Yesterday we celebrated our first little blue egg of the season! It’s cool this morning, so possibility Mama III might not lay another today. Bluebirds can lay an egg per day, but it’s not unusual for them to skip a day, especially in poor weather. I moved the box so that it is now in afternoon shade and will put the Sparrow Spooker on today. It’s a device that attaches over the box with waving mylar strips that keeps sparrows away. Once the bluebirds have an egg in the box, Mama’s maternal instincts will be stronger than her fear of the spooker. House sparrows will destroy bluebird eggs or kill babies to nest in the box. It’s incumbent on bluebird hosts that lure birds near their homes to protect them from marauding HOSP’s.
It will take Mama 5-7 days to lay her complete clutch of eggs and incubation will take 12-14 days. She won’t start (Photo is Daddy staking a claim on the back yard) incubation until all the eggs are laid. The first brood of the year is generally the easiest. The parents are rested and have strong instincts to fledge babies. As the summer temperature rises, heat can addle the eggs or kill chicks. That is why I have my box rigged up so that it is easy to move (even with eggs or chicks inside) to keep it in the afternoon shade as the sun marches north to the Summer Equinox and back south again. We are looking forward to another productive season for the bluebirds on the reddirt hill.
Total chicks fledged from this site is 70.
First brood 2017
- First sign of nest building 11 March
- Nest completed 18 March
- First egg 21 March