Incubation begins …

40084684325_4eacb7d4b3_oMama III has completed her nest, laid five perfect little powder blue eggs and begun incubating them.  She’s been busy.  Like most birds, bluebirds don’t begin incubation until all eggs are laid so the chicks will hatch and fledge at the same time.  Most of the time they lay an egg a day until the clutch is complete.

When the first egg is in the nest I attach a Sparrow Spooker to the box to protect the eggs and chicks from marauding House Sparrows.  The female bluebird has enough investment and bonding to her nest and egg that her maternal instincts will overcome her fear of the Spooker.  These can be bought commercially, just google “sparrow spooker”.  Daddy has no fear of it, either.  Often perches on it while Mama is in the box incubating.  He brings her bugs as well when the weather is cool, so she doesn’t have to leave the eggs. Bluebirds are all about their broods.  Their life centers around rearing young.

Eggs typically hatch in 12-14 days, dependent somewhat on ambient temperatures.  I thunderbird 028generally count on 13 days.  Since incubation began on 24 March, that would mean the eggs hatch about 06 April.  They typically fledge here on the 17th day, meaning fledging will occur about April 23.  Mama and Daddy are going to be without their security detail and supplemental food for this brood.  Carolyn and I have cute little yellow beach house rented on Perdido Key, FL.  Leaving in a couple of days and won’t be back until after the chicks have fledged.  The parents shouldn’t have a problem, bluebirds survived for millions of years without human intervention.  Their downward spiral in population began when European Starlings and House Sparrows were introduced to North America.  But thanks to legions of bird lovers putting up millions of bluebird boxes, bluebird populations are once again stable.  Their current conservation statues is ‘Least Concern’.  Quite a comeback story for these beautiful little thrushes.

This will be the final post until we return.  If you want to keep up with us in Florida, follow me on Instagram #lindelledillon  Spring migration for the neotropicals will be in full swing and hopefully we will see and photo some new birds.

Total chicks fledged from this site is 91.

First brood 2018

  • First sign of nest building                                               10 March
  • Nest completed                                                                  16 March
  • First egg laid                                                                       19 March
  • Second egg                                                                          20 March
  • Third egg                                                                             21 March
  • Fourth egg                                                                          22  March
  • Fifth egg                                                                              23  March
  • Incubation begins                                                             24  March
  • All five babies fledge approx.                                         23  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 and board member Norman Police Department Citizens Academy.
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4 Responses to Incubation begins …

  1. Pam says:

    We are approaching Norman after attending a film festival in Ardmore this weekend. It’s pretty in your neck o the woods. On our way back to Colorado and our Bbs. Happy yours are well underway 😊

  2. lindell dillon says:

    We returned from a month-long trip to Florida and found evidence that our brood has fledged. Maybe Daddy will bring them for a visit soon.

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