Yesterday, I checked the nest boxes. From a look-see a week ago, I knew that we had two boxes with a couple bluebird eggs each, so I couldn’t wait to see the progress.
BOX # 21 (southwest end of property)
Last year, this box was used by Tree Swallows, but this year the Bluebirds decided to claim it. Mama flew off when I knocked and I was able to take a photo of the five eggs, make a quick exit and hang back about 75 feet to get a couple photos of the lovely couple.
BOX #23 (northwest end of property)
Last year, this box was not used. I was excited to see that Bluebirds have moved in and are starting a little family. The mama bird flew off when I was 50 feet away, but returned quickly after I took a quick photo of the four lovely eggs. I saw the male, but didn’t get a photo of him.
BOX #29 (East central property line)
This is a new box that we installed last autumn after the breeding season. It sits between box 14 and 15 which, last year, were used by Tree Swallows and Bluebirds. I was happy to see 5 beautiful blue eggs when I opened the box and slid my cell phone in to get a quick image. The female flew off when I approached, but she and her mate flew to a tree about 30 feet from the box to supervise my activity. I filmed them, and then the female’s return to the box once I moved off.
I added the last two photos because I thought they were interesting. Based on her sideways gaze, it looks like the female’s original intention was to fly to the entry hole, but she aborted and then took a position on the fence wire another couple feet below (outside of the image.) It’s possible the strong wind gusts affected her ability to get to the hole. A few seconds later, she popped right up and made a quick re-entry.
The incubation period for Bluebirds is 12-14 days, although I’ve seen a few other values. Nonetheless, it won’t be long before the chick hatch and the parents begin to feed them. I”m looking forward to that!