Bluebirds are living, breathing gifts from God and if we are to offer housing to them, we must be prepared to offer the safest situation we can. – Ninapearl, 2005
Mama III has been a busy little bluebird! Her first of season brood was only out of the box two weeks when she built a nest in three days and laid an egg on the fourth. The first juvie from the first brood visited the yard with Daddy a couple of days ago. This morning five came in with the adults. Good to see at least five of six have survived a critical part of their life cycle. By the time a bluebird is a month old, it is pretty much self-sufficient. I watched a couple catch some bugs in the yard and Daddy caught a few bugs and fed to them.
The temps are heating up and can become an issue as we enter summer. According to Cornell, the optimal range for bird egg development is 96.8 °F to 104.9 °F (36 °C to 40.5 °C). If egg temperatures are lower, embryonic development slows. Higher temperatures can be lethal for the embryo. Bluebird eggs and nestlings cannot survive temperatures exceeding 107 °F (41° C). Prolonged high temps can severely impact nestling health due to dehydration and heat stress. Keep in mind temperatures inside a box in the sun can be 10 or more degrees higher than ambient temperature. As I stated in the last post, I’ve moved the nestbox a bit so that it is in shade most of the afternoon. We should be OK on this brood, but the third is always a challenge in Oklahoma.
I attached the Sparrow Spooker today after the first egg was laid. We don’t have but a couple around and they already have a nest in big holly in the front yard. Show no interest in the box, but hit the feeders regularly and promptly get dive-bombed by Daddy. He’s more protective when eggs and chicks are in the box.
I also have a couple of blue birdbaths in the back yard that the bluebirds use regularly. It’s not far to a pond, but I think the proximity of food, water and a security guard to the box helps bond them to this site. I’ll probably rig up a mister over one of the birdbaths soon. Not essential, but all the birds seem to enjoy it.
There will be a gap in reporting on the eggs since we are making a run to Taos for a few days. Mama and Daddy do most of the work, but I get a great deal of satisfaction producing new bluebirds.
Our beautiful world, pass it on.
Total chicks fledged from this site is 76.
Second brood 2017
- First sign of nest building 07 May
- Nest completed 10 May
- First egg laid 11 May
- Second egg laid 12 May
- Third egg laid 13 May