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 false 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