“All bluebirders must feel like “one of the chosen ones” when we are fortunate enough to have nesting bluebirds on our own property…. “- Lillian Lund, Sialia, 1984
Still not a lot going on around the house with the bluebirds. They continue to show up every morning and take mouthfuls of
Click photos to enlarge.
mealworms to the babies that fledged. One day they flew a quarter-mile north across the bare hill to some tall trees with the worms. Only time I’ve seen young birds anywhere except in the big pecan trees down on Turtle Creek. Check out the photo of Daddy II with a huge mouthful of worms. I count 8.
I first observed the adults ferrying worms to the babies on 29 June, so I’m somewhat surprised some of the juveniles haven’t followed the parents to the yard in the mornings. Maybe we will get a glimpse of them soon. A bluebird can fend for itself when its about 30-days old, so the parents won’t be feeding them much longer. I suspect they will think about attempting another nesting soon. Hopefully in the back yard this time, although they haven’t shown much curiosity about the new nestbox.
Another nesting during the dog days of summer will be tough on the adults and babies. We lost a brood to heat last summer during a string of 100+ degree days. Nestboxes in the sun can reach temperatures 20 degrees hotter than the air temperature, even more if they aren’t ventilated or are painted a dark color. Make sure nestboxes have ventilation holes and place them in the shade if possible. Mine is mounted on a piece of electrical conduit that slides over a piece of re-bar driven into the ground. I can easily move the box as the sun travels back south to keep the box in the shade of a small live oak in the hottest part of the day.
The bluebirds have some new neighbors, a pair of Eastern Phoebes and a juvenile are in and out the the yard daily now. The one in the photo is just using the box for a bugging perch, they have no interest in it as a nest site.
Stay tuned, we’ll report any nesting activity. I don’t think it will be long, I just hope it will be here.