Mama starts her fourth nest

IMG_6640 copyAs I suspected, Mama II is building another nest.  I first saw her carrying grass into the new box in the back yard on 12 July.  She was busy yesterday morning, but took a rest in the hot afternoon.

Click photos to enlarge.

To bring everyone up to date, the bluebirds raised a brood in the back yard early this season.  A second clutch of 5 eggs was destroyed by a HOSP.  A third nesting off our property resulted in 4 fledglings that are still following the adults.  So this is Mama’s fourth nest to build this season with two successful fledges.

A cool front has moved into Oklahoma bringing unseasonal temperatures and rain today, so I don’t IMG_6645 copyknow how much Mama will get done on her new nest.  Just like my dear departed Daddy, Daddy II doesn’t participate in the nest building other than acting as building inspector.  Every time Mama brings in a mouthful of grass and leaves, he sticks his head in the box and inspects her progress.  He is still feeding the juvies some, but I haven’t seen Mama feed them since she started building her nest, despite their begging.  I’ve observed them catching bugs and they are adept at chasing down a flying bug and have the keen bluebird eyes.  All four were in the yard most of yesterday.

This cool weather won’t last long and the hot Oklahoma summer weather will return.  Heat is the enemy of bluebird nests this time of year.  I have the box placed so that it is shaded in the afternoon and that will help, but heat will still be a challenge.  Most of the time, my backyard bluebirds have attempted four broods and the last one is the most difficult on the adults as well.  They work hard to produce and feed their young and it takes a toll on them; they are always noticeably thinner and worn looking by the end of summer.   But these birds are young and strong, so they should be able to stand up to the rigors of nesting.

See more bluebird and nature photos on my flickr stream

IMG_6676 copyOne of the juveniles.

Fourth Brood Summary

  • First sign of nest building                12 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 Mama starts her fourth nest

  1. Jo Ann says:

    Have enjoyed your posts.
    I had my second set of bluebird eggs. They took over a tree swallow nest. Four eggs. They hatched on 7/9. Have been watching through a scope to see if parents feeding young. They only go to nest occasionally. Finally looked two days ago, and there is no sign of the babies.
    I have a raccoon baffle on the post to this house.
    Can you give me any idea what happened to the babies?
    Parents are still around. Nest is still in box.


    • lindell dillon says:

      The babies were to young to jump out. Something must have defeated your baffle, maybe a snake. I’d check the baffle to be sure it will stop a climbing snake.

      • Jo Ann says:

        Thanks for your insight. Haven’t seen many snakes around here, but they sure could be.
        We are in an oak savanna. Plenty of high grass.
        Baffle is a black textured sleeve, about 24″.
        Could have been.
        I can hope they will re-nest.

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