This is my latest entry in my bluebird journal. Sad to say I don't keep it up as much as I should. There were so many sweet and sometimes poignant events in this nesting that will be forgotten as time goes by.
I've promised myself to do better with subsequent nestings...........
July 16, 2009
"I’ve been very bad about recording the nesting, but the pair of birds who has been watching the house all this time did indeed build a nest. She laid only three eggs this time and they hatched on July 4 or thereabouts. Could have been a couple of days earlier. I noticed at one point a third bird had joined them in the yard and a close-up check with binoculars identified it as an adolescent which I later recognized as a young female, probably from the first nesting of the parent pair. She spent a great deal of time in the yard foraging for food and learning to annoy other birds who got in her way. She was fun to watch in her daily rummaging around the yard. She also spent a lot of time peering into the bird house where Mama was sitting on eggs. Later when the little ones hatched, she spent some time bringing some of her juicy morsels to share with her new siblings.
Unfortunately, we did not get to witness the fledging of this group, which occurred just last night or this morning. I didn’t see any blues in the yard all morning and we were away for 3 or 4 hours this afternoon. I noticed Mama on one of her favorite perches (the top bar that holds the thistle feeder) later this afternoon. She did go over to peer into the nest box, but mostly just sat and looked around the yard. Not until she had been gone for awhile did we dare go open, very gingerly, the side door of the box. The nest was quite empty with only two small fecal sacs in the bottom. We’ve cleaned out the box, so it will be ready if they decide to nest again.
Mama was beginning to look very haggard, however, and I’m wondering if maybe she’s an older bird who won’t be nesting again. I’m not really knowledgeable enough to know about these things."
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Posting this a little early, in case I forget to do it when I get busy tomorrow doing dreaded household chores, etc.
The deer did not find the hosta alongside the house so they had a chance to bloom and I've added one blossom to the bud stem I drew before. I'll include this little sketch in the journal I've begun to save mementos of "Grandma's House" for my children and grands. Hopefully it will remind them of the happy times we've spent here.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
The little adolescent bluebird deserves a second photo on this blog and an abject apology from me. Contrary to my initial opinion of her, she, and it seems obvious now that it's a female, was not "annoying mama" as I thought, but learning what the birthing process was all about so she could help with the nestlings when they hatched. And that is what she is doing with great enthusiasm now. I watched her search diligently in the yard this morning for a worm and she came up with one, or a part of one, about 2" long. She chewed and chewed on it for several minutes (she IS still a youngster) until she got it down to less than half, then popped into the house and fed it to the babies. I was sooooo proud of her! Mama and Papa are feeding these three little ones now, too, and if those babies are eating everything that's brought to them, they'll be ready to fly in no time!
I did read in my bird book that a pair of bluebirds would sometimes allow a fledgling from one brood to tag along and help with the second one....and in looking up my records from 1994 I see that during our first nesting of these birds in our yard, that pair did the same thing. I just didn't know at the time that it was a young one from an earlier hatching.