I 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 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 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