Thursday, May 24, 2012

Baby birds

It was a year ago that Ward got a bird feeder for his birthday and we started watching the birds around our yard. As part of this new found interest, we also have been watching our bluebird nesting box this spring. The birds have used it before, but we paid little attention to them.

This year, we watched as bluebirds flew around it making a nest. Later we checked it occasionally to watch the successful brood that was raised there. Wally and I took a few pictures of the process as you'll see below.

Let me mention a couple of things before you look at the pictures. Baby birds inside dark boxes don't take "cute" photos. I think the phrase, " They look like something only a mother could love," applies here.

February 23--Our bluebird nesting box that Wally built as part of his Boy Scout Eagle project.

                           March 23                                 March 27                                                    April 3
It took a couple of weeks for the nest to be built and then it sat empty for a couple more weeks.
This nest is made out of pine needles. Bluebirds usually use only one material to build their nests.

April 26--They hatch.
I don't know exactly when the babies hatched, but I think it was just before this picture was taken.
The four babies are mostly pink skin with tufts of gray down on their heads.

April 30--five days old
The down is increasing and the beak is a lot more prominent.
The eyes aren't open yet, but they should be opening in a couple of days.

May 11--sixteen days old
They have visible tail feathers and are starting to develop wing feathers. 
There's still a fair amount of down.

May 19, 2012--twenty-four days old
The nest is empty. They've probably been gone for a couple of days.

Note:  If you want to see a good photo and informational presentation of baby bluebirds visit Bluebird Nut.