Mama completed her second nest of the season on 14 May and rewarded us with a little powder blue egg the following day. Weather continues to be wet and punctuated with periods of thunderstorms. Normally bluebirds will lay an egg a day until a clutch is completed, but sometimes they skip a day or two in bad weather. It usually take a bluebird about a week to build a nest, but Mama is a fast nest builder when her instincts kick in.
Once the first egg of a clutch is laid, I put the Sparrow Spooker back on the box. This is a V-shaped frame with strips of reflective mylar that pretty much keeps birds spooked away. Mama’s maternal instinct and her familiarity with this nestbox overcome her fear of the fluttering streamers. She and Daddy are familiar with it and pay it no mind.
The taxonomic name for the Eastern Bluebird is Sialia sialis. Sialia is the Latinized, neuter plural version of the Greek word sialis, a noun meaning a “kind of bird.” The Eastern Bluebird was the first bluebird classified by Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778), so he gave it the species name sialis. He placed it in the genus Motocilia, which is now reserved for the wagtails. In 1827, William Swainson decided that the bluebirds needed a genus of their own within the thrush family (Turdidae). He selected the generic name Sialia which he simply adapted from the species name sialis that Linnaeus had used. Therefore, the scientific name for the Eastern Bluebird is Sialia sialis. By whatever name the Eastern Bluebird is an extremely beautiful little bird that is cherished by legions and well documented in literature and song. And for sure, my favorite bird.
I have been buying live mealworms at Petco to feed the bluebirds for years. Tried raising my own, but found it was more trouble that it was worth. I ordered 2,000 large worms from Rainbow Mealworm Company this week and they have already arrived. Big, fat and juicy. The birds love them. Ordering is cheaper than buying from Petco. I paid less than $20 including shipping and the same quantity from the retailer would be over $40.
Total chicks fledged from this site is 61.
Second Brood 2015
- First sign of nest building 11 May
- Nest completed 14 May
- First egg 15 May
- Second egg 16 May
- Third egg 17 May
- Fourth egg 18 May
- Fifth egg 19 May