Photo Friday: Baby Bluebirds

This will be short and sweet today, but I have exciting news to share. After several unsuccessful attempts this year, our bluebird pair has finally hatched babies! It is a big deal because Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis)are fairly rare in our area. Loss of habitat and competition for nesting sites from introduced species like starlings and house sparrows has contributed to their decline over the years. But they are making a comeback, and we have had them around Happy Acres since we moved here in 2007. I also had nest boxes at my old place, and I have been putting up nest boxes for them for over 30 years now, including many I made myself out of wood.

baby bluebirds

baby bluebirds

The nest box is made of PVC pipe stained to resemble a tree, and the size and shape is intended to discourage house sparrows from nesting. Sparrows are a problem here, and have been known to kill other bird babies and trash the nest. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping they will not be a problem, but I will be on the lookout for them. I have the nest box mounted on a metal pole, with a squirrel baffle mounted on it to deter snakes and other predators from climbing the pole.

PVC nest box on pole

PVC nest box on pole

The babies will grow rapidly with both parents feeding them. Bluebirds typically leave the nest somewhere between 16-21 days after hatching. I will continue to monitor the nest carefully, and try and stay away from the nest box since the parents tend to be protective and will swoop us if they think we get too close or tarry nearby too long. I’ll keep you posted on their progress.


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6 Responses to Photo Friday: Baby Bluebirds

  1. Michelle says:

    Oh, they are so cute and you got a great shot of the gaping mouth! It looks like you’ve given them as good a chance at success as is possible. Good Luck birdies!

    • Dave says:

      They are less than 24 hours old, but the gaping instinct is there. It was actually an accident, but it made for a good image!

  2. Sue Garrett says:

    I hope they survive.

  3. Margaret says:

    What an amazing photo! And some great tips on creating a nesting box – never would have thought to use PVC.

  4. Susie says:

    You’ve certainly done your part to help with survival, now it’s all up to them! Keeping my fingers crossed.

  5. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    So glad they nested. We have bluebirds, but the house sparrows always thwart them. I rebuilt the wood nest boxes (conventional house-type) over the winter and made sure to drill the hole to the size that discourages the sparrows, but they just sat on the perch and pecked the holes larger. Very discouraging. I notice that yours do not seem to have perches.

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