Mama now has five eggs in her second clutch of the year. Her first clutch of four resulted in all chicks fledging. It’s been cool, 48 degrees yesterday morning, so she is spending quite a bit of time in the box to keep her eggs warm. Daddy is the consumate provider for his family and periodically brings Mama a bug so she doesn’t have to leave the box.
Incubation is a period of relative inactivity for the bluebirds. No extra mouths to feed. Daddy is an excellent bugger and has no problem keeping Mama supplied with food while she is on her eggs. He often dives off his backyard perch and comes up with a bug at distances up to 60 feet. I often wish I had his eyes.
Eastern Bluebirds currently have a conservation status of “Least Concern.” But, that hasn’t always been the case. Populations fell in the early twentieth century as aggressive introduced species such as European Starlings and House Sparrows made available nesting cavities increasingly difficult for bluebirds to hold on to. Their eggs and young were often destroyed by the invasives so they could take over the nest site. In the 1960s and 1970s establishment of bluebird trails and other nest box campaigns alleviated much of this competition, especially after people began using nest boxes designed to keep out the larger European Starling. Eastern Bluebird numbers have been recovering since. Legions of conservation minded volunteers made a difference in this species’ persistence. Establishing a bluebird trail or just a box in the back yard is one of the best things you can do for yourself and bluebirds. With the scale of other like-minded people, you can make a difference.
Eastern Bluebird eggs hatch in 12-14 days. So, Mama’s clutch should hatch about 02 June. Until then, the bluebirds will have some R & R time to recover from the rigors of raising their first brood and then it all begins again.
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
- Incubation begins 20 May