I 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 eggshells, 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