On 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.
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