I think we have Daddy III

thunderbird 218An adult male bluebird showed up in the yard just a day after Daddy II was brutally killed by a roadrunner.  He arrived in the afternoon and just followed Mama III around chortling to her.  She was too busy catching bugs to pay him much mind.

The second day the male showed a definite interest in the babies.  I saw him fly to the box several times after Mama delivered a bug and peer inside.  When I put out mealworms, Mama delivered them to the babies and this guy just had a free breakfast.  I wondered if he would adopt the babies.  His history is unknown.  Is he a young bird that has never mated– an older bird that has lost a mate?  Does he have the instincts to take care of young?

I think my question was answered this morning.  I sat out with my coffee and watched the bluebirds 015box for awhile after putting out some mealworms.  Mama came in and immediately fed  the babies and removed fecal sacs.  The male bluebird never delivered a mealworm, but I watched him bring in three spiders and feed to the babies.   Unbelievable another male could arrive so soon and that he would actually adopt young that weren’t his.  And as a bonus he is already protective of the box from sparrows and starlings.  Mama may have a keeper!  I’m officially proclaiming this bird as Daddy III.  The bluebird soap opera continues on the reddirt hill.  Never a dull moment.  I’m grateful that I’m just an observer and chronicler of the saga, I could never write a script like the one Nature does.

Total chicks fledged from this site is 67.

Third Brood 2016

  • First sign of nest building                                                15 June
  • Three eggs                                                                             21 June
  • Three eggs hatch                                                                 04 July

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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17 Responses to I think we have Daddy III

  1. mark c says:

    I told my wife about the incident with roadrunner. We were both upset by loss of your male. But what a wonderful turn of events! Thanks for posting and good pics.

  2. Tim Wilson says:

    Good news! Nature is amazing.

  3. Margaret says:

    What great news. I’ve been wondering if the female will successfully rear the brood on her own and now this! Nothing will diminish the loss tragic death of your beloved Daddy II, but this new male’s appearance on the scene and his adoption of his new family is really heart-lifting. Please keep us updated.

  4. Pam Colander says:

    This is too good to be true!!! I’ve never heard of that happening but that’s why we learn something new daily. Could he be a past fledgling of RDH???

  5. Juliana says:

    Nature is amazing! Daddy III is developing his parenting skills very quickly. I wonder if the distress call of mama lured Daddy III to the nest box for protection? A male that lost his mate? The unspoken words of the Blue Bird World! Thanks for the feel good story!

  6. Jo Ann Wilkinson says:

    I had four eggs this year, three hatch, and only two survive. But, like you wrote, they fledged on the 17th day. I’m so lucky to have a Bird Cam, so it is on almost 24/7 and helps me monitor for problems. Would love to have a second brood, but hope it’s not too late! I’m in Chicago suburb.
    Do you ever feed dried mealworms? That’s the only kind I can get. Thanks for your posts and most interesting news.

  7. Pamela Colander says:

    Well this is the best, and most unexpected, outcome! It’s really a miracle. Do you suppose it could be a past fledgling from your box?

  8. lindell dillon says:

    Thanks for all of the positive comments. Yes, this is a ‘feel good’ story after a tragedy.

  9. Susan says:

    The bluebirds are lining up to live in your yard Lindell! You’re a great host for them.

  10. Elizabeth Allen says:

    Dillon, Wow! That’s so good to hear! What a lovely turn of events, this will no doubt help you and Mama Bluebird heal from the loss of Daddy II. They are such wonderful birds. I was relived to see my 17 day old babies fledged this morning, all 4 eggs had hatched this time. I saw one baby on the neighbour’s fence before I went to work. We love your photos and updates thanks Lindell.

    • lindell dillon says:

      Congrats on your fledglings! I sat out with the bluebirds this morning (too cloudy for photos) and Daddy III is not only feeding, but participating in poop patrol.

      • Wow that’s awesome!

      • Elizabeth Allen says:

        I’m so happy that Daddy 3 is taking care of the babies in every way – truly good news! They are exceptional birds, I feel SO honoured to have had them nest in our tiny yard here in Edmond. Enjoy all your photos and posts Lindell 🙂

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