Empty nest syndrome …

IMG_8087 copy‘Empty nest syndrome’.  It’s my guess this phrase was originated by some bluebird host a long time back.  Somewhere along the way psychologists applied this condition to

Click photos to enlarge.

humans to refer to the depression, anxiety and over-concern about children when they leave the home.  Sort of reverse anthropomorphism.  At any rate, the babies fledged today and we are missing them and the constant presence of Mama and Daddy in the back yard.

Two of the babies must have fledged before sunup.  I opened the shutters before sunrise and looked out to see Mama with a bug and assumed the babies were fine and would likely fledge today.  One fledged shortly after eight o’clock after peering out for a few minutes and conversing intently with Daddy who was in a nearby tree. Mama flew in front of the little one, calling and leading him to the safety of the mature pecan trees on the creek 60 yards away.  I’m always amazed their little wings can fly that far on the first attempt.

The last chick was reluctant to leave the box.  It would stick its head out and make jerky IMG_8084 copyfalse jumps, but would chicken out at the last instant.  At one point it  went back inside the box and Daddy took it a mealworm. Finally, it got back up and perched in the hole, again making false jumps and then losing courage.  Eventually, it stretched out too far, fell down and couldn’t get back. Eventually it tired and had to let go.  It dropped a foot or so before the untested wings got some lift and then flew to a tree in the back yard.  It remained there a few minutes with the adults fussing worriedly over it before Mama led it to the others down on Turtle Creek. When the adults didn’t return, I decided to check the box and discovered I’d missed the first two leave.

This successful fledge brings the total of babies produced at this site to 49.  That’s a lot of bluebirds for this red dirt hill.  I have to admit, it makes me feel good.  Hosting bluebirds is more work than most realize, but the successes are so sweet.

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

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
  • 4 babies fledge                                      20 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.

4 Responses to Empty nest syndrome …

  1. pamcolander says:

    That’s a LOT of BBs! Glad you care enough to host them and that you got good fledging pix.

  2. Margaret says:

    Congratulations, Lindell. Hard work being a good host.

  3. Rose Marie B says:

    Lindell,
    I’m so happy that you were able to see the fledglings take their first flight! I always breathe a deep sigh of relief when the baby blues leave the nest. You’re working as a very close partner with Mother Nature and admire your work so much. Thank you for the bluebird joy that you share with us.

    Best wishes from another bluebird lover in Red Dirt Country,
    Rose 🙂

  4. lindell dillon says:

    Not much going on with the bluebirds. The adults have spent very little time in the yard since this last brood fledged. My guess is there won’t be much to report for awhile.

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