First 2016 brood fledges

bluebirds 123Our 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 bluebirds 050wondered 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.

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



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.
This entry was posted in Birding, Bluebirds, Nature, nature photography, Oklahoma, photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to First 2016 brood fledges

  1. Jim K says:

    Interesting! Because of our cold and delayed spring season here in NY state, my bluebirds are just completing their nest. I also live close to Lake Ontario and any breezes out of the north are very chilling. Maybe the southern tier away from the great lakes may have had an earlier spring for bluebirds (??). Jim-In-NY

  2. Margaret says:

    Wonderful shot of the fledgling’s first flight. And as always, intelligent commentary.

    • lindell dillon says:

      Thanks for your encouraging words. Hosting bluebirds is a labor of love. The good far outweighs the bad.

  3. Clint Thompson says:

    Hey Lindell……..Clint Thompson here. Kathy Thompson’s hubby. Great blog and interesting. I see you are putting your retirement time to good use. Me…I finely gave up the full-time duty after 45 years on three continents. I have written for Knives Illustrated for 14 years and now I am writing for Harris Publications as well. Some time I would like to check out your Blue Bird operations and catch up on what has happened in your family and life. Be save….Clint Thompson405-476-7369    “Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.” John Basil Barnhill, 1914   GOD BLESS AMERICA    

    • lindell dillon says:

      Good to hear from the Thompsons. Tell Kathy hello. Sounds like you are enjoying retirement, too. I attended the Norman Police Dept’s Citizen Academy in 2013 and I’m our neighborhood watch coordinator. Pretty much just hiking and taking nature photos. Check out the flickr nature group I host

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