The astronomical calendar of heavenly bodies shows the Spring Equinox will occur on March 20 at 5:29 a.m. CDT. Most people consider this the beginning of Spring. The politicians have us moving our clocks forward tonight and some regard that as the first day of Spring. But, on the reddirt hill we know Spring is here when Mama Bluebird brings her first mouthful of grass to the nestbox. That happened this morning. The season of renewal has officially begun.
Last year Mama began her first nest of the season on March 2. She normally starts nesting on a bright sunshine-filled day, but today is gray and dreary. For some reason the alarm on the biological clock in her little body rang this morning.
It will take about a week for her to build a cup-shaped nest and line it with fine grass. After that it won’t be long until the first little blue egg will appear. Another week will go by before her clutch of eggs is laid. Then incubation will begin.
Recall that Daddy III has not been with us too long and this may be the first brood he has sired. Last July with three chicks in the box, Daddy II was killed by a roadrunner. Within days this male was following Mama and jumped right into the role of providing bugs for the babies and ferrying away fecal sacs. Photo is a recent one of Daddy III, he’s prime right now and so is Mama. A season of raising babies takes a visible toll on the bluebirds, especially the females. By August, Mama will be worn and thin. Ready for some time off. The last brood of three from 2016 followed the parents around most of the winter, but I haven’t seen them lately. Daddy wouldn’t allow the males around now that breeding season is here. Male bluebirds are territorial and generally speaking won’t allow another nest within about 100 yards of theirs.
The 2017 breeding season has begun, so we will be making regular entries into our diary. Note that you can subscribe to be notified of new entries.