While we’ve been busy with summer gardening activities, the resident bluebird pair has been busy with family matters. The four eggs that were in the nest on July 4th have hatched into 4 young chicks. I checked on the nest this morning and found the four babies alive and well.
This is the third nest for the bluebirds this year. For the first one the female laid 6 eggs, and the second nest had five eggs. Three broods per year is not at all uncommon here for the Easter Bluebird. This nest was built like a previous one, with a base of fine grasses and pine needles woven around the top. This time the pair seemed to be in agreement over the construction details, and didn’t build two nests like the last time.
We occasionally see the young bluebirds from the second brood flying about. We have seen at least two of them at one time, but we really don’t know how many survived. It is common for the younger birds to stay with the parents while they raise another brood. The young bluebirds have spotted breasts, like their close relative the American Robin.
We’ll keep a watch on the nest box for the next couple of weeks, until this latest brood fledges the nest. And of course we’ll enjoy the frequent visits from the parents, since we have a ring side seat from our screened porch.
After having bluebirds scouting out HA in 2009 and 2010, this year we are happy to play hosts for this pair. With any luck they, or their offspring, will return in years to come. We’re keeping our fingers crossed!