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Bird Watching: Bluebirds - Spring 2012 - part 2

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bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

May 31, 2012
5:16 AM

Post #9145811

The last thread was getting a bit large so pelle asked that a new one be added. We came from here http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1244748/

My second nesting is about to begin. The 2 birds have prepared the nestbox and should lay the first egg either today or tomorrow.

Thumbnail by bluebirdsnbells
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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

May 31, 2012
5:31 AM

Post #9145831

Thank you David in Stafford for the new thread. Mine (BBs) activity is quite eratic. I don't see them as often as I was hoping to. Will share pics. as I see them around. Congrats on your second brood for the season.

Even at the mealworms feeder, the Wrens and the Titmouse are regular, instead of the BBs.

Thumbnail by Lily_love
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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

May 31, 2012
8:20 PM

Post #9147066

David, Thanks for starting the new thread!
Sami
Corapeake, NC
(Zone 6b)

June 1, 2012
1:31 PM

Post #9147935

I did not see any BB at the BB box where I had put it next to the dog pin. So I moved it today closer to the house. I also too out the screws and put some coggle pins in it so that I could watch the BB later. When I took out the screws the front just slides off now and it makes it a lot easier to be able to watch the birds and cleaning out the nest. Looked inside and they had already started building a nest. After I finished with it saw a BB back where it was before looking for the box. I felt so bad that I had moved it but the dogs would run over when they saw a BB so I felt it best to move it.

I saw a bird hoovering around the new box through the window but was not sure if it was the BB or not. Did not get there fast enough to see if it was. I sure hope the sparrows dont try and move in.

I tried to get a meal worm feeder yesterday but they did not have any. I am going to Va Beach next week to the bird store and get one there and some worms.

Wish me luck and hope our BB finds the new place.

Sami
Sami
Corapeake, NC
(Zone 6b)

June 1, 2012
1:34 PM

Post #9147937

David is that an extra top on the BB house for shelter or was it just made that way. Also thanks for starting a new thread.

Sami
Sami
Corapeake, NC
(Zone 6b)

June 1, 2012
4:14 PM

Post #9148204

If the BB has already started their nest will the sparrows honor that. I just watched a sparrow go into the box a little earlier. I still can see the bluebirds out where I had the BB house before I sure hope they will find it again. I put out a blueberry container with some berries and raisons in it on the side of the box. Maybe that will attract them.

Sami

bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

June 1, 2012
4:15 PM

Post #9148207

Sami, I will bet that your bb(s) are finding that the home has move just a bit and they will return to nest building or house management soon.

The "extra top" is just a piece of T-111 that I have put over the house to try to keep some of the sun off during the summer It is about an inch longer on each side for overhang and screwed into a wedge block on top of the timber pole. I can move it right or left when I take the box down for cleaning after each brood.

Interestingly, the new male bird did not use the extra top on arrival at the box but would hop up between the top of the nest box and the T-111. I couldn't get a photo of him under there. He doesn't do that any more and sits on top when the female is in the box.

David in Stafford

ps. Here is a good resource for your House Sparrow problem. http://www.sialis.org/index.html

bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

June 1, 2012
4:18 PM

Post #9148213

[quote="Sami"]If the BB has already started their nest will the sparrows honor that. Sami[/quote]

House Sparrows (HOSP) do not HONOR anything!!! See above resource!!!

I would also suggest that if you have a feeder for other birds near by, that you remove it for a while. The HOSP may leave the area if there is no easy supply of food for them. I took down my finch and cardinal feeders last year and I haven't seen a HOSP near my yard or BB house since. I see them at a neighbors feeder about 6 houses away. I am tempted to ask him to alter his feed. (It looks like he uses the general bird seed that attracts the HOSP.)

David in Stafford



This message was edited Jun 1, 2012 6:31 PM
Sami
Corapeake, NC
(Zone 6b)

June 2, 2012
7:04 AM

Post #9148805

Hurrah!!!!! My BB is back. At least one of them. I could not get a close look at it this morning to see if it was the male or female. When I got up the first thing I did was look at the patio door and saw a BB sitting on top and then landed on the tray and took a blueberry and then carried it to my grandsons seesaw but dropped and it rolled down the seesaw. It did this several times as if it was a game. He still flies back to where the box was before but comes back to the new place. Have not seen any sparrows near the box so far this am. Here is a couple of pics with the BB on top of the box

Sami

Thumbnail by Sami   Thumbnail by Sami
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Sami
Corapeake, NC
(Zone 6b)

June 2, 2012
7:07 AM

Post #9148812

Oops sent the same pic

Sami

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bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

June 2, 2012
12:35 PM

Post #9149217

Congratulations on the return of your Bluebirds, Sami. You want to watch that the HOSP do not interfere with their nesting.

For All - The good news is that we now have a new brood on the way, one new egg. The bad news is that I noticed that I have little black ants crawling all over the nestbox and inside the nest. Is there any way to treat this condition? Will it harm the little ones when they hatch? I don't want to spray the box to kill the ants with the female just beginning to lay her eggs.

Here is a photo of the new egg. I didn't see any ants in this shot.

David in Virginia

This message was edited Jun 2, 2012 3:10 PM

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 2, 2012
1:31 PM

Post #9149313

Congrats to both. David, black ants? Argentina ants? Those ants are hard to rid off. They're looking for moist place to nest and produce eggs like you wouldn't believe! I was wondering if you can provide some sugary liquid nearby and help draw the ants away?

Is there moisture beneath the nesting material? I was wondering if that is the case, I don't know if it's too late to replace them with fresh straw and somehow prevent water from collecting there?

With our nestbox. I unscrewed the door, discarded the old straws and washed out the nest box. DH glued the cracks to the nestbox and air dried it out while the box was vacant.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 2, 2012
1:38 PM

Post #9149323

On my BBs, I don't see them as often as earlier in the spring. But at least once or twice a day I caught a glimpse of the couple going in and out of the 'house'. Here is the Momma Blue being watchful of her surrounding. The Brown Thrashers have been a sort of manace. They chase them off the meal worms feeder every chance they get.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

June 2, 2012
1:42 PM

Post #9149328

David, I sent you a D mail. :-)

bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

June 2, 2012
2:48 PM

Post #9149414

Thanks pelletory,

I am changing my wood post to a concrete filled pcv pipe with a flange on top to hold the box. I will put the green gardeners tape and Tanglefoot (if I can find it) on the pole to control the ants and other pests..

David in Stafford

bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

June 3, 2012
6:57 PM

Post #9150834

Here is a shot of the female in the nestbox. I must have caught her napping when I approached the box late yesterday. When I opened the door she huddled to the back wall and I took the quick snap, closed the door and did not look in the box for the rest of the day. She was back at the box this morning and has laid her second egg.

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bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

June 4, 2012
9:32 AM

Post #9151610

I have cut some new grass to try to make a new nest for the brood.. I am going to try to change it out on Wednesday if I can get the PCV pipe in place.

Here are the 3 eggs that we now have

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 4, 2012
9:45 AM

Post #9151623

Those eggs look wonderful. I like your plan on the revision of the nestbox setting. Congrats on the smooth transition of the 2nd brood Dave.
Sami
Corapeake, NC
(Zone 6b)

June 4, 2012
10:04 AM

Post #9151640

Well I have not seen my bluebirds in 2 days. The hosp have been hanging around the box too. I run them off as soon as I see them out there. Hopefully they will come back

Sami

bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

June 4, 2012
4:08 PM

Post #9152280

Thanks Lily. I Hope that it goes well. I have never tried this before.

Sami - Sorry to hear about the HOSP return. It might be the time to take down the house until they disappear. You don't want to let them establish a nest in the box. They will be there forever if you do. I have only had to do that once. And along with removing the bird feeders they (HOSP) have not returned.

I am going to try to put up the finch and hummingbird feeders after the new brood hatches and then put up the other songbird feeders after they fledge/

David in Stafford
dellrose
The Ozarks, MO
(Zone 5b)

June 5, 2012
8:16 AM

Post #9153100

I am way behind in posting to this thread but sure have enjoyed lurking! Love seeing and hearing about all the Blues...my favorite bird.

In our area we've had one nesting and this morning the second nest of 5 is in the process of hatching. Our first nest had 4 eggs but only 3 fledged (for some reason one was dead
in the nest). The three juveniles have been coming to the meal worm cage even though the parents try and shoo them away.

Best of luck with your Blues!!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 5, 2012
8:49 AM

Post #9153140

Rose, I'm so glad to see you posting. Best wishes on yours as well. In my garden, the momma Blue is seen at the nestbox once or twice every day. She has been very secretive on coming/going since the Cooper hawk took her first partner. My first fledglings, there were 3 of them, haven't been back since the new papa shooed one of them away from the mealies feeder a week or so after they fledged. I so love my Blue Birds as well.

Iris, how are yours doing, and Red? Haven't seen Red posted for a while. Red you're missed.

bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

June 5, 2012
10:39 AM

Post #9153240

Rose, Good to see you back.
Lily - sorry to hear about the loss of your male. Has the female had any new suitors?

We haven't heard from Dave in a while also. Hope everything is going well around the country.

Shot of the 4th egg.

David in Stafford

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 5, 2012
11:32 AM

Post #9153307

Yes, Dave. There is the new male courting her. They're well on their way with the 'new' nesting. I hope to modify the nestbox after this brood, hopefully so I can gain access to the entrance way and hope to take some photos of the future generations -- so to speak. Me too, hope to hear from our friends from the country.
dellrose
The Ozarks, MO
(Zone 5b)

June 5, 2012
11:43 AM

Post #9153323

Thanks Dave & Lily.

Dave...those blue eggs are so very very gorgeous!!

So far 4 eggs have hatched!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 5, 2012
12:38 PM

Post #9153375

Congrats on the four Rose! Let's pass the cigars, lol.

bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

June 5, 2012
1:09 PM

Post #9153413

I'm a non-smoker but I will have a sip of wine to celebrate. : )

David in Stafford
LillyDay
Fredericksburg, VA

June 5, 2012
1:40 PM

Post #9153442

Hey!! I am here too!!!

Like Rose, I have been lurking. For some reason DG won't let me post under 2d Cousin Dave so I am signed on with an old name I used when I posted pictures of flowers. My four BBs are peeking and should go tomorrow. The five from the first clutch are still here and doing well. But Papa has tried to chase them several times. Also, I have a new pair trying to build a nest in the newspaper box out on the street. I brought a spare nest box out and she is now building in that. I hope to move it up near the house on the opposite side from where the original bluebird nestbox is. I expect a big fight and they probably won't coexist, but hopefully they will. I have been taking lots of pictures. Too bad I can't share them.
dellrose
The Ozarks, MO
(Zone 5b)

June 5, 2012
3:19 PM

Post #9153571

Welcome back 2nd Cuz Dave!! Looks like we have enough for a party and I just bought some pina colada mixer if anyone is interested!!
Dave...have you check with admin about your problem (with Dave's...lol) ? I hate to miss out on the action at your place. I know I have learned most of what I know
about Blues from your posts and I know others will benefit as well. Besides...I miss the jaw dropping photography. If nothing else please provide a link so we can view your
photos elsewhere.

All 5 eggs have hatched...yea!! Where's my rum?

Here are some pics from earlier today: Mama Blue, Papa Blue and Baby Blue from the first clutch. I can't believe that little one landed on the nestbox!

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LillyDay
Fredericksburg, VA

June 5, 2012
4:01 PM

Post #9153647

Thanks Rose. I did get something a few days ago that I had never seen before. I have a juvenile that feeds his sister. This particular female is very shy. In fact it was more than a month before I saw all five of them together and I had assumed that one had been lost . She simply will not go into the cage feeder when all the others are there. She waits in a nearby tree until they leave and as a result, more often than not the bowl is empty when she gets there. Well, her brother brings a worm out and feeds it to her. I have seen many juveniles who try to help feed the nestlings, but never this.

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dellrose
The Ozarks, MO
(Zone 5b)

June 5, 2012
4:20 PM

Post #9153669

OMG Dave...that is so sweet it brings tears to my eyes. Thanks for posting...there is so much to be learned (or as we say in the Ozarks "learnt")!!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 5, 2012
5:18 PM

Post #9153737

Rose, your Blues family is adorable, 2d Dave, that series has won my ticker over! lol. Like Rose has said, there is so much to be learnt from those sweet birds. My female Blue must be sitting on eggs. Many a time, I'll pass by the nestbox, and she will fly out.
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

June 5, 2012
7:20 PM

Post #9153915

Dave, That's adorable!
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 5, 2012
8:58 PM

Post #9154084

Well, let me try this again, using my other username.

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bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

June 6, 2012
6:14 AM

Post #9154335

[quote="2dCousinDave"]Well, let me try this again, using my other username.[/quote]

YEA!!! He's Back. Loved the sibling sequence, Dave.

David in Stafford
dellrose
The Ozarks, MO
(Zone 5b)

June 6, 2012
8:06 AM

Post #9154476

Nice to see you back Dave...I felt like I was talking to an impersonator with the other name!! LOL!

Those last 3 shots are gorgeous...such a handsome family.

DH put a nestbox up by one of our hay fields and the Chickadees used it earlier this spring to raise a brood. The Blues have taken it over and there were eggs in it but I found the eggs destroyed outside the box. I am sure that a House Wren did the deed. I think a different pair of Blues have taken over the box and have built another nest on top of the old. I removed the old nest and the pair now have a completed nest but no eggs as of this moring.

Edited to say these are the backyard Blues taken through my kitchen window.

This message was edited Jun 6, 2012 9:08 AM

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ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

June 6, 2012
8:22 AM

Post #9154491

Rose and Dave, your photos are adorable. Dave, that brother feeding the sister is so sweet.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 6, 2012
8:35 AM

Post #9154504

Sweet pics. Dave and Rose. I love, love all the pics. Rose, sorry about the loss of those eggs. Hopefully success will come with the next brood. Saw my Momma Blue this morning peeking out the nestbox. I offer meal worms regularly. But rarely see the Blues coming to the feeders. Here is my new male coming to the nestbox while Momma Blue is inside. Wooohoooo, I'm looking forward to hearing some babies' chirping soon.

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dellrose
The Ozarks, MO
(Zone 5b)

June 6, 2012
12:35 PM

Post #9154752

That is fantastic Lily...fingers crossed for you and your Blues!
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 6, 2012
6:20 PM

Post #9155142

Two of the four fledged late this evening. The other two decided to spend one more night in the nest box. Here is number 2. He left at 7:38 pm. And it was cloudy too. shot with the 1D mark 4 and the new 70-200 f/2.8 zoom with ISO set at 2500

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 6, 2012
6:21 PM

Post #9155144

And here are the rest before he flew out of my frame.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 6, 2012
6:52 PM

Post #9155179

Wow! Dave, the series took my breath away! As if I were right there watching them in motion! That's as good as it gets!

bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

June 6, 2012
6:53 PM

Post #9155180

Dave, great departure sequence. It amazes me how these little guys come out flying from that cramped nextbox and no practice room.

Hope to see the other two tomorrow.

Rose, what a great way to fill a kitchen window. Nice photos.

Lily, when is "hatch date"?

I am looking for a 5th egg tomorrow.

David in Stafford

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 6, 2012
6:57 PM

Post #9155185

Dave, I don't know when is the hatch date. When I hear the babies chirping that's when I know for sure. How many days will it take for incubation period please?

bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

June 6, 2012
7:57 PM

Post #9155247

Lily- Incubation can be anywhere from 12-15 days from when the last egg was laid. Mine have usually been at 14-15 days. It may be less time in a warmer environment.

David in Stafford

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 7, 2012
6:50 AM

Post #9155543

Thank you David, I'll be on the look out and keep everyone posted. This is my very 1st year hosting Blue Birds, I've so much to learn about them.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 7, 2012
8:31 AM

Post #9155652

Lily: Don't expect to hear them peep very soon after they hatch. They don't open their eyes until the 7th or 8th day and don't seem to discover their voice until about day12. At least that's been my experience.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 7, 2012
9:37 AM

Post #9155725

Thank you Dave, for sharing your experience. It's a pleasure learning about these birds.

bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

June 7, 2012
3:01 PM

Post #9156135

I guess that this brood is topped at 4. She is sitting on the four eggs now so I am expecting a hatch around June 21. But I will not be here to see it unless, like everything else this year, they hatch early. We will be in Seattle for a granddaughter graduation. I will send photos of the new ones when we return the following week.

Rose, Dave, Lily, Iris and all, the update photos are the best part of the afternoon when I get to view them.

David in Stafford

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 10, 2012
5:36 PM

Post #9159693

David, my congratulation upon your grandchild's graduation. How exciting that could be! I'm happy for you. In my BBs garden. The Momma is sitting on her eggs most often time. I don't see the male around as often as I did with the first clutch of the season.

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bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

June 10, 2012
6:26 PM

Post #9159765

Thanks, Lily. I have the same situation with my BB also. Although I did see the male once yesterday and today. Momma bird peeks her head out of the box like yours every once in a while and she comes out for a breather during the heat of the day (it was around 92 today, but she doesn't stay our for long.

I opted not to change out the nest until after this brood fledges. The ants seem to have disappeared. I looked under the nest and they we not there. Maybe the birds took care of them. Anyway if they do not appear again I will put the box on the new pole some time in early July.

David in Virginia
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 13, 2012
4:18 AM

Post #9163212

Here are updates on several different topics.

In the box in the front yard the female is three days into sitting on four eggs. In the back yard the female laid her second egg this morning. This will be her third nesting.

I didn't see the juveniles from the first nesting at all yesterday. I fear Papa has finally driven them away I have seen a female Baltimore oriole in the trees behind the house every day for the past three days. I think she may have a nest nearby but I haven't found it yet and I haven't seen a male.

Three of the babies that fledged a week ago are already following Papa to the meal worm feeder. Haven't seen all four together yet.
A couple of shots from yesterday.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 13, 2012
5:50 AM

Post #9163281

Those are such sweet pics. Dave. They couldn't possibly be any better!!! I love, love them.
ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

June 13, 2012
7:59 AM

Post #9163430

I'm with Lily, those photos are so sweet Dave.

I hope you can locate the oriole nest. I know they're nesting in our trees, but sure can't see the nest through all the leaves.

bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

June 17, 2012
3:38 PM

Post #9169121

Another nice set of photos Dave.

An interesting aside - I was at a get together last night with my handbell choir and one of my ringers said that she and her dad keep a bluebird house in their back yard. Their first brood this year was 5 BB and the female is sitting on 4 eggs for the second brood. It seems like our Stafford birds may be on a 5-4-5 cycle this year.

David in Stafford
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

June 17, 2012
4:46 PM

Post #9169186

Dave, Those juveniles are adorable!
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 18, 2012
5:33 PM

Post #9170666

A couple of updates:

Both the nest box in the back yard and the one in the front have 5 eggs. One clutch should hatch on June 25; the other June 29.

Papa has successfully chased away the first nesters, apparently. I haven't seen them in several days.

All four of the fledglings from the second nesting are coming on their own to the deck for meal worms. Several are already starting to feed themselves. But when one of the adults is nearby, they still beg; sometimes with enthusiasm.

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bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

June 19, 2012
5:35 AM

Post #9171262

Great photos, Dave.

Congratulations on expanding to the second box. Maybe some of your birds will head my way to see my front yard box. (It has only had a wren dummy nest in it).

Dave
ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

June 19, 2012
8:13 AM

Post #9171446

So glad to hear we'll soon be seeing the young ones. Love this last series of the fledglings! Perfect timing on that third photo.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 19, 2012
9:05 AM

Post #9171517

Thanks duc. Pretty day here, but warm. Better conditions for pictures. Here are a few from a few minutes ago.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

June 19, 2012
3:57 PM

Post #9171926

Dave, Great photos ! I love the first one on June 18th!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 19, 2012
5:26 PM

Post #9172035

I just sit here at awe! Those pics. are beautifully done! Wow, Dave, I wished someday I can master the art of photography like you've done!

bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

June 20, 2012
11:39 AM

Post #9172988

Dave, have you ever considered putting together a book or photo pamphlet on bluebirds using your photos? All of your photos look better than many that I have seen in popular birding and garden magazines.

My 2nd brood hatched yesterday. Took a quick peek and photo today. Interesting. Each little nestling has its head toward the center of the nest and all are well. I hope they hold their own in the heat this week. I will be in Seattle tomorrow for a week. I will update when I return.

David in Stafford

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 20, 2012
12:21 PM

Post #9173058

Never really thought of a book. I have wanted to put together a collection of my favorites on a DVD and in fact, I am working on it at the moment. But when you have so many (more than half a million at last count), it is hard to choose.

It always surprises me when I let people look though my pictures and take a few that they like. They almost never pick the ones I like best. So it makes me wonder if people would like the thousand or so that I will choose for my DVD. Of course, I would never sell the DVDs but I might give them away to close friends as gifts and to bluebird people who could use them in Power point presentations.

Here is a female fledgling 30 days old showing her back and wing feathers. From among the more than 3,000 I took yesterday.

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ducbucln
Kelseyville, CA
(Zone 8b)

June 21, 2012
7:51 AM

Post #9174139

She's starting out as a perfect model for you. Great photos Dave.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 25, 2012
6:52 AM

Post #9179746

Hatch day for the bluebirds in the front yard box. Right on schedule. That last egg should hatch tomorrow since she laid one the day after starting to incubate the first four. This is the pair that I coaxed into an emergency box after she kept trying to nest in the newspaper box out on the street.

My regular pair in the back yard also have five eggs that are due to hatch later this week. This will be their third and most likely last nesting for this season.

Not sure what else to expect from the pair in the front yard.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 25, 2012
7:53 AM

Post #9179872

Congrats Dave on such success! How sweet they're! Mine, have become so elusive that I can't rarely capture their pics. Most often I'll hear their song in the garden, but not seeing them.
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

June 27, 2012
11:08 AM

Post #9183505

Oh my gosh that is adorable Dave! Good luck with both of them, you are such a wonderful landlord! ^_^
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 27, 2012
5:40 PM

Post #9183924

Front yard five, about an hour ago.

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MargaretK
PERTH
Australia

June 28, 2012
6:52 AM

Post #9184481

Amazing, Dave. You've got quite a production line going there.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 28, 2012
10:28 PM

Post #9185676

Yes, Margaret. It should be interesting in about two weeks. They should both fledge within 3 days of each other..

These are from the back yard box, just before dark tonight.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

June 29, 2012
4:31 AM

Post #9185795

How sweet and fragile they look! Congrats Dave.
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

June 29, 2012
5:05 AM

Post #9185819

As expected,two more hatched overnight and the fifth (which she laid one day after beginning incubation of the others), has noticeable pip marks on it.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

June 29, 2012
3:09 PM

Post #9186632

Really precious Dave!

bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

July 1, 2012
1:36 PM

Post #9188891

Congratulations Dave. 10 in a week. That really helps the bluebird population in Stafford. And the photos of the young ones are great as always.

My 4 have their blue feathers. I have not taken any photos since we arrived home Friday mornng early (4:00 AM). I am trying to stay cool after spending a week in the below 60 degree weather in Seattle. I believe that my expected fledge date is about July 15. I will try to get a photo or two tomorrow when it is cooler.

David in Stafford
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

July 2, 2012
2:42 PM

Post #9190320

Unfortunately mom was killed, but new mate has been setting on eggs. Hopefully they will raise these two.
O

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

July 2, 2012
2:49 PM

Post #9190326

Hi David:
Am I to assume you did not lose power? We did on Friday night and just got it back a few minutes ago. I love the sound of those air conditioners. We have been sleeping in the basement for the past three nights and I just got back from a run to the landfill with all the spoiled food from our three refrigerators and upright freezer. Probably more than $1000 in food wasted.

Both nest boxes survived the terrible winds we had Friday night that took our power out. Here are a couple of pictures taken a few minutes ago. The first two are of the front yard five (7 days old and the eyes are just beginning to open). They should fledge on the 13th. Not the best shots but it is hard to shoot while being dive-bombed. and the last one is of the back yard five, now 4 days old.

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pelletory
Marlton, NJ

July 2, 2012
4:02 PM

Post #9190418

Great shots guys!

bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

July 3, 2012
6:13 PM

Post #9191962

BCH - Sorry to hear about the female loss. I hope that the new one will attend to the young ones.

Dave - That storm was terrible but we came through it okay. The lights flickered a couple of times but we never lost power. The cable and internet were off Friday and Saturday but everything else was fine. Sorry to hear about your power and food loss. and Yes, the sound of the AC is nice. My daughter and her family (Stafford Lakes area) moved in with us for Friday and Saturday due to the power outage.

I believe that I miscalculated my expected fledge date. Since they hatched on Jun 19 they could fledge between July 5-7 not the 15th - so I am not going to try to get any new photos until they come out of the box (if I can get them).

To everyone else that has been affected by the winds, rains, fires, and other events, please know that we have you in our prayers. Try to stay cool and be safe this 4th of July holiday.

David in Stafford
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

July 4, 2012
6:50 AM

Post #9192499

Looks like new mom adopted the babies! Nice when things work out!

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 4, 2012
6:52 AM

Post #9192504

Oh Bruce, that's a heart-warming outcome!!! Thank you for sharing that good news. Happy Holiday, and be safe y'all.
pelletory
Marlton, NJ

July 4, 2012
2:13 PM

Post #9193015

Great news!
Hazelee
Harvest, AL

July 4, 2012
3:47 PM

Post #9193139

Hi all, I have a question for all knowledgeable people about bluebirds.. We have a nest in our back yard and as far as I can tell two of the little birds flew the nest, but I noticed one little one on the ground below the nest that can't fly yet... I am so concerned about it but haven't approached it.

Should I stay away and let nature take care of things. The parent birds are feeding it but I am worried that something might 'get" it... it made it to the perennial bed but can it survive?

We had a nest of blues in the front yard about 6 wks ago and they left the nest too soon and didn't make it. I was heart broken.

Appreciate the response..Thanks!

bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

July 6, 2012
12:00 PM

Post #9195467

BCh, great news. It is good to see the brood adopted by the new parent.

Hazelee, the book answer is that you let nature take it's course - but as we all know we will try to keep watch over the little one for a while. As long as the parent birds keep it fed and there are not any predators nearby it should gain its wings soon and make it to a safe perch. Good luck

My brood fledged about an hour ago. I got the see 3 of the 4 leave and was able to get a few photos of 3 & 4 in flight.- not Dave's quailty but it is a first for me.

The first image is #2 fledger just before it left the box. I was moving to a different location on the deck when he flew and I missed the shot. Second image is mama bring a grub for the remaining birds - I think she is telling them "this is all". Third, fourth and fifth image is mama trying to prompt the young ones to leave the box.

This message was edited Jul 6, 2012 2:29 PM

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bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

July 6, 2012
12:15 PM

Post #9195485

And finally we get to see the #3 and 4 birds flutter away. In image 1 mama leaves the nest for the last time. Image 2 is of bird #3. He fluttered to the neighbors fence but couldn't make it into the tree. He was there for about 45 minutes until I walked toward the fence trying to get a photo of the other birds that were up in the tree. Both Mom and Papa bird made a big ruckus, dive bombed me, and I just left. I saw the little one fly over the fence into a bush in the neighbor's yard so I believe that he will be okay. Image 3,4,& 5 are the #4 bird fluttering into the tree where the other birds seem to be. I did see several of the new fledgling flying from branch to branch and tree to tree while I was watching for the last one to leave. All in all a great day.

David in Stafford

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BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

July 6, 2012
12:23 PM

Post #9195490

Congrats on a successful fledge!

I have to ask, what's the extra roof on your bluebird house made of, and what's it for? Just curious

bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

July 6, 2012
12:36 PM

Post #9195501

Thanks, BCH.

It is hot here in Virginia and that is just a piece of T-111 that I cut to be about 2" larger than the top of the nest box. It is nailed to a wedge of wood on top of the pole to provide a bit of shade and heat relief for the nest box.

David
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

July 6, 2012
12:48 PM

Post #9195513

Good idea! I was thinking it was something like that.

Thanks for sharing your birds w/ us.

Bruce
Hazelee
Harvest, AL

July 7, 2012
2:57 PM

Post #9196917

Well,Bluebirdsnbells, thanks for the reply... the little one kept close to the shrubs and once in awhile it would come to the grass edge... at one of those times I saw a black bird attack it..both parents were after it. A little later I found it dead. So sad, it was just too young.

Can anyone tell me what kind of bird attacks and takes the head only? This has happened several times in our yard, this is usually with a house sparrow or small bird like that.

Thanks

bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

July 7, 2012
5:13 PM

Post #9197068

Sounds like a blue jay.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

November 21, 2012
7:47 AM

Post #9338976

Hello all, I know, I know it isn't spring, nor breeding season. But for two days on a row, my BBs returned to the location of the old nest ... where I've changed out to a new one (nest box) in which I have access to the open door hoping that I can catch a glimpse of the eggs and little fledglings next spring.

My question is this. Do Easter Blue Birds roost in these nest boxes over winter? Since I'm relatively new to BBs' for this spring was my very 1st time hosting these beautiful birds. If indeed they DO, I'd like to encourage them by setting out mealies for them on a regular basic. Thanks in advance.
Kim

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BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

November 21, 2012
3:02 PM

Post #9339290



My question is this. Do Easter Blue Birds roost in these nest boxes over winter? Since I'm relatively new to BBs' for this spring was my very 1st time hosting these beautiful birds. If indeed they DO, I'd like to encourage them by setting out mealies for them on a regular basic. Thanks in advance.
Kim

[/quote]

Hi Kim, ours dont usually roost over winter, but they definitely will eat the mealies over winter. Good luck with them.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

November 21, 2012
6:09 PM

Post #9339428

[quote="BCH521"]

My question is this. Do Easter Blue Birds roost in these nest boxes over winter? Since I'm relatively new to BBs' for this spring was my very 1st time hosting these beautiful birds. If indeed they DO, I'd like to encourage them by setting out mealies for them on a regular basic. Thanks in advance.
Kim

[/quote]

Hi Kim, ours dont usually roost over winter, but they definitely will eat the mealies over winter. Good luck with them.[/quote]

Hi Bruce, do your Eastern Blues migrate South during the winter?

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

November 21, 2012
6:16 PM

Post #9339432

What's prompted me to ask the question; for the last two days these BBs are busy exploring nestboxes in the garden. Last winter I've noticed my Whitebreasted Nuthatches did indeed overwintered in the same nestbox that they subsequently built a brood of their youngs the following spring.

Photos were taken today.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

November 21, 2012
6:33 PM

Post #9339443

There were many of them checking out nestboxes, as well as various feeders in the garden. I'm not sure if these were the same Blues that fledged earlier in Spring, or new comers.

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2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

November 24, 2012
4:58 AM

Post #9341083

My birds do roost in the nest boxes when it is cold. I mean below 10 degrees cold and especially if it is windy. That doesn't happen very often here but I saw as many as three bluebirds huddled together in a box for three or four nights in a row last Winter. I leave the nest cam on 24/7 or I would never have known they were in there. I have seen them go into the box to check it out during the day but I have never seen one enter or leave at night.. They slip in after dusk and leave at first light.

I have many friends further North who are bluebird hosts who report that bluebirds (and other birds too--notably Downy woodpeckers) frequently nest in their boxes, especially on very cold nights.

It is not unusual for bluebirds to be checking out potential nesting sites. They do it constantly during the off season and usually will claim and defend several favorite sites. I have three boxes up and my adult pair check and defend all three every day. In the common area behind our house there is a dead tree with an abandoned woodpecker hole and the bluebirds constantly argue as to who will nest there but the hole is quite large, so every Spring the Starlings chase the blues away and they nest there. Many bluebirds are desperate for nesting sites. That is why we see them nest in mailboxes and drain pipes. Here in Fredericksburg we have several Civil War Battlefields. I have seen bluebirds nest deep in cannon barrels. The last shot below is in our neighbor's newspaper box last July.. Such unprotected sites often lead to unsuccessful nestings, but this one was successful..

This message was edited Nov 24, 2012 9:00 AM

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

November 24, 2012
6:41 AM

Post #9341138

Thank you Dave for taking the time to share such helpful information and delightful pictures. [quote] ... Here in Fredericksburg we have several Civil War Battlefields. I have seen bluebirds nest deep in cannon barrels. [/quote] I'm thanksful of such sanctuary for bluebirds, as well as peace for mankind...

Thank you for such cool picture of the Starlings acquired nesting sites from old woodpecker's nests.

I'm so excited with my bluebirds hosting project. I'll see about setting a bird cam at the nest box site, and putting out mealies to supplement their diet over the colder days ahead.

I also saw a female Bluebird scouting out the old nest box that I've moved to a new location in the garden. Thus far the BBs seem to have left the nuthatch's house alone. The two species seemed to have declared peace. ^^_^^

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bluebirdsnbells

bluebirdsnbells
Stafford, VA

January 26, 2013
12:36 PM

Post #9398280

Lily,

During our cold snap here for the past couple of days in Stafford, Virginia I have had at least 6 Bluebirds in and out of one of my two birdhouses all day each day. Like Dave, I have never seen them enter at night but they seem to be back in the daytime. And I have found a feather or 2 that had been lost during the evening'

Dave - how close are your nest boxes to each other?

David in Stafford
2dCousinDave
Stafford County, VA

January 27, 2013
5:27 AM

Post #9398864

I currently have 4 boxes up. The two that they use most are on the north side of the house and about 35 feet apart and in plain view of each other. With those two it is an either/or situation. Whichever they choose, they will not permit any other bird (regardless of species) nest in the other and I will block off or take down the one they don't choose.

Then I have another box on the south side and hidden from their view by the house and the deck. The tree swallows nested there one year, and the chickadees have nested in it twice. The first time the male bluebird found it and tore up the nest, breaking the chickadee eggs. Last year I put an 1 1/4 inch hole reducer on it as soon as the chickadees started building and they successfully fledged about six little chickadees. I hope to repeat that this season.

I recently put another Gilbertson PVC box up out near the street in front of the house and near to where a pair nested in the newspaper box last year. It is on the opposite side of the house from the boxes my regular birds nest in. This new location is a terrible one because my neighbor's boys have a basketball goal out there, but if the birds are so desperate as to nest in the newspaper box, well, at least this box is higher and would be better than that. On the positive side, I placed it near a beautiful red dogwood tree and hope to catch a few nice shots when the dogwood is in bloom.

This message was edited Jan 27, 2013 8:31 AM

This message was edited Feb 1, 2013 6:25 PM

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