Because the bluebird is beautiful and readily accepts the help of humans, and, because people love to nurture beautiful animals, especially those that are endearing, a strong natural bond is forged between man and the bluebird at the nest box. In many cases, that relationship not only lasts a lifetime but also grows into a greater awareness of the plight of all wild animals and the plant kingdom on which all animals depend.
– Gary Springer, NABS Director, 2005
I mentioned the babies have been peering out of the box lately. This is a sign they are about to fledge. Normally they fledge in the morning, but last night I heard a bluebird calling loudly. Went to the kitchen door and one of the babies was perched off the patio in a Japanese maple. I saw one other on the ground under a Chaste tree. I had no way of knowing how many were still in the box. I could see a head bob up now and then, but no clue of how many were left inside.
I invited a photography buddy to come over early this morning in hopes to get some fledging shots. Turned out that only one chick was left in the box. It took him an hour to get the nerve to jump. He got his feet up on the edge of the hole several times, but would chicken out and jump back inside. This went on for quite some time when a colorful male goldfinch landed nearby. Both cameras were clicking away when I heard the bluebirds fussing and the chick was in the air.
As usual, the parents have them down on the creek in some 80-foot pecan trees. I suspect in a week or so when the chicks can fly better, they will visit the back yard. It’s always gratifying to fledge a brood. I worry about their survival, but I’ve done my part as a bluebird host and it’s now up to the adults’ good parenting and just plain ole luck. Most species have adapted a reproductive process that assures their persistence. Those species that produce many young tend to have high mortality rates in their offspring. Within a month, these chicks will be pretty much self-sufficient although they will follow Daddy around for some time learning survival skills and the best places to bug.
Total chicks fledged from this site is 76.
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
- Sixth egg 26 March
- Incubation began 27 March
- Two eggs hatch 08 April
- Remaining four eggs hatch 09 April
- Five chicks fledge 24 April
- Sixth chick fledges 25 April