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Category Archives: Eastern Bluebird

June 6

Every year I have a pair of Eastern Bluebirds nesting in a birdhouse near in my prairie. As they near the fledging of their first batch I put up a new birdhouse outside my kitchen window and near the deck so I can photograph the bluebirds without using my bird blind. Within a few days of their first batch fledging I noticed that the pair were looking at the new house as a potential home. The male had gone into the house to check it out while the female watched.

It must have met his approval because the female then started bringing nesting material. Much of the material was pine needles and she had her problems trying to get into the house with a beak full of them. She tried a number of times before getting a “what the heck” look and giving up.

 

After her initial frustration she became very adept at flying right into the house with a beak fool of nesting materials. She made quick work of the project starting around 10am and finishing by 1pm.

I did get a few photos of the male just as she was starting the project and once when he went in to inspect the progress and again when he turned up for a photo op after the female finished the nest.

June 7

The male turned up at the birdhouse and went in. He soon exited the house with a single blade of grass is his beak. He spent some time on top of the house with the blade of grass. It appeared that he didn’t know what to do with it once he removed from the house. As near as I could determine this was his sole contribution to building the nest.

June 10

Both prospective parents were hanging around the house.

June 15

Still hanging around the house. Doesn’t look like she has laid any eggs yet.

June 23

The female is spending time outside the house so I think the eggs have been laid. She has been eating the Sumac berries that I provided for her just outside the house.

June 28

Clearly the young have hatched because both the male and female are going to the nest with food for the young.

July 4

The parents are continuing to feed the young. They are coming with food on a more frequent basis and seem to have larger insects. I’ve notice an interesting pattern. When the female brings food she flies directly to the nest. After feeding the young she flies over to the Sumac and takes a break and sometimes feeds on the Sumac. The male almost always flies to the Sumac and takes a break before flying to the nest. He never seems to eat the sumac. In the last photo the female is sweating because was very hot out.

 

July 9

The feeding pattern seems to be the same. I have a lot of shots of the male bird with a variety of insects because he usually stops at the Sumac to rest a bit before he flies to the nest. In one case he flew away three times and came back to the Sumac with the same insect in his beak before going to the nest. The female continues to fly to the nest to feed the young before flying to the Sumac. Unfortunately the only shots of her with food for the young are when she is already at the house.

The female continues to feed on the sumac berries.

July 11

This is the first day that I have been able to see the young looking out of the house. Both parents are now landing on the Sumac before going to the house to feed the young. I suspect they are trying to tempt them to leave the nest.

July 12

The young are getting big now and both parents have been busy removing poop from the nest.

July 13

The young are sticking their head out of the nest a little further each day. The parents are spending more time on the Sumac looking at the nest.

 

July 14

Today is the big day. The first fledgling edged out of the opening in the house this morning and gradually edged out to the point of no return. He appeared a little apprehensive hanging on to the house for quite some time before letting go. I thought he was going to drop to the ground but before he hit the ground he was able to gain momentum and flew to a tree branch about fifty yards from the house.

 

Shortly thereafter the male was at the nest but without any food. Soon the second fledgling was looking out of the nest.

Unfortunately I was scheduled for cataract surgery later in the morning and had to leave before the remaining two young fledged. I almost called the surgery center and told them I couldn’t keep my appointment because the bluebirds were fledging. When I returned from surgery they had all fledged.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog I placed a Bluebird house right outside my kitchen window in the hopes at a pair of bluebirds would build their nest in it. This is something I do every year when the bluebirds are getting ready to create their second batch of young. They don’t always select my preferred nesting place but this year they did. They have been feeding the young (3) for the past several weeks. I should also mention that I usually place a sumac branch near the house. This provides a perch as well as food while the female is on the nest. Unlike the male the female usually flies directly to the house with food for the young.

Once the female has fed the young she usually flies over to the sumac to take a break. She frequently eats some of the sumac berries. In fact she went through two batch of berries while nesting.

In this photo she was sweating because it was a very hot and humid day.

 

 

 

My pair of Eastern Bluebirds are continuing to feed their young. The main food source now seem to be grasshoppers which are found in the prairie in large numbers.

 

In late spring I noticed that a pair of Eastern Bluebirds were about ready to fledge their first batch of young. Since they don’t seem to reuse the same nest for their second batch I decided to put up a new birdhouse outside my kitchen window. As the first batch of young fledged they started looking over the new house. Within a couple of weeks they had built a nest and now the second batch has hatched and they have been busy feeding them. The first batch of young was fed mainly caterpillars. This batch of young is being fed mainly flying insects.

 

This Eastern Bluebird was hanging around waiting to lay its eggs after building a nest. I usually put out some sumac berries for it to feed on while nesting.

 

It’s been about a week since this pair of Eastern Bluebirds built their nest. For the most part I haven’t seen them around the nest but yesterday I noticed they were showing a little more interest in the nest.

 

A few days ago a pair of Eastern Bluebirds built a nest in one of my bluebird houses. The female did all of the work. Yesterday I noticed that the male bluebird was coming out of the house with a single piece of grass. Apparently something wasn’t quite right with the nest. However, after leaving the house he didn’t seem to know what he should do with the grass.

 

 

I set a blind up in my back yard because I noticed a pair of Eastern Bluebirds were feeding their young. I thought the young were about to fledge which would mean the birds would be visiting the nest on a regular basis. I was a little disappointed because they only turned up every 15-20 minutes. One other time when I was watching a pair of bluebirds feed their young at least one of the adults was at the house every 90 seconds. Still I was able to get a range of photos.

 

I set up my blind near a Bluebird house where a pair of Eastern Bluebirds were feeding their young. I happened to catch this sequence where the female bluebird was on top of he house when the male arrived with a nice worm. He transferred it to the female bluebird, with some difficulty, and she took it into the house to feed the young. For some reason the male did not go into the house to feed the young. He would just stick his head in and feed whereas the female would actually go into the house.

 

Several weeks ago I noticed that a pair of Easter Bluebirds were looking at one of my birdhouses as a potential residence. I had been photographing the same pair earlier in the spring. They had just fledged their first batch and were already starting a second nest. I had placed this house outside my kitchen window and near the deck so I could photograph them without getting the bird blind out. I put a house out in the same spot every year but this is only the second time anyone has nested in it.

 

The female had her problems trying to get into the house with a beak full of pine needles. She tried a number of times before getting a “what the heck” look and giving up.

She spent most of the day working on the nest and with a little more success. She continued to use pine needles and was able to get them into the house.

I did get a few photos of the male just as she was starting the project, once when he went in to inspect the progress and again when he turned up for a photo op after the female finished the nest.

 

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