First brood fledges …

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

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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 bluebirds 008suspect 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.

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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




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.
This entry was posted in Birding, Bluebirds, Nature, nature photography, Oklahoma, photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to First brood fledges …

  1. Margaret says:

    Congratulations again, Lindell, on another successful brood. That is such a beautiful image of the fledgling. No wonder people are enchanted by these gorgeous little birds.

  2. lindell dillon says:

    Thanks, Margaret. I should have pointed out that these chicks fledged in only 15 days. Maybe because it was so crowded in the box with six chicks. They were noticeably weaker flyers than most. Hopefully they gain strength soon.

  3. Bluebird Hollow says:

    Yay👌 It amazes me how quickly your Easterns get down to business and our Westerns do not. A pair threw a little grass in the cam box when the swallows showed up over a week ago, then nothing! Had 6″ of snow last night which is almost gone as I write this and they are lolly gagging around still. You will have 2 broods flegded before we have one nest built. Wish Easterns would push a bit further northwest.

    • lindell dillon says:

      We just have to play the hand that Mother Nature deals us. But, occasionally we can stack the deck a bit. We spend time in SW Colorado in summer and I always enjoy the Mountain birds.

      • Pamela Colander says:

        We had a pair of mountain BBs investigating last year. Wish they would claim a box some time, they are spectacular birds. WELL! As I type this the female WBB is actually bringing in grass in earnest! Maybe today is the day the nest takes shape. It’s so cool having the nestcam in this box 🙂 The male joined her in the box and jumped on top of her so he is definitely urging her on, ha!

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