Second brood hatches …

18364026441_cb443610ff_oI had calculated that our second clutch of eggs would hatch on 02 June.  I missed by a day.  Yesterday afternoon I was sitting on the patio enjoying an adult beverage imported from Scotland, waiting on my brother and sister-in-law to arrive for some grilled steaks.  Mama had been in the box a lot, indicating the eggs were about to hatch.  She flew out while I was sitting out there and Daddy flew up and peered inside the box.  He started flying excitedly back and forth to his favorite perch and back to the box to look inside.  At this point I decided that something must be going on in there.

I opened the box and three of the five eggs had hatched.  Mama had already eaten the 18196057309_0bf715ba95_oeggshells, as female bluebirds do to replenish their calcium-depleted bodies.  This morning I checked and the other two have hatched.  See photo.  The chick in the foreground still has wet feathers, indicating it has just hatched.  Again, Mama has eaten the eggshells.  Their eyes are large and closed for a few days.  A high-pitched series of cheeps fooled them into opening their mouths to be fed.  I always feel a little guilty fooling helpless little birds.  But, they will get plenty of bugs.  The adult bluebirds are already out catching bugs so small that it’s difficult to see them in their beaks.  They instinctively match the size of bugs to the size of the chicks.

Just hatched chicks have a little bit of dingy gray down,  and their eyes are closed. The babies heads look huge. Their wings are nubs, and legs are weak and spindly. They are uncoordinated, raising their heads weakly and unsteadily, and can make faint vocalizations.

Our bluebirds usually fledge in 17 days, which means they will enter the big wide world about 19 June.

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
  • Three eggs hatch                                                                  01 June
  • Two eggs hatch                                                                     02 June

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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4 Responses to Second brood hatches …

  1. Margaret says:

    Great news, great commentary and great photos. I’m glad you enjoyed your adult beverage. Love your blog.

  2. Dori M. Schneider says:

    Mr. Dillon: I have a question and thought perhaps you could help.
    I have been wanting to move our Gilbertson bluebird box out of the direct sun; last year, the second brood did not make it due to the heat. My husband and I moved it tonight about 15 feet from the original place. However, the mother and father bluebird have successfully had their first brood of five, and already have one egg laid of their second brood. Will this movement mid-brood negatively affect the bluebirds and this second brood, and will the mother and father be able to find the house?
    I so much enjoy reading your blog, and thank you for any insight you may have.
    Dori Schneider~Kansas

    • lindell dillon says:

      I move mine routinely to keep it in the afternoon shade and the bluebirds don’t seem to pay any mind to it.

  3. Dori. Schneider says:

    Our bluebird laid her second egg in her moved box! What a relief! We hope having it more in the shade will help this second brood survive in the Kansas heat.

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