Bluebird Update April 19, 2012

Karyn happily clicks away with her iPhone at the five eggs in the nest box next to the Picnic Dome (4/17/12).

On April 17, Karyn Traphagen traveled with me on the Museum Bluebird Trail to check on the occupants of our six nest boxes. You may have already seen Karyn’s Tweets and photos on the subject as she took photos of all the boxes that were occupied.

There have been a few changes, as you might expect, the incubation period and growth in nestlings is not a drawn out affair with songbirds, things progress quickly.

Last week there were five eggs in the nest box up near the Train Tunnel (at the edge of the farm field). There are now five nestlings in that box and all look as though they’re doing well.

Five nestlings snuggle up to one another as Karyn and I peer into their lives (4/17/12).

The nest box near Gate 3 on the west side of the Butterfly House, which held three nestlings last week, now has four nestlings. This nest originally had four eggs but during last week’s inspection of the box I could only find three nestlings and no eggs. There must have been an egg under the nestlings that I couldn’t see at the time.

The four nestlings in the Butterfly House nest box are showing pin feathers on their bodies and wings (4/17/12).

If you’ve clicked on the link above you can see how quickly these birds grow. They’ll probably fledge before the next inspection.

The nest box that had a wasp nest inside during the last two inspections, was empty, no wasps, and no birds. But, and this is a big happy BUT, there was a House Wren singing in the woods behind the nest box, the first House Wren of the season here at the Museum. I’m betting that when I peek into this box next week it’ll have within it the twigs and sticks of a wren nest.

Although the nest boxes are built and intended for bluebirds, I’m happy to see wrens, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, or swallows use them as well.

So, after our third week of nest box inspections we totaled 11 bluebird eggs and 9 nestlings, 6 or 7 chickadee nestlings (it’s hard to count those little guys when they’re wiggling around), and one empty nest box.

I can’t wait till next week!

2 responses to Bluebird Update April 19, 2012

  1. Cecily Durrett says:

    We have a bluebird family (5 babies @ last check) that look to be about the same age as the group you have at the Train Trunnel. How long does it typically take for the birds to grow up and leave the nest?

    • Greg Dodge says:

      Bluebirds fledge (leave the nest) about 17 – 18 days from the time that they hatch but the exact span of time depends upon their food supply, how many insects the parents can catch and feed to them. This year seems to be a good year, except for the past few days of chilly wet weather which may have slowed things a bit.
      Check out the NC Bluebird Society’s website for the complete story

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