Growing fast …

IMG_7596 copyI always say bluebird babies aren’t babies long, and they aren’t.  Incredible how fast they grow.  These are 10 days old already.  I don’t open the box after 13 days for fear they might jump and and not stay put when returned to the box.  Fledging just a few days early really decreases their odds of survival.  If you have a baby that jumps out and won’t stay put, try stuffing a sock or paper towel in the hole for about 15 minutes.

The sparrow spooker seems to be working.  I’ve not seen a single sparrow go near it.  I’ve trapped 17 since Mama began laying this clutch of eggs.  I use multiple strategies to deal with HOSP’s.  Don’t feed anything but black sunflower in nesting season, the spooker on the box and trap throughout breeding season. If you want to successfully fledge bluebirds, you can’t just put up a box and forget about it.

I had a person ask me recently about just feeding earthworms to bluebirds.  This is not a IMG_7555 copy good idea, find some live mealworms.  The baby birds’ undeveloped stomachs apparently can’t handle earthworms because of the dirt castings in the worms’ gut. Eating earthworms  can cause diarrhea, which can result in dehydration and death.

See more bluebird photos on my flickr stream at

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

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 Growing fast …

  1. Linda says:

    I put up my first bluebird nest box this spring. Have had 2 clutches. The first clutch had five eggs and we had four babies survive. The second clutch had 4 eggs and 2 hatched but only one survived. I feed mealworms in the morning and evening. I would love to know what nest box you have and the camera inside. I have enjoyed my bluebirds! Can’t wait till spring!

    • lindell dillon says:

      I’ve had a comedy of errors on nestboxes this year. Took down my old one and put up a Gilbertson’s box because sparrows aren’t supposed to favor them. The bluebirds didn’t either, hatched their second brood elsewhere. Bought a new wooden box and the door fell off, just went to Lowes and bought a cedar box that opens from the front. I don’t have a cam in the box, just use my Canon eos7d.

  2. Hi lindell,
    I always enjoy visiting and reading your post. Great pictures, especially of the male bluebird flying from the box. I am doing a Bluebird House give-away on my blog. I hand make these, they make great addition to your garden and the bluebirds love them. I had 3 cycles of bluebirds in this house since April. check it out,

    Unique Handcrafted Bluebird House Give-Away

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