                28 June
  • Nest completed                                    01 July
  • First egg laid                                        03 July
  • Second egg laid                                    04 July
  • Third egg laid                                       05 July
  • Fourth egg laid                                     06 July
  • Incubation begins                                08 July
  • First egg hatches                                  19 July
  • Second egg hatches                             20 July
  • Unhatched egg removed                     24 July

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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3 Responses to Happy little bluebirds

  1. Dori Schneider says:

    My Bluebird Journey began this summer. I have been researching and reading everything I can since this little family joined our farm and laid their first eggs in our lowered martin house. I purchased a bluebird house on line after reading much about bluebird houses. They now have a second brood of 4 eggs in their new house which have not hatched yet. I worry this is due to our extreme heat. We will be moving the bb house to another spot after their eggs hopefully survive. It is July 27 and the mama bb is still busy sitting on the eggs. Do you think they will hatch? Could you offer some advice? I read you had tried to cool down their house.
    Teacher (of 27 years) from central Kansas! Dori Swenson-Schneider

  2. lindell dillon says:

    Locating the box so that it will get shade is the best solution. I moved my box after the babies died of heatstroke so that it gets afternoon shade, and two of the four eggs still didn’t hatch. I still pour water on it mid-afternoon. I can’t help but think about the thousands of nestboxes that are sold everywhere and placed out in the direct sun. You know when we have these large scale heatwaves, thousands of baby birds die.

    Bluebird eggs hatch in 12-14 days after incubation begins. If they haven’t hatched by day 15 in this heat, they aren’t likely to. Best to remove them and the nest. Good luck with your bb’s.

  3. Dori Schneider says:

    Thank you for your reply. We are going to move the bb house to a shader spot. It is probably too late for the eggs to hatch… How sad. I worry about the mama bb if she sees her eggs and nest gone. Thank you again.

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