Five little blue eggs …

bluebirds 012 copyOn a cold, windy, rainy Spring morning Mama laid her fifth little blue egg.  She is not incubating yet, so maybe she is not finished with this clutch.  I’ve only had six eggs once before.  Five babies fill the box to capacity as they grow and are a chore for the adults to rear, although food is not a problem as I supplement live mealworms for the chicks.  I suspect tomorrow morning will tell the tale.  Most likely Mama will begin incubation.   Then we just sit and wait for them to hatch.

Daddy III will most likely bring her some bugs while she is in the box  on eggs.  This is the first brood he has sired here, so he is a new father.  He does have some experience feeding and caring for babies after he became a surrogate daddy after Daddy II’s death last July.  Watched him take a few sunflower seeds from the tray feeder this morning, something the bluebirds seldom do.

A little Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)  taxonomic history:   Sialia is the Latinized, neuter plural version of the Greek word sialis, a noun meaning a “kind of bird.” The Eastern Bluebird was the first bluebird classified by Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778), so he gave it the species name sialis. He placed it in the genus Motocilia, which is now reserved for the wagtails. In 1827, William Swainson decided that the bluebirds needed a genus of their own within the thrush family (Turdidae). He selected the generic name Sialia which he simply adapted from the species name sialis that Linnaeus had used. Therefore, the scientific name for the Eastern Bluebird is Sialia sialis (pronounced see-ahl’-ee-ah see’-ahliss). The Western Bluebird and Mountain Bluebird, the two other species within the genus, were named Sialia mexicana and Sialia currucoides (coo-roo-coydees) respectively.

Photo of the nestbox with a Sparrow Spooker and baffle installed.  Baffles keep snakes from climbing into the box.  They have an uncanny ability to locate baby birds.

bluebirds 014

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
  • Second egg                                                                           22 March
  • Third egg                                                                              23 March
  • Fourth egg                                                                           24 March
  • Fifth egg                                                                               25 March

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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3 Responses to Five little blue eggs …

  1. jpinok3 says:

    I am seldom able to comment, but I enjoy your photos, and today’s additional history of the taxonomy was very interesting. I didn’t know bluebirds and thrush were in the same category, though it makes complete sense.

  2. Margaret says:

    Thanks for the update and the additional information, Lindell. Seventy fledged from the site is impressive. If not for dedicated hosts such as yourself, would the bluebird likely be extinct because of the House Sparrows? Do the HOSPs have the same devastating effect on the other species of bluebird?

    • lindell dillon says:

      The construction of bluebird trails by countless people across the country have improved bluebird populations immensely. So far as House Sparrows, they are associated with human structures and seldom found in wilder habitat. The problem there is European Starlings. They compete for nesting cavities and destroy nests of not only bluebirds, but various woodpecker species and other cavity nesters. Conversion of woods to agriculture and development have also reduced nesting sites.

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