Four eggs in the nest …

IMG_0512As soon as we returned from our trip to High Island, TX and I got the car unloaded, I went out to check the nestbox.  It contained four perfect little blue eggs!  Four is a good brood number.  Five babies crowd the nest and makes the parents work harder to

Click photos to enlarge.

feed them.  Hopefully they will all hatch and the babies fledge, but nothing is ever for certain.  You can see some pics of our High Island trip at https://www.flickr.com/photos/reddirtpics/sets/72157643287582273/

Since Mama laid her first egg on 27 March, and assuming she laid one a day consecutively, that would mean the last egg was laid on 30 March and incubation would have began on 01 April.  Most of our clutches have hatched in 13 days, but it is cooler this spring, so it might be a day longer.  That means the hatch date should be 13 or 14 April.  Mama will spend a lot of time in the box for several days.  Mother birds seem to have an innate thermometer to determine if eggs need warmth or not.  Cool mornings– Mama is in the box, warm afternoons– she and Daddy may be off bugging.

I still have a pair of House Sparrows around some, but with the Sparrow Spooker installed IMG_7058on the box, they should not enter it. Once there are eggs in the box, Mama’s maternal instinct is stronger than her fear of the waving mylar strips on the spooker and she goes in and out without any hesitation.  It’s a good device for bluebird hosts, but should be just one part of a strategy to keep sparrows from destroying chicks and eggs.  If I get more than a couple hanging around I set out my live trap from SparrowTraps.net.  House sparrows love white millet, so I don’t feed it except a short time in the spring when buntings are migrating through.  The rest of the year I feed only black sunflower.  The sparrows will eat it, but it’s not their favorite food.

Well, nothing for us to do for the next few days except sit back, relax and wait on some little hairy bluebirds to peck their way out.

Total bluebirds fledged from this nest site since 2009 is 49.

First 2014 Brood Summary

First sign of nest building                10 March

Nest completed                                  25 March

First egg                                               27 March

Fourth egg (assumption)                 30 March

Incubation begins                             01 April

 

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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.
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2 Responses to Four eggs in the nest …

  1. pamcolander says:

    Glad the sparrows left them alone while you were gone, whew! We have two pairs of WBbs duking it out over nest boxes right now. They are SO slow in getting with it here.

  2. Our Eastern Bluebirds began nest building last week here in New Jersey. I’ve got a Hawk Eye spy cam in the box which streams remote to my television 24/7. I post clips onto Facebook on the Great Backyard Bird Count page. If you’d enjoy seeing a clip or two, I’d be happy to send it along!

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