Our first brood of the year fledged about 11:45 on 14 April. I invited a friend and fellow wildlife photographer over for the big event. We sat out for over two hours before he gave up. A few minutes later the first baby jumped out on untested wings and took flight. It landed on a neighbor’s roof and just like always, the parents called to it and guided it down to the big pecan trees on the creek.
One baby stayed in the box for some time after the first five made the big plunge. I wondered if it was the one that hatched a day later. Just a day makes a difference in the development of baby birds. At any rate, it’s good to have produced our first brood. We are having significant rain now, but not cold, so the babies should be fine. The parents will continue to feed them. Within a month after fledging baby bluebirds are self-sufficient.
I’ve talked a lot about House Sparrow control in this blog, but it is absolutely mandatory that if a host lures bluebirds near human structures for their amusement that they take measures to protect them from certain mayhem from HOSP. I received a phone call late yesterday from a neighbor who has two babies in his box. It’s likely that his adult bluebirds came from my box, so I feel a special kindred to them. A male HOSP had just entered his box and roughed up the babies. Fortunately Ken was looking out and saw the sparrow when it entered and immediately intervened. I offered him the use of an arsenal of sparrow control items, use of my BB gun, a repeating trap and my Sparrow Spooker which is not in use right now. He will pick up the spooker today and install. We will get Ken up to speed quickly so that he can protect his bluebirds.
Please! If you can’t or aren’t willing to deal with House Sparrows, then don’t put up a bluebird box. If you have sparrows nesting in one, remove them and take down the box. Don’t contribute to the demise of bluebirds. The North American Bluebird Society has an excellent online fact sheet on sparrow control. The repeating trap photo is one I contributed, and you will see several sparrows inside. http://www.nabluebirdsociety.org/PDF/FAQ/NABS%20factsheet%20House%20Sparrow%20Control%20-%208Sep12.pdf
Total chicks fledged from this site is 67.
First Brood 2016
- First sign of nest building 01 March
- Nest completed 07 March
- First egg 09 March
- Second egg 10 March
- Third egg 11 March
- Fourth egg 12 March
- Fifth egg 13 March
- Six egg 14 March
- Incubation begins 15 March
- Five eggs hatch 27 March
- Sixth egg hatches 28 March
- All babies fledge 14 April