Lots of courtship, increased interest in the nestbox and a little false nest building going on, but no real nest building. Still, it’s early. Baby birds are fed an entirely insect diet and right now it would be difficult if not impossible to provide that if the bluebirds had babies. Nature works in mysterious ways. The persistence of species over millions of years is evidence they get it right most of the time.
Photos by L. Dillon. Click to enlarge.
An interesting side note. I’ve noticed that if I ask folks if they’d like songbirds in their yard, the answer is a universal ‘yes’. But, if I ask them if they can tolerate a few bugs in their yard, the answer is almost always ‘NO!’. Folks, if you want birds, you have to tolerate a few bugs. Planting fewer ornamentals and more native species in your yard and on your property will assure that you enjoy more songbirds, hummingbirds and butterflies. I use almost no insecticides on my lawn or beds. I love it when the caterpillars strip my blooming Tropical Milkweed. I know that beautiful Monarchs follow.
My pair of bluebirds is young and inexperienced in nesting, but the instincts are instilled in them. I wouldn’t be surprised if one or both of these birds were hatched here on the red dirt hill. My old bluebirds would take babies to the creek when they fledged, but then after a week or so, bring them back to the yard. I’ve heard folks talk about their bluebirds bringing the babies back to show them off– and the same with whitetails and their fawns. But the naturalist within says it’s for the free mealworms and a safe drink of water. Just like that old saw about men, ‘the way to a bluebird’s heart is through it’s stomach’. Providing mealworms will keep bluebirds visiting your property and encourage them to nest nearby.
See more photos of bluebirds and nature on my flickr stream http://www.flickr.com/photos/reddirtpics/