In my blog post dated May 18th, I wrote about the Eastern Bluebird pair I had been seeing in our front yard. I suspected they would take up residence near by and bring up a brood of baby bluebirds. I was right! I took these photos of the pair on June 9th- the female bluebird was engrossed with gathering materials for her nest while the male remained close by, guarding her precious handiwork. They decided to use our only nesting box for their sweet little offspring :)
|She returned from her short trips with a beak full of nesting materials|
|While the lady of the house was out gathering materials, the male was checking things out|
|She worked for hours, going back and forth, back and forth...|
|While he stood guard nearby|
It usually takes 4 to 6 days for the female bluebird to complete her nest. Shortly thereafter, she will begin to lay her eggs, usually only one per day for a total of 4 to 7 eggs.
The female bluebird was often seen in the nesting box for a few days. It appeared the male came and went, bringing her food and checking on her. She occasionally left the box for brief periods. After a few days, I saw much less of her. For the past two days, I haven't seen either of them. I am worried. I hope nothing bad has befallen my feathered friends. I kept watch for the appearance of the bluebird pair for several hours this morning. No show. I had to know if eggs were in the nest, so I carefully opened the box and spotted possibly 4 eggs. Definitely 3. I wondered where the Mama Bluebird is- shouldn't she be incubating the eggs? Will the eggs hatch without incubation?
After some online reading about bluebirds and their nesting habits, I feel somewhat better about this pair's absence from the nest. Since the outdoor temperatures have been hot (in the 90's), the eggs are warm enough. Full time incubation doesn't start until after all eggs have been laid. It's not uncommon for the female to wait several days after eggs are laid before she begins incubation. Much depends on the weather.
Therefore, all I can do is wait and hope the parents will make their appearance soon. If everything goes right, I'll be posting photos of bluebird fledglings in a few weeks :)