Hi duc, and Rose, thank you Rose for the thread on these beautiful BBs this Season. I'm with duc, the little lady in blue needs to train her beau better. lol And yes, it's very early for Ozarks' Blues to be so eager to build their nest isn't it? My BBs down in Dixie land are having a time with the Mockingbirds this year. Though, they come and go in the regular basic. But no nest building activity has been observed. I so wished my Mockingbirds will leave them alone already.
Nice pics dellrose and lilly-love, Mine are starting to build too, I just haven't had the time to get photos Too much yard work right now However, I do enjoy seeing them at the mealieworm bowl everyday, Especially this evening when they were only about 5 feet away from me feasting on the worms while I was working in my garden bed.
Last week I heard the birds and wondered if they were already returning to my box. When I checked was very surprised to find a complete nest. Next day I opened box to see what may have happened and found the little female hunkered down. She looked at me, I looked at her, closed the box. She did not leave the nest. This week is terrible weather- wise, I am concerned for her survival, been too cold to check.
My birds started early in March --probably too early since we were then having night time temperatures in the low 20's and daytime temps in the high 30's. She laid five eggs and began incubating them, then after 2 days abruptly abandoned the nest. I watched her remove three of the eggs and then she would not go back inside the box anymore. Very strange. After 2 more days with below freezing temperatures and her never going back in, I removed the nest and the remaining 2 eggs. She would not build another nest in that box, despite urging by her mate. After about a week she started a new nest in the trap box the chickadees nested in last year. That nest has been complete for several days, but no new eggs as yet.
Over the Winter I put one of the Gilbertson PVC nest boxes in the front yard out by the street near where another pair nested in the newspaper box last year. I noticed a couple hanging around it so last week I looked inside to see if there was a nest. To my surprise there was a nest with 4 eggs. I do not know when she had started incubation but it must have been about the same time as the one in the back yard, so I am wondering if these will hatch, considering the freezing temperatures. I should know pretty soon.
Wow, cousin Dave. What fabulous photos as always. Sorry the weather hasn't been cooperative for our little BBs. Hope spring will finally arrive there to ease these little friends struggles to move on with their nesting season. Love their antic, and the pair atop of the snow covered Gilbertson PVC nest. That's priceless! Down south, it's tad warmer. Though it has been wet and cloudy...I haven't found any eggs yet from my BBs.
2dCousinDave, Enjoyed the photos and love the one with the male feeding the female, I see a lot of that here but have not gotten a picture of it yet. Sorry to hear about the cold and the female bluebird incident, I was worried that the female here had laid eggs ( It's 40 degrees and raining) so I went out and checked the box and no eggs yet, But, my area will be warming up quite a bit starting tommorrow. ~ hope the eggs hatch in the trap box (Wish it was warmer there). I'm so surprised for some reason to know that the bb nested in your newspaper box last year, It gives me idea's to set one up in the backyard just to see what might nest in it ( I'm hoping doves will). I like that Gilbertson PVC nestbox picture!
Lily_love, No eggs yet here either, But, Soon I'm sure!
Rose, ah bummer about the snow storm. It's been windy and cold here . We're expecting some of that snow tonight, but should not amount to much.. Hopefully it will start warming up, for you and the bluebirds. Great photos of the ever so busy female.
BBs have tried to occupy but sparrows want to share. Any suggestion as how I might help the blues win?
I pull out the nests and even stuff the hole against entry. Two days the sparrows are frantic about that, then stop trying. I clean and open the box. The blues start occupying again and within a couple days the sparrows are back at it.
I'm thinking of installing a 2nd box close to the 1st, in hopes they all will find peace in their own abode.
Good luck Lily...I hope the Blues decide to nest in your yard this year. You are so lucky to have so much nest activity!!
Duc...I can't remember if I've ever seen the male help in the nest building...but I can't remember my own name half the time!!
Beautiful shots Dave and so glad to hear the Blues are nesting in your front yard. Sorry to hear about the other nest but the season is still early. Do you think you will get another pair in the back yard?
gessieviolet...any news on your Bluebirds?
Iris...I feed mine meal worms but have their bowl right outside the window so I can feed from inside. They sometimes land on their branch and stare at me if I'm at the kitchen window.
Burn...it is finally warming up here and starting to feel like spring so it is heading your way.
RESORT2ME...I am sure you have received excellent advise from Dave and I wish you best of luck with the Sparrows. I have had the same problem in the past.
Nest Update...Our female has laid two eggs and I expected to find a third this morning but so far only the two. She and the male have been spending a lot of time in and out of the box. Another set of Blues have started a nest in the box by our hayfield. I am hoping we all have a great season with few problems.
dellrose, Would love to feed right outside the window, But, It would make it hard for me to get photos, Sure would make life easier though and it would be fun, Would love to see them looking in the kitchen window! Congrats on the 2 eggs, Probably be another tommorrow!! Keep us informed please.
The weather is slowly warming here and as of today the back yard birds have two new eggs in the trap box. He is still acting very lovey-dovey and bringing her worms. These pictures were taken today.
The four eggs in the front yard PVC box should be hatching soon but those birds are not yet used to me being around and they fly from the box if I even open the front door. I try not to disturb them but I should be able to tell from the hustle and bustle when their eggs have hatched.
Good to be back in the bluebird season. Dave, as usual, my birds are about 2 to 3 weeks behind yours. Yesterday I notice a few pieces of grass nesting material on the floor in the back yard house set in a circular pattern like they were getting ready to build. Today there is what appears to be an"almost complete" nest. (photos 1&2) I looked in the front yard box today and noticed the complete nest (photo 3 & 4) I have only seen the front yard pair just sitting in the tree nearby, never entering the nest. I am hoping that this is a different pair from the backyard pair. We will see.
David in Stafford
(anxiously awaiting the appearance of little blue eggs)
for some reason the photos did not set in the right sequence. The first birdhouse goes with the nest in the last photo and the second house goes with the first nest. Not sure how that happened. ( darn electronic stuff - or operator error : /
And a separate photo. As I was on my way to the backyard to look at the box I noticed the male bird perched on a "shepherds hook" flower pole that I have put in front of the nest box to try to feed mealworms this year. You will need to magnify the photo to see the pole and the bird to the left of the bird house. Unfortunately I was not ready for this encounter and had my short range lens on the camera when I rounded the corner.
bluebirdsnbells, I like how the box is set away from things and pretty much by itself, hope you see eggs soon.
Haven't been getting many photos as I've been so busy cleaning the gardens, Did get a few though. ~ And I have three eggs in the nestbox. It's a little harder this year for them because the Mockingbird likes to harrass them, But, they are dealing with it.
Dave, 2nd Dave and Iris...stunning photos all and here's hoping all goes well for our Blues.
Our back yard Blues laid their 2nd egg last Wednesday and their 3rd one on Sunday. I've never had them skip that many day so I do not know what the heck is going on with them. DH has been doing some work close to the nest for a few hours a day but that has never bothered them in the past. They could be new birds and don't know us very well...I just don't know. The birds by the hayfield have their nest over half finished and all seems fine so far.
The five in the PVC box in the front yard hatched Sunday morning so the parents are now busy, foraging for the tiny insects the little ones can digest. The tree swallows are looking for an empty nest box but without much luck so far.
Well my birds finally started their brood. There are 3 Bluebird eggs in the back yard house. A Carolina Chickadee has laid 6 eggs in the front house. I am not sure when that took place as I was concentrating on the blues in back.
Sooo-- I will get to watch two sets of birds this go around. I will try to get some photos when the weather warms up again. It is getting cold at night.
Here are a few photos of the bluebird and chickadee nests.
1 and 2 are papa bird outside the nestbox. The female is in the box. I did not get a photo of her.
3 We have 4 eggs so far. I expect the 5th one tomorrow. If my numbers are correct we should see the hatch about May 7 or May 8.
4 is the Chickadee eggs - 6 total. Since I do not know when they started laying, I am estimating a hatch around May 1. We will see.
Hi all, as of today there are 5 blue eggs in my BBs nest. I too had 5-6 chickadees eggs last week, but unfortunate the mama chick and the eggs fell preys to some sort of predator. I'm so blue over that. But the BBs seem to do well so far. Dave in Stafford, it appears yours and mine may hatch approximately the same time. Thanks all for the pics. My pc is giving me trouble uploading pictures. So I'll be out of pocket for a while.
bluebirdsnbells, enjoying the photos, And so exciting, We all have eggs and hatchings to look forward too!! Looking forward to all the future photos!! I haven't checked the box recently, But, I had four eggs the last time I looked! ~ Also have Cardnals nesting, Nutthatch nesting, and Mockingbirds nesting.
Lily_love, Sorry to hear of the loss of the chickadee and eggs, thats always so sad! Just wondering, Do you have your boxes on a pole, Or any guards on them?
Here are a few pics from today, I got these just before it was getting dark so not the greatest lighting for pictures, But, I'm so busy here right now and have to try and get pictures when I can.
First 4 -Pappa Bluebird getting his fill of worms ( Of course he always shares them with the female)
Mamma Bluebird came in for some too.
Most recent photos ( Taken today) ... Been having tons of bird babies around lately ( thrush, Robin, red bellied woodpecker, Wren .. And soon to be Bluebirds!) Also have a cardnals nest for the first time in the hollie bush.
Pappa Blue - collecting food
Mama blue - Collecting food
mama Blue ... Dinner is served
Papa Blue ... Dinner is served
The babie blues ...
Lily_Love, Thankyou! And Your Quite Welcome!!! I know what you mean about lowering the BP, Watching the birds and photographing them gives me much Peace and serenity!! It's the times I am doing this that I feel At Ease.
Mrs_Ed, Yes they are! ~ I wish I had done a date on them when they eggs were laid so that I knew about what day they would fly, i guess I'll just have to watch and hope for the best to catch some flight shots when they leave. But, i know they will be returning with the parents to eat at the feeders so hopefully I'll get some good shots when they do.
The 4 Bluebird eggs hatched on May 6 with much fanfare. The 2 parents were in and out of the nestbox all day. I snapped a couple of Papa waiting for the female to come out of the box. The two photos of the hatchlings are from today about an hour ago. I expect the fledge to be around May 22-25 with the 23rd as the most probable date.
bluebirdsnbells, Congrats on the hatchlings and keep us uposted! Mine just flew the nest yesterday, I waited untill 10:30 AM to take photos , But, They must have flown out after that time so unfortunately I missed them, But mom and pop keep coming to the mealie feeder and bringing the food up to the top of the trees for the fledglings so pretty soon they will all be coming to the feeder to eat! ( Looking forward to it! ) Last year, I had the parents and fledglings coming down to eat at the feeders, But, Also had extra BB fledglings from somewhere coming down to eat too, Hopw it's the same this Year!!
Well as luck would have it, my young ones took the early day and fledged yesterday while I was away. I saw no activity at the box this morning, went out to check and found it empty. Missed another fledge. I have cleaned out the 2 boxes (chickadees also went early) and when they dry I will put them up again for the "second" season.
RESORT2ME and bluebirdsnbells, hope the Bluebirds come back for you! ~ David, I missed when mine flew the coop too ( I had to just miss it, I watched the box most of the morning and they didn't fly out, but, When I checked in the afternoon, they were gone)
The Fledglings are now coming to the mealie feeder with the parents, All three of them made it and look well, At first i thought only two made it, But, The third comes in to eat every so often so i know they all made it and the female is allready bringing nest material to the box again ( And I did notice at one point that she was bringing mealie worms to the nest box too, Don't understand why she would do this but she has done it.)
Here are some photos of the fledglings eating ...
Dave Iris and all, so glad to hear news of your successful fledglings. MyBB first nesting was not a success, the 4 eggs vanished one evening, then the 5th disappeared the following day. I had no idea what happened. One consolation is that the nest is being rebuilt at present. Iris, those pics. are soooo precious! Nice job!
Lily_Love, Thankyou! ~ Love watching the little ones! ~ But, All the others want the mealies at the same time and it makes it kinda hard to get a decent picture sometimes, if I try to scare off the mockingbird, I end up scarring the bluebirds off too! ~ They all ( Bluebirds, Cardnals,Mockingbirds,Robins,Titimise, Wrens) seem to want to eat at the same time!
So sorry to hear of the missing bluebirds, But, Happy to hear they are rebuilding, On another note, You lost your chickadees to a preditor too no?? Are your boxes on a pole or a tree?? ~ Hope it's a pole, Trees are a really bad place to put a box on, The survival rate of chicks born in a box that was placed on a tree are Very low, All kinds of preditors climb trees making an easy target out of the chicks/eggs. really so much better to have them on a pole ( A bit away from trees) I learned this the hard way a long time ago and would never put a nest box on a tree again ( Unless it's for owls) Even on a pole you have to be careful and use a baffle/ guard to make it safer. I use a large pvc pipe, ( cheap to buy, and makes a huge difference) from the bottom to the top of the pole ( I also grease the pipe with vaseline) Really helps keep the snakes and other critters off it! I always try and protect them the best I can as they are so helpless once something wants to get in.
And on one more changed note ... I realized today that there are four baby BB's !! I was so happy!!
Lily - sorry to hear of the loss but I am glad that the pair has started another nest. Iris is quite right on the pests that bother our birds. If you take a look at the photo, this bird house is mounted on a 4" PVC pipe mounded in a concrete deck support block. I have not had any problem with critters yet so I have not used a baffle.
I do have a new nest that was just built yesterday by the same pair, I believe. I have not seen the fledglings yet, but they have never returned following their nest departure. There are enough surrounding woods and fields that must be full of insects and grubs for the young. I have not been able to get the bbs to take mealworms yet. I have take several trips during the summer where the food dish would not be replenished and I don't want to create an inconsistent supply issue with the birds.
My front box is now occupied by a wren. That nest also completed yesterday. No eggs in either nest today. Of course it has been extremely hot so I imagine the birds are keeping to the trees until cools off a bit.
Resort and Iris - Congratulations on your broods. Nice photos too, Iris.
Thanks all for the kind words, I'm so happy for all that have success with the BBs this season. As of yesterday, there were 2 new blue eggs in the nest. And today I saw the male BB was feeding the female while they were standing by the nest box. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
bluebirdsnbells, Thanks, i believe my pvc pole is a little bigger around then yours ( I worrie a lot about the snakes around here and felt that the wider/slipprier it is, the harder for them to climb it, Like you, I have not had problems while using the pvc poles so I don't use a baffle either. I always feed the bluebirds and all the others ( Many love mealie worms, I raise my own, so I'm not in short supply) But, If I were, I wouldn't worry here about them have an insufficient supply of food there are many trees shrubs grasses ect in the whole area where I live, never a short supply on other food sorces here. My Bluebird pair are still leading the young ones ( There are 4, they all made it) to the mealie worms but are really trying to get them to feed on there own which they are definately starting to do but they still beg the parents sometimes .. This is a photo I took of the pvc pole today in the rain ..
Dave, and Iris, seems as if yours (BBs) are running neck to neck. LOL, It'd be fun to wait and watch your next broods' development. I'm more encouraged with mine, having seen Moma BB in the nest box more and more often.
Got a quick snap of the nest and 2 eggs between raindrops this morning. They seem to be doing well. Congratulations on the new start Iris and thank you Lily for the photo. It looks like she is just resting after a hard day at work.: )
Lily_love, I'm sure you will be having eggs in the nestbox soon :)
bluebirdsnbells, It kinds does look like Mickey Mouse LOL!!! ... I'm right behind you on this end, Got two eggs in the box today. I really enjoy watching the male take the fledglings to the worms and then take some worms over to feed the female! I wanted to get a photo of that today but she was behind a hanging pot so I couldn't get a good shot of them.
Some from today ...
Two eggs in the box
Waiting on dinner ...
...and recieving it!
Flying in on his own
Got three of them, Have a Hard time trying to get the four together.
David, They love mealie worms and mine will come in from a ways when they know the worms are out there, I think you would be happy if you set up a feeder station, It's really enjoyable watching them, And it seems once the fledglings know where it is , They always come back to eat from it, One time, I only had one nest of fledglings here to start off the Spring and when the fledglings were ready to be on there own, Of course they came in to eat, But, I also had another set of fledlings that came at the same time, So there was like 8 fledglings out there eating, Plus the parents, It was quite a sight to see, I was hoping it would be the same this year, But, No others came in, So I think it will be just that one time that it happened. ~ I don't have much of a feeder station here, I just put the dish out on a stand and they come right in if there around, if there not around, It doesn't take long for them to realize it's out there.
Yeahhhhhhh! David, as I saw your photo, I went back out and fed my BBs. Oddly enough, I only saw the momma. Not her beau. The female came after the mealies, flew up the tree, then back into the nest box. I'm thinking she's started to incubate the eggs? I don't want to disturb her at this point; so no pic. for now.
Lily_love, Thanks! To your post above ..I'm sure the male was around, Sometimes they just disapear for a while ( Probably hunting next yard over) I check my boxes during the day and sometimes the female's in there and she flies out, But, she always comes back, I usually tap on the box first to give her a chance to fly before I open the door. I check every now and then to make sure all is ok, One time, When I had the box in a different location and I checked, there were ants starting to get into the box, So I had to take the nest out, Chicks and all, And clean the box out, ( Wanted to make sure there were no ants eating on the chicks) Cleaned the box, Moved the box and put the nest back in, She just went right back to them and all was fine.
David, 4 eggs, thats Great!!! Yeaaaa! ~ I didn't check the box today, Too much to do and then had a monsoon rain storm!
On another note, I had a Very Sad Evening last night! ~ I let my dog out at about 9:30 last night and I could hear the Thrush down the end of the yard making noises, I knew right off that it wasn't a good thing, I knew something was at her nest!!! ~ I took the flashlight out and went looking, Sure Enough, It was a Black Racer Snake in the nest and it ate the babys!!!!!!!!! I tried to do the best I could to save them, But, I was too late!! :(
I was so mad, But, I had to remind myself that it's part of nature and the snake was doing what it was programed to do, I Did catch it ( Well, actually, My hubby did) and we relocated it. I felt so sad, Especially since I watched her make the nest, Have the eggs, And the babys were getting feathered! I had even put an unbrella above the shrub where they had there nest the other day to help protect them against the heavy rains we have been having, And yesterday morning the parents came to the dish to get some worms for the chicks, They almost made it, So sad! I always worry when the birds have nests in the shrubs because it is easy access for preditors , But, Unfortunately, There is nothing I can do to protect them when there nest is in the shrubs, Can only protect the ones that nest in the pole boxes. I hope they will nest again and hope they will have a better chance now that the snake is gone, But, I'm sure another might come along or some other preditor especially seeing it's now getting into the warmest months. I Thank God that the Bluebird box has some protection, I also always listen for the bird sounds as I know the differences of each species when they make a distress call, during the day when I'm out there, I can do something, But, During the night, It's out of my control usually. Posted some photos of the snake and the Thrush at the dish yesterday morning and a couple Bluebird photos ..
Bluebird dad and Fledglings
Bluebird Fledgling and pops ... Hey, Save me some dad!! ( lol)
On one more note, I won second place in a photo contest the other night, ( It was the same image that was on DG's photo calender this year) ~ I figured I'd take a chance and enter it seeing it was a gardening subject - This is the image I won with ..
Thanks Iris for sharing your experience; both the sad and the good ones. Once again the BBs family member are just adorable, and the one of Dad and fledgling is fabulous, congrats on the 2nd prize. Nature is indeed rough, I'm glad that you were able to relocate the snake. Bad, bad snake! I think those Thrushes and Mockingbirds all build their nests in shrubs and such. Oh by the way, what's the difference between Thrush and Brown Thrashers? I used to call those 'Brown Thrashers'. Few of them have discovered my seeds feeder and have came by to feast on them of late...
Lily_love, Thanks! ~ The difference is the Brown Thrashers have much longer tails, streaks on chest, more reddish, white barring on wings, Wood Thrushes are smaller, darker, have rounder heads, big round spots on chest, pink legs, white ringed eyes, short tails. The above is actually a Thrasher. ( Sorry about that) I had thrush stuck in my head for some reason and wrote it as such. ... Another sad day today, I went to check the bb box and found the threee eggs on the ground with holes pecked in them, Definately the work of a bird trying to take over the nest/ get rid of the compitition, I'll have to keep a close eye on the box and see which bird is doing it ( My guess would be the wren) always something to deal with here, dissapointing and aggravating sometimes! Can protect the BB's from most preditors, Except other birds!! I do have a baffle for the hole entrance, But, They don't like having it on there so I'm going to have to think of another way of doing this, I might just put another box in the imediate area if I see it's the wren doing it.
Brown Thrashers have much longer tails, streaks on chest, more reddish, white barring on wings
Wood Thrushes are smaller, darker, have rounder heads, big round spots on chest, pink legs, white ringed eyes, short tails
above is a thrasher not a thrush ( Sorry about that, had thrush stuck in my head for some reason) ... Another sad story today, I went to check the BB box and found the three eggs on the ground with holes in them, I know it wasn't a snake or other ground preditor, It was a bird that wanted to take over the nest/get rid of the compitition, Now, I'll have to watch closely and see which one!! It's probably the wren! Always something around here, It gets very dissapointing and frustrating sometimes!!!
Arrggg, such sad day, sorry about that Iris. Thanks so much for taking the time out to help explain the difference b/w the thrush and B.Thrasher. Have a good evening, I share your pain. Having been gone most part of the day. I hope my BBs are aokay out there.
And I sure hope yours are ok. And Your Welcome for the explaination of the differences, ~ "Thankyou" for pointing that out to me so I didn't continue to post the wrong name on the Thrasher.
Iris, I was just curious and wanted to learn more about different species of birds in general. Oh, before I left this morning, I saw the male BB came with another bird, wasn't sure it was a female or a fledgling. It was always a joy to see them. Have a good night everyone.
Lily_Love, From what I can see, looks to be a female BB, But, Could be a fledgling.
Not much postings lately, I'm wondering how everybodys BB's are doing??
Got a new egg in the BB box today, So she has started nesting again, Hope the eggs do allright this time, Going to be keeping an eye on it for sure! Few pic's that I got a short while back ..
Here is an update on the bluebirds. They all seem to be doing well. I went out to look in on them today and as soon as I opened the nest box this is what I found. Chirping away and looking for Mommy. I took my photo and backed away. Momma bird came in as I turned my back about 30 ft away. All is well.
Grandson is doing fine also. Our daughter was at the house today with the little ones and I got to hold him for about 20 minutes as she rested. He was alert, looking around, active arms and legs, but quiet.
Cherish every seconds, minutes with the grandbaby David. Our 1st grandbaby arrived 21 months ago, as they said, as a grandchild's born so was grandma. Life is so much more beautiful, I may add. Thank you for sharing a little of your world with us and others. Keep those pics. coming please.
Well, I missed them again. There was a lot of activity at the nest box yesterday with the parent birds feeding the young but it wasn't until around 4:00 PM that I saw a tiny head looking out of the box. Nothing happened and I went to church to practice for a Handbell event in Portland, OR later this month. When I returned at around 5:30 PM the female bird was still flying to and from the box.
I went out this morning to mow the lawn and did not notice any of the adult blue birds around so I looked in the nest box and found it empty. Must have happened around dinner time last evening. So I am assuming that we have another 4 little ones roaming the woods somewhere,
Took the box down and cleaned it. When it dries I will put it up again for another try.