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 know 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 http://www.flickr.com/photos/reddirtpics/
Fourth Brood Summary
- First sign of nest building 12 July