We have babies!

IMG_7389 copyIt’s always a big event on the red dirt hill when we hatch bluebird babies!  I had predicted a hatch date of 02 August and one egg did hatch late in the afternoon of that

Click photos to enlarge.

date.  The other three hatched the following day. My daughter and her family from Texas were here and got to see them as well as my son and his wife.  Neighbors came over to look, too.  It’s amazing that the bluebirds are so receptive to my showing off their babies.

Mama II and Daddy II just sit on their perch and watch, but don’t fuss or seem nervous.  My original Daddy would dive bomb strangers.  This pair is really not aggressive enough.  They don’t do a good job of running away sparrows like my first pair.  The original Daddy would chase sparrows with such zeal, most would just leave the area because they knew they were going to be under constant attack.  Maybe as these birds mature they will be more protective of their nest.

When I found the first chick had hatched, the few feathers  it has were not yet dry.  Mama IMG_7418 copyhad eaten the eggshell, as females do, to replenish the calcium in their bodies.  One more egg hatched the next morning and the final two later in the afternoon.

Hatching babies use an “egg tooth”, not a real tooth but a small sharp temporary
structure on the top of their bills, to cut through their shells from the inside. You can see the “egg tooth” in the photo.
Using a special muscle in the back of its neck an embryo rubs its egg tooth against the shell, which has already been thinned and weakened as the growing embryo absorbed calcium from it for its bones.
When the shell is finally cut, the hatchling works itself free of shell membranes and separates itself  completely from the shell halves.

Today the work really begins for the adult bluebirds.  For seventeen days it will be bugs in– poop out from daylight til dark.

See more bluebird photos on my flickr stream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/reddirtpics/sets/72157627747745082/

Total bluebirds fledged from this nest site since 2009 is 45.

Fourth Brood Summary

  • First sign of nest building                12 July
  • Nest completed                                   15 July
  • First egg                                                16 July
  • Second egg                                            17 July
  • Third egg                                               18 July
  • Fourth egg                                             19 July
  • Incubation begins                                20 Jul
  • 1st baby hatches                                   02 Aug
  • 3 babies hatch                                       03 Aug
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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.
This entry was posted in Birding, Bluebirds, Nature, Oklahoma and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to We have babies!

  1. Great news and great photos!

  2. Margaret O'Brien says:

    Great news and photos, Lindell.

  3. Wazeau says:

    woohoo! Great photos, such hungry little mouths.

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