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Bird Watching: Bluebird thread

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

April 26, 2011
6:58 AM

Post #8521267

Since several of us have bluebirds, why not have a thread for BB pics? Our babies are about to fledge, so I'm trying to keep a close eye on the box the next day or so.

To start things off, a pic of Daddy leaving the mealworm feeder with a mouthful for the babies.

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

April 26, 2011
7:00 AM

Post #8521272

Daddy on poop patrol. Leaving the box with a fecal sac. He just fell out of the box backward with it and then took off. They always drop them some distance from the box to avoid predators keying in on their nest.

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

April 26, 2011
7:02 AM

Post #8521277

Watching me with a tub of mealworms in my hand. He knows the drill.

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ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 26, 2011
4:34 PM

Post #8522443

Such cute photos Red. I wonder if you just held that tub of mealworms long enough, would he come and grab one?
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

April 27, 2011
6:17 AM

Post #8523718

duc, I think if I held the feeder Daddy is accustomed to, he would land on it. Then make a transition to something else or just my hand, but I'm not sure that it would be a good idea to make him that comfortable with a human.

C'mon folks. Let's see some BB's.

Mama with a moth she brought to the babies yesterday.

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ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 27, 2011
8:07 AM

Post #8523909

You're so right about human contact Red.
Mom sure is pretty with that butterfly-nice job!
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

April 27, 2011
9:00 AM

Post #8524006

Daddy on poop patrol.

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

April 27, 2011
9:02 AM

Post #8524010

And away we go!

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 27, 2011
9:25 AM

Post #8524046

Here's one from a few minutes ago.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

April 27, 2011
9:28 AM

Post #8524050

And another

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 27, 2011
12:27 PM

Post #8524347

This is it! The one thread to watch! Thank you Red and Dave for such awesome photos of the beautiful Blues in action.
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

April 27, 2011
3:51 PM

Post #8524747

We have a bad case of empty nest syndrome around here. The babies fledged unnoticed during the rain today.

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

April 27, 2011
6:22 PM

Post #8525075

Look who came back late in the day for some worms. They gathered them up and took them to the babies down on the creek. I tried to find them, but they are on the other side of the creek and hidden from my view. It's going to be cold tonight, but the babies have full bellies!

Great light for a change. Mama has never looked so colorful.

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

April 27, 2011
6:25 PM

Post #8525081

Another shot of Mama gathering worms.

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

April 27, 2011
6:29 PM

Post #8525090

I hadn't seen the bluebirds all afternoon after the babies fledged. While we were eating dinner, the oriole that had visited earlier today landed on the feeder in the back yard. I jumped up grabbed the camera and as I'm heading to the window see the oriole being chased away by Daddy. He checked the box several times just like last year, almost like he's making sure everyone is out.

This message was edited Apr 27, 2011 8:27 PM

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

April 27, 2011
6:32 PM

Post #8525098

A shot of Daddy on the feeder.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

April 28, 2011
2:19 AM

Post #8525566

Very nice!
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

April 29, 2011
5:58 AM

Post #8527982

No luck in finding my recently fledged babies. They are down on a nearby creek with a lot of mature trees and lots of green foilage to hide in. The parents come and take worms to them and I try to follow, but no luck so far. When I came in yesterday, my wife asked me if I found the babies and I responded, "I found Mama and Daddy found me." I was down on the creek watching Mama through the binocs hoping she would lead me to the babies and I heard Daddy's melodious greeting. He was sitting nearby watching me.

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

May 9, 2011
5:52 AM

Post #8549254

We were in Branson last week and didn't see much of the bluebirds. I returned home Friday and was surprised that Mama had laid the first egg of her second brood. She didn't do that last year unti 31 May. She skipped Saturday and laid a second egg yesterday. No sign of the babies since they fledged.

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dellrose
The Ozarks, MO
(Zone 5b)

May 9, 2011
8:13 AM

Post #8549575

Your Blues are sure beautiful Red...and congrats on the new nest. Hope all goes well!!

Our Blues will be fledging any day now...there are six and they are starting to peek out. I am on pins and needles and will not rest until I see all of them safely fledge!!

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

May 9, 2011
8:15 AM

Post #8549586

Their adorable!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

May 9, 2011
8:20 AM

Post #8549602

Congrats Red on the new nesting on your BBs. Rose, I'm excited for you. Oh what joy to be able to watch those little ones fledge. Best wishes to both.
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

May 9, 2011
4:29 PM

Post #8550672

After I made that post this morning all 3 of the fledglings showed up next door and in our back yard with Daddy. Mama was in the box laying. The young fly as strong as the parents and are extremely spooky. That's good.

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

May 9, 2011
4:30 PM

Post #8550674

Another one.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

May 9, 2011
5:28 PM

Post #8550804

Oh joy! Precious babies learning to be independent. And they're cautious of the environment. Papa must have done a good job. lol
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

May 9, 2011
5:36 PM

Post #8550828

Looking at that pic again, rose. I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow is the day.
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

May 9, 2011
5:43 PM

Post #8550849

How sweet! I love the young Bluebirds.
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

May 11, 2011
11:16 AM

Post #8554892

Babies came by for another visit today. I also had another male bluebird in the yard. Daddy flew in and sat in the same tree with it, but didn't attack like he normally would.

A couple of the babies.

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

May 11, 2011
11:18 AM

Post #8554897

Daddy waving hello. Or does that mean 'bring worms'?

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

May 11, 2011
3:17 PM

Post #8555403

[quote="reddirtretiree"]Daddy waving hello. Or does that mean 'bring worms'?[/quote]

That's so sweet a gesture. I agreed, bring worms please.
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

May 13, 2011
7:28 AM

Post #8559958

dellrose, did your babies fledge? Daddy is bringing ours back for breakfast now and they are in and out of the yard. Getting brave enough to come down to the mealworm feeder. Mama has laid 3 eggs on a second clutch, but hasn't laid in a couple of days. Not sure what is up with that.



This message was edited May 13, 2011 8:29 AM

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dellrose
The Ozarks, MO
(Zone 5b)

May 14, 2011
9:47 AM

Post #8562357

Your juvies are just adorable!! All your Blues are gorgeous and look very healthy. Has your female laid anymore eggs?

Our brood fledged on Wednesday morning and I missed the whole thing. I was up early but evidently not early enough since they were all gone by 7:30. I finally found all 6 of them this morning in the walnut tree. It was a relief to see them since we have had some storms and strong winds since they fledged.

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sandhillslover
West End, NC

May 14, 2011
12:14 PM

Post #8562540

I love all of the pictures! This is our second year providing nest boxes for bluebirds and I am hooked! I still haven't been able to get a single good picture, though. Do you all use a special lens or technique? Any hints? I am new to all of this, so please understand if this is inappropriate, but is there a way to swap picture on Dave's? The ones in this thread are wonderful and I'd love to hang a few on my walls.
By the way, a pair of BlueBirds is scouting out the two boxes closest to our house. (Maybe they are "our" birds from last year, which successfully fledged several babies?) This spring, we lost a nest (only one egg had been laid) when the tornadoes ripped through close to us last month, and we hadn't seen any return until three days ago. It's amazing to me how much I look forward to seeing them, when two years ago, I had no idea they were around. Thanks for sharing and your help.
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

May 14, 2011
2:25 PM

Post #8562711

Glad your babies are safe, rose. We had a little confrontation with the mockingbirds last night and I'm afraid it might be irreversible. We had some guests over and I put out some worms so they could see the bluebirds up close. The mockers saw the worms in the feeder, took over and chased the bluebirds away. I've moved it out of site of the mockingbirds. I'll try again in a little while.

Sandhillslover, I think the most important key to getting good bluebirds is to get acquainted with a pair. Once they know and trust you, close shots will follow.

One of the bluebird bullies.

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Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 15, 2011
6:36 PM

Post #8565530

Oh Rose, how adorable is that picture that they are all huddled together. CUTE.
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

May 15, 2011
6:46 PM

Post #8565552

That is an adorable pic Rose!

Nice ones Red!
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

May 18, 2011
4:45 AM

Post #8571002

Mama is incubating a second brood of only 3 eggs so Daddy spends a lot of time around the box. Often sits on the edge and peers at the hole. Yesterday when I put out mealworms, he took some to Mama and passed them into her.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

May 18, 2011
5:02 AM

Post #8571027

Blue Birds hosting is one challenging endeavor. One can't help but love these adorable beautiful birds. Thanks Red, Rose, and Dave for sharing those wonderful experience with others.
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

May 19, 2011
6:04 AM

Post #8573390

lily, bluebirds form a bond with you that other birds don't. I feed all sorts of birds around here and most fly off when I walk out into the yard. Daddy is the only one that flies in when he sees me. Mama is much more shy than he is. They become pets for sure.

Mama is inside the box. Daddy and one of the first brood juvies are paying her a visit.

This message was edited May 19, 2011 7:06 AM

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

May 19, 2011
6:26 AM

Post #8573426

They're heart warming, and can be heart-breaking to witness their struggle with other predatorial critters. So far, I haven't succeeded on hosting them...but look, one just dropped by as I type...

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

May 19, 2011
6:30 AM

Post #8573430

If they are hanging around, sooner or later they should select one of your nest boxes. They are somewhat picky about height, be sure they are 4-6 feet off the ground. The also prefer holes facing the east.
ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

May 19, 2011
7:17 AM

Post #8573494

Red and Rose, love your photos. The babies couldn't be cuter.
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

May 25, 2011
4:40 PM

Post #8587126

Mama laid only 3 eggs in her second clutch. Two hatched today, one egg remaining.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

May 25, 2011
5:12 PM

Post #8587187

Oh wow, congrats Red.
Methodical
Clinton, MD
(Zone 7a)

May 26, 2011
4:38 PM

Post #8589247

Red that was a nice series. I wish I could have some Bluebirds nest in my yard, but I would not put them in harms way with these house sparrows around. I just have to see them when I am out and about.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

May 28, 2011
7:18 AM

Post #8592462

very nice thread Red...great photos!

Rose...that shot is priceless!
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

May 29, 2011
7:21 PM

Post #8595570

I removed the unhatched egg today and it was unfertilized. Maybe Daddy hasn't been doing his job. The two babies are growing fast. Daddy saw me out by the box and came in immediately to see if he could get a few worms. And of course, I obliged. Here he is taking some to the babies.

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

May 30, 2011
1:49 PM

Post #8597374

Today's baby pics. Amazing how much they have grown in five days.

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nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

May 30, 2011
1:56 PM

Post #8597382

awwww...how sweet!
Methodical
Clinton, MD
(Zone 7a)

June 5, 2011
8:45 PM

Post #8611850

[quote="reddirtretiree"]Today's baby pics. Amazing how much they have grown in five days. [/quote]

Wow. Nice. How long did it take for the eggs to hatch?
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

June 7, 2011
5:17 AM

Post #8614847

Bluebird eggs hatch in 12-14 days. According to my notes, these hatched in 11. I suspect that I didn't record a day or two of incubation. The clutch was only 3 eggs, so I thought Mama was laying while in the box and she had probably started setting the eggs. The two babies are getting feathers now and will be fledging before I know it.

A pic of Daddy in a full-flap landing.

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

June 9, 2011
10:07 AM

Post #8620136

The second brood is close to fledging. They are peering out of the box now. A pic of Daddy bringing in a bug and a baby sticking his head out to take it.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

June 9, 2011
10:54 AM

Post #8620208

Cute one!

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 9, 2011
10:54 AM

Post #8620209

I love that one!!
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

June 10, 2011
7:11 AM

Post #8621910

Glad I got a few pics yesterday. Brood two flew the coop this morning.
ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

June 10, 2011
7:36 AM

Post #8621983

More great photos Red. Love that last one! Sorry you missed the last brood, but at least you know they were all successful in fledging.
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

June 19, 2011
7:56 AM

Post #8639963

Just six days after her second brood fledged, Mama is building another nest. Looks like a third brood is in order.

A pic of Mama on the nest box with some Little Bluestem.

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

June 19, 2011
7:58 AM

Post #8639970

As usual, Daddy joined me for breakfast early this morning.

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nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 19, 2011
3:41 PM

Post #8640814

Very nice pic of mama!
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 19, 2011
5:18 PM

Post #8640986

Nice clean color on your male bluebird. I am surprised you could get that kind of color early in the morning. For me, anything before 10:00 am the sun gives a yellowish tinge.
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

June 20, 2011
4:30 AM

Post #8641829

The light was great on that pic of Daddy. But as you can see the blue on his wings is fuzzy. I think the iridescence of their feathers in some light just confuses the camera. I tried sharpening the image and it was worse. I've experienced the same thing with Indigo Buntings, which are actually black, but appear blue due to their iridescent feathers. I'm going to experiment with how I set up the focus on the feeder shots. For bird pics I normally use one little center focus block. I may just start reverting to auto for the bb's.

A pic of the new nest.

This message was edited Jun 20, 2011 9:21 AM

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

June 20, 2011
8:24 AM

Post #8642253

Mama joined us for breakfast this morning and Daddy brought in one of the juvies from the second brood.

Mama on the feeder.

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

June 20, 2011
8:27 AM

Post #8642260

The juvie from the second brood. He is backlit, but you know how kids are when you try to take their pics.

I started this thread for everyone to post bluebird pics. Surely we have some out there.

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

June 20, 2011
8:34 AM

Post #8642273

And of course, Daddy is always here for worms. He took these two to the juvie in the desert willow.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

June 20, 2011
9:23 AM

Post #8642384

Very nice shots red! Love the juvenile!
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 20, 2011
8:19 PM

Post #8643692

The mockingbirds continue to harass the bluebirds more than ever. They chase the adults when they try to get meal worms for the fledglings. They chase the fledglings who are just learning to feed themselves. They chase the song sparrows too. Their preferred tactic is to fly right at the smaller bird and hope that he will drop a few meal worms as he scampers.

Since they have discovered that they (the mockers) can also squeeze into the cage, I have taken to putting the worms out in the open and standing nearby with the garden hose. This sequence, taken today, shows how the adult male bluebird reacts when he sees the mocker coming right at him.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

June 20, 2011
9:36 PM

Post #8643810

Wow I'm surprised they can get into the cage!
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

June 21, 2011
5:11 AM

Post #8644072

Fortunately my mockingbird situation has improved. They are building a second nest in the front yard, so we have some space between them. I'm just putting out a few mealworms at a time and like you, stay out until the bluebirds eat them. Daddy has reclaimed his favorite perching spot in the back yard which is near the mockers' old nest. They are aggressive birds, to say the least.
ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

June 21, 2011
1:55 PM

Post #8645214

Loved all your photos Red and Dave!
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

June 23, 2011
5:59 AM

Post #8648555

Mama laid a single little powder blue egg day before yesterday. This is the first egg of this year's third clutch. She was in the box most of the morning yesterday, but didn't produce an egg. She is back in this morning.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 23, 2011
7:21 AM

Post #8648729

Wow, 1st egg of the 3rd clutch! Congrats grandpa!
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 23, 2011
8:28 AM

Post #8648854

The three survivors from our second clutch are feeding themselves now. The four eggs Mama has been sitting on should hatch tomorrow. The big question will be whether she will go for a fourth nesting. We won't know the answer to that for another month or so.

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ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

June 23, 2011
8:56 AM

Post #8648927

Red, your mama sure makes pretty eggs.lol

Dave, your trio are adorable. Hope the next batch of fledglings are all successful.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 23, 2011
9:00 AM

Post #8648934

Thanks duc. Here is Papa, always close by, watching out for hawks,mockingbirds and other troublemakers.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

June 23, 2011
9:01 AM

Post #8648937

Congrats Red!

Dave, Their adorable!
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 23, 2011
9:18 AM

Post #8648970

Here is one of the four mockingbirds that just won't give up. He is just beyond the reach of my garden hose. Incidentally, I shot all these with the Canon 100-400mm zoom. I have had it a year and this is the first time I have ever used it for birding. I can see why people like it -- It certainly is light weight, compared to my prime lenses.

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Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 23, 2011
3:59 PM

Post #8649787

"He is just beyond the reach of my garden hose. "

Too funny!
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 24, 2011
11:37 AM

Post #8651752

Two have hatched in the past 15 minutes

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 24, 2011
11:39 AM

Post #8651756

The remaining two eggs have noticeable pip marks so they should hatch soon.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 24, 2011
11:49 AM

Post #8651780

Oh how exciting that's!!! Congratulation Dave.
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

June 24, 2011
2:56 PM

Post #8652190

Congratulations Dave!
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

June 24, 2011
5:39 PM

Post #8652528

That is great, Dave. Do the parents remove the shells?
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 24, 2011
7:41 PM

Post #8652799

Usually the female eats the shells, Margaret. I watch them do it on the nest cam. I have a picture of a female removing a shell back in 2005, but I've not seen it done since.

This message was edited Jun 24, 2011 11:15 PM
MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

June 24, 2011
8:29 PM

Post #8652904

Thanks Dave. Good, rich source of calcium.
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

June 25, 2011
12:48 PM

Post #8653995

Well, Dave. I'm assuming you probably have 4 baby blues by now. The last two times Mama has laid, there has been an unfertilized egg. She is also laying smaller clutches this year. I think she is an old bird.

She does have another egg. She laid one, skipped a day, laid another and skipped today.

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

June 25, 2011
12:55 PM

Post #8654006

The juvies from the first two broods don't come around much now, but one from the second brood visited yesterday. He followed Daddy around begging and got a couple of worms for his efforts.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 25, 2011
1:09 PM

Post #8654024

Those eggs looks so pretty. And the little fella begging with success, precious!
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 26, 2011
10:09 AM

Post #8655605

Only three of the eggs have hatched, Red. I'll give her another day and remove and candle the fourth egg.

I have two pair of the mockingbirds that are driving me crazy. All four parents come when I go out with meal worms and they have become quite brazen. They fly up to within five feet of me and swoop down and actually bang into the juvenile bluebirds, hoping to dislodge a few meal worms. When they get a worm they rarely eat it; instead they fly off to the wooded area, so they must be feeding nestlings.
BirdieBlue
Winston Salem, NC
(Zone 7a)

June 27, 2011
8:36 AM

Post #8657504

I am excited to report 4 eggs being incubated. The 4th was laid Saturday or yesterday. The box is on a pole with a baffle, so hopefully nothing will get these babies. I seem to have forgotten...is incubation 14 days till hatching?

BB / Sheri
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 27, 2011
8:47 AM

Post #8657522

Hi Sheri: Nice to hear from you. It is usually 13 days. I think the official answer is 12 - 14 days, and then about 18 days to fledging.
BirdieBlue
Winston Salem, NC
(Zone 7a)

June 27, 2011
8:34 PM

Post #8658916

Thank you Dave. My house got broken into and cleaned of over $30,000 in jewelry plus my Cannon dig SLR with a 2.8 ?70-200 zoom. Just when I was revving up with excitement about spring / summer shooting...Bah Humbug!!

BirdieBlue / Sheri



2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 28, 2011
3:46 AM

Post #8659257

Ouch!! I am very sorry to hear that. Hope you were insured.
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

June 28, 2011
2:27 PM

Post #8660450

That theft is a bummer. I have no mercy for thieves. We had a credit card counterfeited and used out of state last week and that has been a hassle. We have all of our monthly recurring bills on that card and pay in full each month. So I've had to get a new card and change the numbers. Hackers are no longer just thrill-seeking geeks, it's evolved to teams who are in it to make big money.

On a more pleasant note, Mama has laid a third egg in this third clutch.

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

June 28, 2011
2:32 PM

Post #8660465

And the bluebirds got a new birdbath today. I'm sure they will share it with most of the back yard visitors. It's amazing how Daddy differentiates friends from foes. He pays no mind to the finches, cardinals and native sparrows. Let a HOSP, Cow Bird or grackle land in the yard and he's on it.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 28, 2011
7:05 PM

Post #8661045

Beautiful birdbath Red. So glad to see the future clutch is well on the way. Last week in our state, authority captured a team of hightech geeks that were staking out at local ATM machines to steal customer's banking info. Scary these days.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 1, 2011
9:32 PM

Post #8667302

My birds from the second nesting are getting to be pretty good fliers and Papa is starting to act like he is about to chase them away. They tend to get right into the bowl, as you see here, and Papa doesn't wait long before he flies in, bumping them out of the way.

My three in the nest box are a week old and growing like weeds. I now have two pair of robins, along with the two pair of mockingbirds, trying to get meal worms to take back to their nestlings.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

July 2, 2011
1:39 AM

Post #8667399

Oh that is adorable Dave!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 2, 2011
5:23 AM

Post #8667507

What's a beautiful view! I wanna hug them. lol

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 2, 2011
6:28 AM

Post #8667637

He looks like a choir conductor!!
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 3, 2011
10:20 AM

Post #8669726

Bright sun today so the pictures are pretty sharp. Here are a few. Papa is doing most of the feeding of the three in the nest box.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 3, 2011
10:22 AM

Post #8669729

When his tail feathers are spread this way, you know he sees something that has him upset. I never did find out what it was.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 3, 2011
10:23 AM

Post #8669734

Another view, from the side.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 3, 2011
10:25 AM

Post #8669740

One more view. Notice that he has already begun his molt. I hate this time of year because the birds look so shaggy.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 3, 2011
10:27 AM

Post #8669742

Finally, one of the juveniles. They are finding it harder and harder to get time at the meal worm feeder.

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ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

July 3, 2011
1:36 PM

Post #8670015

Dave, your little ones are just adorable.
BirdieBlue
Winston Salem, NC
(Zone 7a)

July 4, 2011
8:24 AM

Post #8671482

Your pics are so beautiful. My 5 eggs are doing well. Momma sits dutifully incubating them. I can't imagine how hot it must be in there with so many of our days being in the upper 80's & 90's. Wish I could fix them a mini fan!!
BirdieBlue
Winston Salem, NC
(Zone 7a)

July 9, 2011
7:03 AM

Post #8681752

Well I now have 5 fuzzy headed BB hatchlings 3-4 days old. Got mealworms and they are feeding the bebies of course. I think it is 14 days to fledge from the day of the laast hatchling. So I think that will make it 7/14 (Dave please corect me if wrong)

Sheri
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

July 9, 2011
8:29 AM

Post #8681910

Congrats on your babies, sheri. Fledging will probably be more like 17-18 days. My three eggs of the third brood should hatch around 11 July. We have had triple digit temps every day, so they shouldn't be late.
BirdieBlue
Winston Salem, NC
(Zone 7a)

July 9, 2011
7:23 PM

Post #8682916

LOL...I must get a picture tomorrow while they still look like little punk rockers with that funny haircut. ^_^ So that should make fledgling about 7/28 I pray that they and their parents stay safe and grow well . I am so excited and putting out meal-worms morning and night, If I see the daddy hanging around they get a mid day or afternoon feeding also Unfortunately some other birds have spotted the dish. I just hope no sparrows come.

Wing waves to y'all,

BirdieBlue / Sheri
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 10, 2011
4:18 AM

Post #8683232

Very happy for you Birdie. Hope things continue to go well. My third nestors are due to fledge tomorrow or Tuesday. Either way I expect I'll miss it. We have medical appointments in Northern Virginia both days. I watch them on the nest cam and they seem to be OK. It has been hot here too. Mid nineties every day and 103 day before yesterday. I can only imagine how hot it must be inside the nest box.

My meal worm feeding has gotten totally out of hand. I have two pair of mockingbirds and two pair of robins, all nesting within 50 feet of the bluebird nest box. One mockingbird nest is in a crepe myrtle less than 20 feet from the bluebirds' nest. All eight of the bigger birds come flying if I go out on the deck, or if they see the bluebirds feeding. I usually have to throw a handful of mealies down on the patio below to divert their attention, and then quickly put worms in the feeder for the bluebirds. The backyard is a flying circus with aerial fights and dive-bombing, and me, the ring master in the middle with my garden hose, squirting any robin or mockingbird that comes too near the bluebirds.

Despite all this I am still taking lots of pictures of the bluebirds. I tend to demonize the mockers so much I forget that they too have a family to feed.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 10, 2011
4:28 AM

Post #8683245

Here is one of the three survivors from the second nesting. Just 40 days old. I wonder how long Papa will let them stay around once the third nest babies fledge tomorrow.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 10, 2011
5:35 AM

Post #8683330

All three. Taken same time as preceding shot.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 10, 2011
5:37 AM

Post #8683333

And one as he takes off. This one taken two days ago.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 10, 2011
7:03 AM

Post #8683550

Papa, taken a few minutes ago. Starting to look a little scroungy, but still a beautiful bird.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 11, 2011
7:02 PM

Post #8687113

Well, I feel like I am hijacking Red's thread, but since I said I expected my birds would fledge today, let me add that they did. In fact, one jumped the gun and left last night (Sunday) at 8:13--just before dark. I had a medical appointment this morning in Northern Virginia and had to leave by 9:15. I set up my cameras, just in case the remaining two had not fledged by the time I got back. About 5 minutes before I left I was looking through one of the cameras and shooting pictures of one of the birds peeking when he suddenly wiggled out, looked left and right and was on his way!

This message was edited Jul 12, 2011 7:31 AM

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 11, 2011
7:04 PM

Post #8687116

I managed three shots of him before he flew out of the camera's view.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 11, 2011
7:06 PM

Post #8687121

The third fledgling exited before I got back but I saw all three of them in the trees behind the house.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

July 12, 2011
1:23 AM

Post #8687456

Dave, how special that you captured its first flight. Beautiful.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 12, 2011
4:05 AM

Post #8687519

Thank you Margaret. It is indeed a rare shot. Many bluebird hosts manage long trails, with literally hundreds of nest boxes, but have rarely seen a bluebird fledge, much less get a picture of it. We backyard hosts watch them closer so we have a much better chance but still, they leave when they are ready and usually without warning. With our busy lives, we sometimes miss it.
Burd_Fotos
Sandusky, OH

July 12, 2011
4:18 AM

Post #8687525

Great thread with lots of great pics!!
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

July 12, 2011
7:14 AM

Post #8687744

Dave, you aren't highjacking my thread. I started this to encourage more people to post and comment on bluebirds. I always enjoy your pics. I haven't been taking any, not much going on. The three eggs should hatch today, then there will be a little more activity in the back yard.

One of the second brood juvies practicing on his wing waving.

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ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

July 12, 2011
11:55 AM

Post #8688336

Dave, congrats on actually catching the fledglings-all your photos are so wonderful. The time you spend with those birds really shows your love for them. I love that you called your backyard a flying circus-I feel the same way here with all my birds fighting the feeders.

Red, your little juvie is also wonderful. I love the way it's waving that wing.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 12, 2011
12:43 PM

Post #8688447

Love, love all Blue Birds, and your pictures, both Dave and Red are fabulous!!!!
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

July 14, 2011
3:22 AM

Post #8691366

walked out to water the flowers this am, and started getting buzzed my mom and pop--almost stepped on this little guy. This was the second batch w/ 5 fledging each time.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 14, 2011
3:36 AM

Post #8691372

Nice shot!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 14, 2011
7:47 AM

Post #8691731

Darling baby!
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

July 14, 2011
2:20 PM

Post #8692391

Thanks, here is one from last year of papa

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BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

July 14, 2011
3:07 PM

Post #8692474

Dave, just saw the picture of your fledge's 1st flight. Excellent!!
Aprilfoolone
Valparaiso, IN

July 15, 2011
5:58 AM

Post #8693580

Hi, I am new to this thread, but maybe someone can help. I have 5 young that just fledged yesterday. Unfortunately I missed it.
Anyway, now parents have taken young somewhere, which I know is normal, but the parents are still in my yard chirping allot. Are they calling to the young? Or are they just chirping to be making noise? I have cleaned out the nest box already because after first batch left they started nesting again the next day.
To my knowledge all 5 young are ok. Last brood neighbors cat got one. Only one survivor out of 3. But this time all five were good last time I was able to look in nest box. With the last brood, when parents took them away they stayed with them for a few days. This time they are still here but calling. Is this normal?

Thanks for any info. By the way, all of the pics are great!
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

July 16, 2011
7:32 AM

Post #8695544

I'm not sure what the calling is about. Normally the fledglings return to my back yard a week or so after leaving the box. You'll probably see them again.

My third clutch of three eggs should have hatched on 11 July, so I removed an egg this morning and checked the contents. It's been over 100 degrees every day they have been in the box and egg failure is high in hot weather. The egg had a yolk, but no embryo. Tested the other two with same results, so I removed the nest so Mama won't be inclined to endure the heat of that box any longer.

We are leaving for Santa Fe in the morning, so I won't see the bluebirds for awhile. I hope they don't attempt another nest this season. Just too hot.

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Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 16, 2011
8:18 AM

Post #8695643

How do you test? I've seen dave talk about candling, but have not researched it.
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

July 16, 2011
10:04 AM

Post #8695860

You can hold an egg up to a bright flashlight and see if there is an embryo inside. In this case there wasn't, so I cracked the eggs, convinced that they weren't going to hatch.
Aprilfoolone
Valparaiso, IN

July 19, 2011
5:34 AM

Post #8701229

Well the calling has stopped after one day. Didn't see the blues for a few days, assume they are with their young. Male was back this morning eating mealworms and a checking out the nest box again. It's ready to go, but so hot here in Indiana, 90's+. I'm sure they will all be back. Thanks for the input.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 25, 2011
5:47 PM

Post #8715035

Hot here too 95 or better every day for more than a week and several days over 100. One day 106. Don't know what we did growing up without air conditioning. Guess that's why we had all those fans at church.

I figure I should keep Red's thread alive while he's gone. Let me see what I can find.

This is the female as she arrives at a perch.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 25, 2011
5:49 PM

Post #8715041

And this is a shot of the male as he ducks as a mockingbird buzzes in.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 25, 2011
5:50 PM

Post #8715045

Here he is wing-waving.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 25, 2011
5:51 PM

Post #8715046

One more.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 25, 2011
5:52 PM

Post #8715048

Another as he wing-waves

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 25, 2011
5:54 PM

Post #8715052

This one from two days ago.

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

July 26, 2011
5:40 AM

Post #8715833

Great shots, as always, Dave. We are still in Santa Fe. Occasionally I wonder what my bluebirds are doing. About the same I'd guess except they don't get their mealworm breakfast.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 26, 2011
6:46 AM

Post #8715929

All so lovely Cousin. Sounds as if you're homesick Red. lol
ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

July 28, 2011
10:10 AM

Post #8720980

Fantastic motion photos Dave.
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

July 28, 2011
8:30 PM

Post #8722169

Yes indeed, great job capturing them Dave!
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

August 6, 2011
6:51 AM

Post #8739867

We returned home from Santa Fe to find the bluebirds have built a fourth nest and it has two eggs. It's so hot, I'd hoped they wouldn't try to nest again this year. Unless the heat breaks, I'm not real optimistic about these eggs hatching.

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Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

August 6, 2011
7:04 AM

Post #8739884

I think we need to design some bluebird boxes with solar-powered exhaust fans. keep my fingers crossed.
ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

August 6, 2011
8:07 AM

Post #8739938

Spectacular photos Dave. Love all the wingspreads!

Red, hope those eggs hatch.
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

August 8, 2011
1:53 PM

Post #8744800

Mama appears to be incubating the two eggs. I noticed her staying in the box on 05 August. It is 104 degrees in the shade this afternoon, I can't imagine the temperature inside that box in the full sun. She gets so hot, she can't really sit on the eggs, gets up so she can get a breath of air at the entrance to the box.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

August 9, 2011
8:32 AM

Post #8746405

Interesting! I wonder if in situations like this where the temperature in the box is higher than her body temperature, whether her body acts as a cooling action to keep the eggs within the optimum incubation range.
xiamenmom
Dallas, GA
(Zone 7a)

August 11, 2011
6:09 PM

Post #8751133

Just had my first baby bluebirds fledge this week. I miss seeing the parents and older sibs from the last clutch around, so I bought some mealworms hoping to attract the family back to my yard (or maybe other insect eating birds). Have put them out on our platform feeder in a little glass dish as per the recommendations on many websites, but they've been untouched for two days now. What am I doing wrong?
PS - the picture is of the four babies in the nest the last time I took their pic before leaving them alone at day 12

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

August 12, 2011
5:01 AM

Post #8751694

Dave, I don't think the mama BB can cool eggs by sitting on them. I've never seen exactly what a BB's body temp is, but most songbirds have a body temp of 104-108 degrees F. I have read about BB studies that show when outside temps reach 107, eggs will become addled. This recent brood had the first six days of incubation, and a couple of days before that in that range, so I suspect they are addled and won't hatch.

Next year, I'm going to let my pair do their first nesting in the box they have used for 3 seasons and then move it to a place where it will have afternoon shade.

mom, I've had people who see my BB's feed, go buy mealworms and think they can attract them. I've not seen that work. The worms are usually eaten by some other species. I think a nest box is a better attractant. If they return to the nest box, you can put out some mealworms and if you keep them out consistently, probably keep the birds around. I feed mine year round out of a little feeder that I stick in the ground on the edge of the patio. They come up within a few feet of us.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

August 16, 2011
5:30 PM

Post #8760035

I expect you are right about the eggs hatching, Red. And if the outside temperature gets above 105, you can imagine how much hotter it must be inside the box. But sometimes nature surprises us. We should find out for sure in a few weeks.

The hawks got all three of the fledglings from our last brood and the adults had run off the juveniles from the nesting before that one, so I only have the two adults coming for meal worms, and they only show up morning and late afternoon. They are about half way through their annual molt and looking anything but pretty.

I just discovered a camera card from back in June, that I had not reviewed. This was taken from about 150 feet with the 600mm.


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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

August 16, 2011
5:31 PM

Post #8760038

From that distance it is pretty easy to stop them in flight.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

August 16, 2011
5:41 PM

Post #8760067

At 1200mm you can sometimes catch a fledgling sleeping

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xiamenmom
Dallas, GA
(Zone 7a)

August 17, 2011
6:27 PM

Post #8762038

We were SO happy to see our four baby bluebirds splashing in the birdbath tonight - haven't seen them since they fledged last week. And one of the two sibs from the previous clutch was here, too.

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reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

August 25, 2011
7:32 AM

Post #8775879

As expected the two eggs in the fourth clutch didn't hatch due to the excessive heat. I removed them and the nest a few days ago. Neither had any sign of an embryo. I haven't seen Daddy in a few days and I always get anxious about one of the bluebirds when I don't see them. There are a pair of Cooper's Hawks that come over daily. I put worms out this morning and missed who ate them, but they are gone, so one or both of the bluebirds was here this morning.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 25, 2011
8:04 AM

Post #8775971

Red, it's such a priviledge for us to be able to watch their activity daily. I like many others missed seeing our little feathered friends and often wondering where they've gone to or what happened to them. I too noticed Blue Birds were not seen as abundant as it was when the weather was mild. xiamenmom, how nice to have the little ones returned for a visit.
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

August 25, 2011
11:04 AM

Post #8776279

Sweet shot of the juveniles xiamenmom!
BUFFY690
Prosperity, SC
(Zone 7b)

August 31, 2011
5:04 PM

Post #8787559

This was the first year or bluebird houses actually had bluebirds in them...This spring is was so fun to watch them...and now they are all over out dogwood trees...I guess getting their bellies full of the lipid rich red berries. The flock has been around now for about two weeks and seem to be growing each day...Good news for us can't wait to put up a few more bluebird houses this winter and see what happens.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

September 1, 2011
12:13 PM

Post #8788789

Make sure you place the boxes a good distance apart. Otherwise what will happen will be constant fights between the males when they start nesting in the Spring. 300 feet apart is a good figure to use, but you might get them a little closer if one box cannot be seen from the other, such as on opposite sides of your house. Bluebird males are VERY territorial when nesting and will defend a 300 foot radius and anything within it, including other boxes, and/or food and water sources.
BUFFY690
Prosperity, SC
(Zone 7b)

September 1, 2011
5:00 PM

Post #8789221

the other tree is on the other side of our cook shed not quite that far but they are not visible of one another.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

September 1, 2011
9:34 PM

Post #8789623

Since my birds are molting and still looking less than their best, I am not showing many pictures of them. I have however, been looking back at pictures that I took several years ago but had not previously reviewed, looking for anything unusual. Here is one that caught my eye.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

September 1, 2011
9:41 PM

Post #8789631

And another. I love the guy on the bottom right, he sees the worms but can't get them.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

September 1, 2011
9:44 PM

Post #8789636

Can you tell this was taken in February?

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

September 1, 2011
9:48 PM

Post #8789638

I love shots like this one.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

September 1, 2011
9:52 PM

Post #8789640

And this one...

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

September 1, 2011
9:55 PM

Post #8789642

That last one was after a rain, as was this one.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

September 1, 2011
10:39 PM

Post #8789666

Superb, Dave.
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

September 2, 2011
4:18 AM

Post #8789780

Since I removed the failed fourth nest and eggs, my bluebirds haven't been around the back yard as much. Didn't show up to eat their worms yesterday. They are molting, too. Lots of birds are this time of year, the crows that show up to eat broadcast grain really look rough. But this pair of bluebirds has given us lots of memories over the past three years and lots of these little guys.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

September 2, 2011
5:40 AM

Post #8789848

Love the Bird Bath shot Dave!

Sweet juveniles Dave and red!
ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

September 2, 2011
7:40 AM

Post #8789996

Excellent photos Dave and Red. Such sweet little ones.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

September 14, 2011
1:20 AM

Post #8807673

Headed out in a few minutes for Jackson, Tennessee, to attend the North American Bluebird Society's annual convention. Be back on Monday or Tuesday of next week.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

September 14, 2011
2:13 AM

Post #8807689

So cute! Have a great time Dave!
BUFFY690
Prosperity, SC
(Zone 7b)

September 14, 2011
3:34 AM

Post #8807715

Gr8 Pics :)

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 14, 2011
4:42 AM

Post #8807751

Have a Gr8 time Cousin Dave.
BirdieBlue
Winston Salem, NC
(Zone 7a)

September 16, 2011
1:51 PM

Post #8811196

That sounds like a wonderful weekend. Maybe I can go next year. NC is just next to TN.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

September 19, 2011
1:33 PM

Post #8815157

Birdie, they have it in a different state each year. Last year it was in Canada and I wasn't able to go. Next year it will be in Southern California, and I hope to go, but in 2013 it will be in Aiken, South Carolina, which is even closer than Tennessee.

I prefer to drive so I can take a lot of my camera stuff. Jackson, Tennessee is almost 800 miles from here. I got up at 4:00 am and drove home nonstop. The GPS estimated the driving time would be 17 hours but I made it in under 12 (and no speeding tickets). Actually, it was Interstate all the way and the speed limit was 70 most of the time so I was able to average 65 legally.

That's my story and I am sticking to it.
BirdieBlue
Winston Salem, NC
(Zone 7a)

September 20, 2011
2:23 PM

Post #8816543

LOL. I think we drive alike! Exciting about Aiken, SC. Deffinately an easy drive for me.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

September 21, 2011
5:53 AM

Post #8817444

Glad to report my adults have all but finished their molt. Now I will try to lure them back for pictures. Hope they haven't forgotten me. This is from yesterday morning. A little dull since it was trying to rain.

Thumbnail by 2dCousinDave
Click the image for an enlarged view.

pelletory
Marlton, NJ

September 21, 2011
11:24 AM

Post #8817855

Nice shot Dave!

Can you start a new thread soon? Thank you!
juicyfruits
South Bend, IN
(Zone 5a)

October 2, 2011
6:58 PM

Post #8833450

I just read all the entries and pictures! I'm jealous. I think next year I will try and put a house up and see if anybody shows up!
BUFFY690
Prosperity, SC
(Zone 7b)

February 17, 2012
12:48 PM

Post #9010095

Bluebirds have moved into my 13 yr old box, and my mailbox...and maybe a ceramic house out on a backyard pole, it's a little high for me to see yet :O)
We r putting up a purple double door home on one of the trees and the Big Red Tomato is out for any adventurous bird guests...LOL
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

February 17, 2012
2:17 PM

Post #9010225

Congrats on your bluebirds. Put out some mealworms to seal the deal. Thought this thread was dead, but maybe it has new life.

A recent pic of my male on the mealworm feeder.

Thumbnail by reddirtretiree
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

February 17, 2012
2:34 PM

Post #9010257

[quote="reddirtretiree"]Congrats on your bluebirds. Put out some mealworms to seal the deal. Thought this thread was dead, but maybe it has new life.

A recent pic of my male on the mealworm feeder.[/quote]

Red, I am I am! I began to put out mealworms out on a daily basic. Though, they (Blue Birds) come every now and then but haven't seen much more activity e.g. building nest activity.

Methodical
Clinton, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 25, 2012
1:02 PM

Post #9019667

I had some Bluebirds come bay back in November or December for the 1st time ever. I spotted something different in the backyard trees and then heard their calls. They came by for a couple days while I was home. I don't get them in my backyard at least not while I am at home. I put out some meal worms hoping they'd become regulars, but no luck. I just have to catch them when I am out in the bush.

Al

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

February 25, 2012
2:02 PM

Post #9019743

Hello Al, Red and everyone. I spoke a little too soon, I afraid. Last year, my Blue Birds came to check out a new nest box. But they didn't nest there then. This winter, they have consistently coming back more and more frequent now. So I hope they will decide to settle down this spring. I'll keep you posted. Good luck with yours Al. Buffy690, how are things coming along at your garden?

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Click the image for an enlarged view.

pelletory
Marlton, NJ

February 25, 2012
3:42 PM

Post #9019869

This thread is starting to get slow. Can you start a new one soon please?
reddirtretiree
Norman, OK

March 1, 2012
7:41 AM

Post #9025718

A new bluebird thread is started at http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1244748/

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Other Bird Watching Threads you might be interested in:

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