Songbird babies grow up so fast! The young bluebirds are now eight days old. At this stage of development, their eyes open and their feathers start to come in. And when the nest box is opened for monitoring, they no longer automatically “gape” their mouths for food. As a matter of fact, I could barely get a rise out of these nestlings when I checked the box at about 7AM this morning.
As I looked in the nest box, the bluebird parents sat in a nearby black cherry tree. I was waiting to be swooped, but it didn’t happen this time. Please forgive the somewhat blurred photo since I did not have the telephoto lens with me. It is safe to say they were watching my every move!
I will stop opening the nest box in a few days, when the nestlings are about 12 days old. At that point there is a risk they might bolt and fledge the nest prematurely. Bluebirds typically leave the nest when they are 16-20 days old.
In a side note, the nest box is located about 15 feet from another PVC nest box. The bluebirds built a nest in the other box first, before they built the nest they ultimately used. I have seen the bluebirds defending both boxes, on Saturday chasing away a small brown bird (probably a house wren) that landed on the other box.
Bluebirds are finally at Happy Acres. And that is great news to me!