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Click to go to Audubon Society of Omaha Home Page Audubon Society of OmahaEastern Bluebird

Welcome to The Bluebird Box since 1995
Best of Bluebird Mailing Lists Classified

Fledging and Fledglings - after they leave the nest (Part 3)

In addition to Messages that have appeared in the Bluebird Mailing Lists on this topic, the following are on the Audubon Society of Omaha website:  Predators and Problems On The Bluebird Trail


From: "Janice Petko" jpetko"at"neo.rr.com
To: "Cornell Bluebird-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Fledgling peiord
Date: Sun, 21 Oct 2001 14:15:02 -0400
 

Can anyone tell me the length of the fledgling period for EABL and TRES.  That is, how long are the "kids" dependent on their parents for food? I  have heard anywhere from 1 week for TRES to 5 weeks for EABL. Is this  correct?
Thank you.
Janice Petko
North Canton, OH


From: Shane Marcotte marco50"at"bellsouth.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)
Subject: New Egg
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 21:04:48 -0400

Hello All,
In just a few short months 2 babies fledged box 1 and 3 Eggs now in box 2.Box 3 empty and thats MY trail!But Im working on it and before long there will be 100 houses if I can help it.Question for the pros: When the young ones fledge how far from "home" do they go?They just roost in the trees at night?I havnt seen them return with the parents unless a whole new couple are in box 2 and the parents have gone with the babes. Shane in Louisiana


From: hubertrap"at"webtv.net (Joe Huber)
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 22:35:37 -0400 (EDT)
To: marco50"at"bellsouth.net, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)
Subject: Re: New Egg

Hi shane and all, When the young leave the nest they usually don't go to far away. They gather in a tree rather close together so parents can feed them. If you see adults gathering insects just watch where they go and you will generally locate the young. They have no further use for the nest box and don't return
even if it turns bad outside. After a week or two the young will come out in the open but by then may have moved away from nest area. After a couple more weeks the adults will start a new nest.
Joe Huber Venice Fl.

Charter member NABS, Charter member OBS, Life member OBS Joe Huber
hubertrap"at"webtv.net 

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/HOUSESPARROWCONTROL 

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/RoostingBluebirds


 

27.1171494 N Lo -82.4124222 W
He who ask a question is stupid for five minutes, He who never ask a
question remains stupid forever, Chinese Priverb.


Date: Fri, 3 May 2002 11:09:30 -0700 (PDT)
From: Bruce Johnson andyroooney"at"yahoo.com
Subject: Flying abilities of fledgling bluebirds
To: kridler"at"1starnet.com, BLUEBIRD-L bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu

Snip
Bluebirds on the other hand can normally fly 50 to 100 feet and tend to have higher survival rates than robins. I have seen some young more developed that could fly hundreds of feet and others who were capable of landing on a power line wire for the first landing while others hop out of the box and crash land within a dozen feet.

I "BELIEVE" that we could dramatically increase survival of the young birds IF they were to stay in a nestbox an extra day or two or three.
Snip

Hello Keith & all -

I could not agree with you more.

By my calculations the bluebirds that fledged from a box in our yard recently spent at least 2 days extra in the box. When they fledged they took off upward at about a 45 degree angle and landed well up in a sizable oak tree in the yard.

Within a few hours they were leaving the oak tree for some trees in a neighbors yard and were flying like pros.

Maybe it's not nice to fool with Mother Nature, but it sure is nice to see these babies leave the box with gusto.


 

=====
Best regards,

Bruce Johnson
Life Mbr. NABS
Memphis Tennessee
(Extreme southwestern TN)


From: "Ernie Tucker" ernie724"at"citlink.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Fledging
Date: Sun, 5 May 2002 14:01:14 -0500

Our first sunshine in quite a while here - and our first bluebird experience has come to its completion. I went out and refilled the feeders, and started some fertilizing. I was right by my nest box and heard a bird crying, looked at the box and here's a young one with his bill on the edge of the hole just chirping away. I went in and got my wife and we went out on the front porch - about 40 feet from the nest box - so she could hear it, too. Then we noticed it was really sticking its head out of the hole, and Mommy was up on a power lie. She swooped in and fed the little one, then left. Then it started chirping again, and my wife said she heard the female calling in a high pitched cry which I couldn't hear. We decided it was going to fledge so I came into the house where I have the camera set up. As I was turning the camera into position it came out with almost haf its body, then went back in. It did that a couple more times - and I got pictures. Then it popped out and flew away - I think I got a shot of it on the wing. Mommy came down to guide it and the two of them flew around a little and finally landed on a tree in the yard next door. What a thrill!!

Knowing there were two more in the nest, I hustled out and cleaned up my stuff so I could get out of the way to see the next one go. We waited about 2 hours and there was no activity at all around the nest box. I went out and listened, and could hear nothing - then - against all rules, I carefully opened the box and found it empty. We assume the other two had fledged earlier this morning and the reason we didn't see the male was that he was off taking care of the other two. 

Hopefully I have pictures I'll be putting on my web page - but that won't be until mid-week at the earliest - this was not the digital camera.

I opened the box, cleaned out the nest, then took the hose to it. I'll leave it open today to let it dry, then close it up ready for the next nest which we will monitor more carefully now that we have some basic information.

A very gratifying conclusion to our first bluebird experience!!

Ernie & Jane Tucker
Crossville TN
35.887-85.021
www.jetimaging.com/bluebird_nestling.htm


From: "Carole" cas"at"att.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: First Fledging!
Date: Tue, 7 May 2002 14:00:36 -0400

and I was right in the middle of it, what a surprise!! I noticed from the window that both bluebird parents were flying back and forth on the fence line and they were doing a lot of chattering, which I'd never heard them do before... There were 3 male House Sparrows playing tag with them all around their house so I ran outside to help them run the HOSPs off. There was a lot of activity out there, a song sparrow and 4 or 5 goldfinches were all playing tag on the fence, too, with the HOSP and the bluebirds, so I came and got my binoculars and went back outside to keep watch and see what was going on. As I looked at the bluebird house, a bird came flying out and came right towards me, right over my head to the big tree all the feeders are under! I looked back at the house and could see another one step up the hole and perch there, he didn't wait any time and flew out! Went right to the tree outside my bedroom window! HOSP started flying up and fluttering in front of the box as another bb baby sat perched in the hole, parents were more aggressive than I've ever seen them yet he would not leave their space... the last baby bluebird flew out and took a right turn, then landed on the fence surrounding the garden, right by the wren's nestbox. The bluebirds went right to the wren's nestbox and sat on top of it and Mr. & Mrs. Wren didn't appreciate this one bit! Lots of noise going on! Bluebirds were flying all over and I was a nervous wreck watching all this activity!! lol I came back in the house and took some pictures through the window of the baby bb in the tree right outside and then I noticed the bluebird parents dive-bombing one of their own babies who was standing in the driveway! They flew into him and actually knocked him over, I guess they were trying to make him move out of the open area as he did finally start hopping towards the grass. So the babies were soon all over the place and I felt pretty sorry for the parents trying to cover them on both sides of the house. Kept my dogs in all afternoon as one baby bluebird hopped the entire length of our backyard. The one in the tree jumped onto my screen and clung there for a bit before fluttering off to the bushes below and I lost him after that. Such excitement though!! This morning I have not been able to find even one of them but the parents are here, in both the front and back yards, looking very busy. :) I am so relieved and happy that they've made it this far!

Carole
Northeast TN

 

http://mountainwolfcove.com
cas"at"att.net


Date: Tue, 07 May 2002 18:45:15 -0400
From: Pamela Ford jpford"at"comcast.net
Subject: All but one fledged today!
To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu

With the back door open this afternoon, I heard my backyard bluebird pair chattering away excitedly. I went to take a look just in time to see a nestling lean out of the box and become a fledgling! The fledling headed toward a big pine tree about 150 feet away, flying very low to the ground and with the parents following it. The parents then returned and another nestling repeated the scene but flew to a tree about 40 feet from the first. The parent bluebirds then stayed the rest of the afternoon in the trees, probably rounding up fledglings. This evening, after about 4 hours with no sign of the parents, I checked the nestbox and was surprised to see one remaining nestling! Guess tomorrow will be her day, and she'll be ignored by her parents as incentive to get moving!

By the way, can bluebirds count? How do the parents know how many have left the box and how many remain? Seems they temporarily lost track of this last nestling.

Of the 5 original nestlings, 3 were 17 days old today, and the other 2 were 16 days old.

Pam in Harford County, Maryland


From: "John C James" jjames14"at"nc.rr.com
To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Missing Blue birds
Date: Wed, 15 May 2002 11:13:21 -0400

After my 5 little EABL fledged around 10 days ago, I saw Mama only once, and then briefly. I put some mealworms out to see if they were still around one evening, and they were gone the next morning. I put more mealworms and watched.

A Tufted Titmouse swooped down removed one and flew to a nearby tree. Either he or other titmice returned every minute or two until all the mealworms were taken.

The events cause me to ask two questions.

1. Has anybody seen my bluebirds, or know where they have gone, or when they might return?

2. Should I put out more mealworms for the EABL's, or are the tutfted titmice just waiting to clean me out of mealworms, They would not stop until none were left in the feeder.

John James
Durham, BC


From: hubertrap"at"webtv.net (Joe Huber)
Date: Wed, 15 May 2002 12:39:32 -0400 (EDT)
To: jjames14"at"nc.rr.com, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Missing Blue birds

Hi John, Feeding the Bluebirds is not necessary this time of year. The adults have the young in a tree some distance away where they are being fed. they will move about the area under cover for 2-3 weeks, and then the adults will look for a place to start another nest. When that happens you may see the young birds as they are learning to find their own food. I maintained bluebird boxes for 26 years and never fed Bluebirds during nesting season. I did feed them during winter a few years. The Titmouse pair will keep eating your meal worms as long as you put them out. Its hard to control what birds get our offerings when dealing with wild creatures. Joe Huber Venice, Fl,

Charter member NABS, Charter member OBS, Life member OBS Joe Huber hubertrap"at"webtv.net 

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/HOUSESPARROWCONTROL 

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/RoostingBluebirds


 

27.1171494 N Lo -82.4124222 W
He who ask a question is stupid for five minutes, He who never ask a question remains stupid forever, Chinese Proverb.

From: "John C James" jjames14"at"nc.rr.com
To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Missing Blue birds
Date: Wed, 15 May 2002 11:13:21 -0400

...


Date: Wed, 15 May 2002 17:36:32 -0500
From: jacqueline tamm bjtamm"at"execpc.com
To: coble"at"frognet.net, bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: fledgling question

Hi Sonja...just a reminder that the bluebirds that were successful on your property will probably return for a second nesting. Most of us clean out the old nest and wait for Mom bluebird to start her next family. Last year, one pair at the park where I maintain a trail had THREE successful broods! That is not common here in the North, but it could happen. Anyways, nice to hear of your success, and good luck the rest of the year! Bob, in Muskego, Wi.

Don & Sonja Coble wrote:

Thanks for all of the wonderful advice that we received!

...


From: "Kellams, Dina M" dmkellam"at"indiana.edu
To: "'BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu'" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: 6 brood in Indiana fledged! (I think.....)
Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 08:36:11 -0500

 

After reading about all the cold kills I became very worried about my babies, but it got past the date where I shouldn't check them anymore. My husband is home during the day so I asked him to keep an eye on the house for any activity. Yesterday he didn't have a chance to watch it much, so I walked in back to see if I heard anything or saw Papa (AKA "Divebomber Extraordinaire"). Nothing, so I walked up to the house and tried to peek inside without opening it up. Couldn't see anything, didn't hear anything. Went back in the house and obsessively kept an eye on the house. Saw some TRES hanging sitting on my tomato cages (not far from the house), which was a first. Then I saw one of the TRES fly up to the house and peek in! I thought for sure they were dead b/c Papa still didn't show up....but then here he came! Chased the TRES away and perched on the house for a few minutes. I told my husband it was driving me nuts, I had to open up the box. So I stomped back there, looked for Papa, and opened up the box and the babies are gone! No signs of a struggle, so I'm hoping they simply fledged and it's not that a EUST got them. I haven't seen any babies, so I'm thinking they may be hanging out in my neighbor's yard, as they have some trees to perch in. I cleaned out the box so the EABL could work on another nest. I hope the babies were successful!

Dina
Lawrence Co., Ind.


Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 10:52:22 -0400
From: Pamela Ford jpford"at"comcast.net
Subject: Fledgling update
To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu

My backyard set of boxes are quite visible from throughout the house and I have learned much about bluebird behavior by watching. A couple of observations....

The first nesting of 5 eggs produced 5 nestlings and fledged 5 bluebirds. Then there were about 8 days where we didn't see any fledglings, but watched the parents catching insects and taking them (and some mealworms) to the tall trees beside the field. After 8 days, the fledglings followed the parents back into the yard for the first time, but we only ever saw 4 at any one time. Several days later, a hawk landed on the nest box while the fledgling and parents were in the yard, then took off after the fledglings as they made a mad dash for the trees behind the parents. From that time on we saw only 3 fledglings. A week later, the 3 became 2 and we wondered what happened. Then a neighbor brought over the body of a dead bluebird fledgling, asking what kind of bird it was. It seemed to have flown into the side of their house (not into windows, but the house itself). It's a rough world out there for birds!

The female is incubating the second clutch of eggs.

Pam in Harford County, Maryland


From: "Emily Smith" emilys7"at"earthlink.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Fledglings are no longer MIA!
Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 13:09:31 -0400

Well, ignore my earlier question about missing fledglings. We just saw two of them (one definitely a male) being tended to by Mom. So cute! I got some photos, so if any turn out good I'll be adding them to my web site soon. I think we just often miss seeing them because of work and errands and our generally busy lives. Today we're doing a bit of gardening but are taking plenty of breaks, and we're seeing so much more bird life than usual! Of course, having such incredible "Bird TV" right out our back windows (multiple feeders, birdbath, bluebird house) is surely cutting into our productivity! ;)

Emily
Efland, NC
--
emilys7"at"earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~emilys7
"Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company." - Lord Byron


From: hubertrap"at"webtv.net (Joe Huber)
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 11:28:52 -0400 (EDT)
To: chicker"at"snet.net, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: fledging bluebirds

Hello, Yes it is normal not to see young Bluebirds after they fledge. They all gather together in dense trees where the parents continue to feed them. they move from tree to tree for a couple of weeks with parents feeding them, and gradually learning to hunt for them selves. After that they may start showing up in the open along with parents as they learn to catch insects while parents watch. Joe Huber

Charter member NABS, Charter member OBS, Life member OBS Joe Huber
hubertrap"at"webtv.net 

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/HOUSESPARROWCONTROL 

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/RoostingBluebirds
 

27.1171494 N Lo -82.4124222 W
He who ask a question is stupid for five minutes, He who never ask a
question remains stupid forever, Chinese Proverb.


From: Shane Marcotte marco50"at"bellsouth.net
To: emcooper"at"bayou.com
CC: bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: YIPPPPEEEEEEE
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 2002 16:31:50 -0400

Hey,
This morning I witnessed the first of 4 fledge from that nest!!!!The mom and dad flew with the baby all the way to the only tree on the pond!!About 100feet!

I immediatley went and grabbed my camcorder and I was shaking so much (from the adrenalin) that I couldnt hold the camera still!!!

I went out side(the box is about 20 feet from the window between the house and the pond) and placed the camcorder on a 6 foot ladder on the second from top step and plugged it inside(i knocked the screen off in a frenzy).

Then I filled 2 120 min tapes up with parents removing fecal sacks and babies sticking their heads out"inspecting the outside)!!!

I saw the mom act as though she was going to feed them then turn her head aside as to say "Come out and get it" She would then fly to the ground and either get insects or pretend to and return to the nest box sometimes feeding them!!She even brought a blade of grass one time????

I filmed the second leave and left it running and went out to the store.I returned and they were all gone.I now have to review the tape to see if the third and forth are shown in flight.The second flew a good 100 yards or so to a tree in a slightly different direction.

Excited as it gets,
Shane Marcotte
Board Member
Louisiana Bayou
Bluebird Society


From: "Stan, Apple Valley/St. Paul, MN [44.44N, -93.10W]" stan1bb"at"frontiernet.net
To: "BB" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Five Chickadees fledged!
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 2002 16:25:57 -0500

Hello Every "ChickadeeBIRDie!"

Checking the nestbox yesterday, I saw five black with heads; this morning, NONE...so they've apparently fledged last evening or early this morning. When do fledglings usually "try their wings"--evenings? mornings?

Though parents are still coming for mealworms, haven't figured out yet where they're "hiding" their fledglings; assume they'll be appearing soon, all decked out in their "li'l Tux."

Happy birding!

Stan


From: "Randy Jones" randyj"at"enter.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Dead fledgling
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2002 11:00:56 -0400

Yesterday, late afternoon, after installing the dripper on the birdbath near the feeder, I was enjoying watching the birds, including the bluebird fledglings, enjoy the water. After a while, I noticed one of the fledglings perched on the side of the birdbath. I kept coming back to look, and he stayed there immobile for at least 30 minutes. I wondered if something was wrong, went out and he allowed me to walk right up to him and touch him. His eyelids were closed as if asleep. He woke up, startled, and flew into the apple tree about ten feet away. Ten minutes later, my wife and I went out to check again, and found him on the ground under the tree, dying. This morning he was dead.

All the others seem OK so far, but I thought I'd report it to the Health Department. They put my address into their computer, but explained that they were tracking deaths only of raptors and crows. No interest in bluebirds.

Personally, I'm wondering if it is WNV, and would like to hear from others on the listserve who have had similar deaths.

Of course, there are many other possibilities, but he had no mark on him, and I am not aware of poisons having been used nearby.

Randy Jones
Lehigh County Coordinator
Bluebird Society of PA


From: "susan"at"changeswithin.com" changes"at"sunlink.net
To: randyj"at"enter.net, "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Dead Fledgling
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2002 11:49:45 -0400

Hi Randy ...

Yes, sigh, it is true that the PA Dept of Health is currently "only interested in Crows and Raptors" as far as specimen collection / testing *at the current time* .... however ... that doesn't mean we can't still call and report any and all birds that we find dead for no apparent reason. I suggest you all to continue to report to your state "powers that be" irregardless of their testing policies (and document that contact with date, time, person you spoke to and the reported problem/s). Who knows ... your contact could be the one that makes all the difference between life and death of countless birds!

In PA, each county has their own reporting system. Here in Snyder County I can report dead birds I find to: Snyder County Emergency Services PA Game Commission and/or The PA Dept. of Health

When I placed my call to the Emergency Services people they sent someone out immediately to investigate. I had a dead bird specimen that could have been a Starling or a Crow (young one). Although they didn't take it as it turned out to be a Starling, they were still quite interested in the fact that I and the property owner of where my trail is located, were seeing a *variety* of dead birds, all in one place.

Anyone seeing a *variety* of dead birds within a few mile radius should also report these things!!! I was told that there would be follow-up, either phone and/or visit to that property owner. Even if nothing else gets accomplished, that property owner will know that it wasn't *me going around killing birds ... and .. that I truly *care* about the dead and the living birds inhabiting the area. He'll also be on the lookout for more bird problems, makes him more aware of the wonderful potential that currently exists on his property and he has been heard out if/when their are problems. He will also know that *something will be done on this end to correct any problems or concerns.

PA, Snyder County, currently has 100 testing site. (my county is tiny). They bait and trap mosquitos and send them for testing. Thus far, all tests have been negative. only 2 other specimens were turned in for testing. All tests, thus far, have been negative for WNV. That's what they told me anyway.

Randy, I'm very sorry to hear of your dead fledgling. Losses are hard to take, but you've done all that you could to give these beautiful birds the best chance. In the end, Nature decides the rest. I hope your death mystery gets solved ... at least to a certain extent.

I know cats are an enormous problem in many areas. A cat can inflict a lethal blow and not leave a trace of that blow. From what I understand, some chemical in their saliva and on their claws, can be very deadly to birds (and cause problems such as "cat scratch fever" in people).

There are also things such as "weak system" failure ... meaning one or several organs were genetically defective or simply 'weak' .... Viral or bacterial infections Parasite problems and who knows what else!!!?

Keep up all the good work!
Warmly
Susan in Central PA
 

----- Original Message -----
From: "Randy Jones" randyj"at"enter.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Sent: Tuesday, June 04, 2002 11:02 AM
Subject: Dead Fledgling

...


Date: Tue, 04 Jun 2002 19:43:42 -0400
Subject: Re: Dead fledgling
From: Brenda Best jabbest"at"americu.net
To: randyj"at"enter.net, BLUEBIRD-L BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

On 6/4/02 11:00 AM, Randy Jones wrote:

Personally, I'm wondering if it is WNV, and would like to hear from
others on the listserve who have had similar deaths.

Randy,

Here in NY, I don't recall that any bluebirds were confirmed as dying from WNV. As you said, there are many other possibilities, and not just poisoning. One that comes to mind, simply because of a recent discussion on another local listserv, is inter-cranial bleeding because of a window strike. No apparent injury, and the bleeding can be delayed, allowing the bird to leave the area of the window.

Brenda
--
Brenda Best
Durhamville, NY
jabbest"at"americu.net

Nature Club of Central New York
http://www.natureclubofcny.com


From: "Cameron" cscott5"at"charter.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: where did they go
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 11:05:39 -0500

my baby blues had feathers and everything i went on a camping trip for  the week end came back and they were gone there's poop on the walls of  the box ive been watchin out but havent seen any baby blues

shouldnt i be seeing them


From: "Bill Darnell" bdarnel3"at"bellsouth.net
To: cscott5"at"charter.net, "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: where did they go
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 11:35:22 -0500

Cameron, watch closely for any bluebirds catching bugs in that area.  Then watch to see where they go. They will feed the fledges for about  two weeks after leaving the nest. If you don't get to see this phase of  the cycle, you are missing a lot!

Bill
TN

 

my baby blues had feathers and everything i went on a camping trip for  the week end came back and they were gone there's poop on the walls of  the box ive been watchin out but havent seen any baby blues

shouldnt i be seeing them


From: "Bruce Burdett" blueburd"at"srnet.com
To: cscott5"at"charter.net, "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: where did they go
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 12:54:48 -0400

Cameron, and others,
After the young Bluebirds leave the nest they normally go up into the high branches of the taller trees in the neighborhood and stay put for a week or so while the parent birds feed them. Instinctively, they keep out of sight and don't move around much so that predators can't see them and gobble them up. The only way you can see them is to watch where the adults are carrying the food, and if there are leaves on the trees they can be extremely hard to locate.
The important thing is that the parents know EXACTLY where they are, all the time. Whether you know or not isn't important. Bruce Burdett, SW NH


From: hubertrap"at"webtv.net (Joe Huber)
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 14:47:34 -0400 (EDT)
To: cscott5"at"charter.net, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: where did they go

Cameron, If your baby blues fledged you may not see them for 2 weeks or more,as the parents are feeding them and moving them from tree to tree as needed to keep them under safe cover. If the nest is flattened out they likely flew. You can clean out the mess and have box ready for another nest. If you spot the older birds, watch where they go after picking up insects. They will guide you to where the young are perched in a tree. Things sound ok for now, so keep things ready for a return in two or three weeks. Joe Huber, Venice Fl.

Charter member NABS, Charter member OBS, Life member OBS Joe Huber hubertrap"at"webtv.net 

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/HOUSESPARROWCONTROL 

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/RoostingBluebirds
 

27.1171494 N Lo -82.4124222 W
He who ask a question is stupid for five minutes, He who never ask a question remains stupid forever, Chinese Proverb.


From: "Cameron" cscott5"at"charter.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: where did they go
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 13:56:49 -0500

THE PARENTS HAVE BEEN WORKIN ON ANOTHER NEST IN MY BOX I HAVENT SEEN THEM WITH FOOD THAT MUCH


Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 16:50:37 -0500
To: cscott5"at"charter.net
From: Kate Oschwald bbnestbox"at"1starnet.com
Subject: Re: where did they go
Cc: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

At 11:05 AM 6/12/02 -0500, you wrote:
my baby blues had feathers and everything i went on a camping trip for

...

For the first week or so they stay well hidden in the trees while their parents feed them. Then if you're lucky, you'll see them learning to hunt for themselves.

Kate Oschwald
Paris, TX
100 mi NE of Dallas
33.6853N 95.6293W


Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 20:55:31 -0400
From: Jim Krist jtkrist"at"jtkrist.com
Subject: Re: When to check BB box for fledgling departure?
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Thanks for all the information you all sent.

I went to the nest box today and found the nest empty. When I took it out, I could see the remains of two dead chicks. Of the five that hatched, one was much smaller than the rest. I don't know about the other casualty. I'm not into forensics, so I'm not going to exam the remains too closely. They'll have a respectful burial in my garden tomorrow.

When I took the nest out, I cleaned the insides and outsides of the nest box. First, I used some canned air to blow away twigs and dust. Then I sprayed with a dilute bleach solution. Then I scrubbed where I could with a soft brush. Finally rinsed, rinsed, and rinsed some more.

I put the old nest in my freezer to get rid of any bugs and such. I'll take it to church on Sunday for the children and adults to inspect.

Someone asked where I'm located. I live in Arnold, MD, but my church (a Meeting in Quaker lingo) is in Annapolis: http://quaker.org/annapolis. Our
land has a large lawn, ringed by flowing shrubs, and backed by a third generation forest. I have pictures of the setting and the nestlings that I will post, when I get a chance.

I'll let you know if I see any more activity at the nest box.

Thanks again for your support for this newbie.

At 05:20 PM 6/11/2002 -0400, Jim Krist wrote:
I am new at this. The BB box I'm monitoring is at my church, so I

...


From: "carol fitzpatrick" gdfitzmich"at"msn.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: where did they go?
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 19:35:45 -0400

Cameron, the bluebirds making the new nest may not be the ones that had the recently fledged babies. They may have been hanging around the area and if there is a shortage of nesting sites, the current blues may have be en waiting their turn at the nest box. You just never know with wild birds. So don't be discouraged just yet. Wait a while and you may see the  babies in a week or two. C Fitz


From: "Stan Sadler" sadlerrealestate"at"insightbb.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Where are they?
Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2002 15:04:25 -0500

Last Sunday on Fathers Day, I watched my first fledglings fly from there box at about 8:22 am. There were 5 in all . three landed successfully in a dogwood tree and the other two landed on the roof of our house. Since Sunday, now 6 days + later I haven't seen the parents or the chicks. There is a large woods bordering our property and from what I gather they would have led them in that direction high in the tree tops. What concerns me however, is that I have not seen the parents feeding in our front lawn. They both fed there regularly along with my daily supplement of meal worms next to there nesting box. I haven't seen any attempt to rebuild the nest either.I cleaned it the day they left. Should I expect for them to return soon or possibly they have moved on. Any thoughts out there?


From: "Emily Smith" emilys7"at"earthlink.net
To: sadlerrealestate"at"insightbb.com, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Where are they?
Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2002 19:47:49 -0400

Stan,

Don't give up yet! We saw very little of our BB adults after the first nestlings fledged on May 7th, and none of the fledglings for a long time afterwards. Now they are in our birdbath all the time!! We cleaned out the first nest, but nest-building for the second go-round didn't begin until May 28th, exactly three weeks after the fledgling. So, be patient - there's a good chance you'll have another nesting. We now have new nestlings in the box - born just yesterday!

Also, since it's summer now (I am not sure where you are located), the adults may not rely as much on mealworms as they did earlier in the season. We never fed mealworms, and the five fledglings did just fine in our southern climate, and judging from the in and out at the box the past two days, Mom and Dad BB are finding plenty of insects in our yard and surrounding areas to feed the new babies.

Good luck, and don't give up hope - it's just too soon!

Emily
Efland, NC

----- Original Message -----
From: "Stan Sadler" sadlerrealestate"at"insightbb.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Sent: Saturday, June 22, 2002 4:04 PM
Subject: Where are they?

...


From: "Bruce Burdett" blueburd"at"srnet.com
To: sadlerrealestate"at"insightbb.com, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Where are they?
Date: Sun, 23 Jun 2002 11:37:59 -0400

Stan,
As Emily says,...don't worry. You'll probably see the whole family ang, - parent birds and immatures, - later on in the summer and into the fall. Just where they are right now and exactly what they're doing, nobody seems quite sure. They tend to vanish for a while after fledging and then reappear when they get good and ready.

A few things you can be sure of: the immatures are being fed, and they're getting bigger and stronger, and they're gradually learning to forage for themselves.

Also, on average you'll find that one of the five immatures will have succumbed to something or other by the time you see them again.........predators, parasites, accidents, whatever. Rarely does an entire clutch grow up to be mature birds. Bruce Burdett, SW NH

P.S.: Why do I suddenly have this weird-looking new type format? Was it something I did? I liked the old one just fine.


From: "Glenn Williams" glenwill"at"chilitech.net
To: " BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu,
"Glenn Williams" glenwill"at"chilitech.net
Subject: 3 EABL Fledged!!
Date: Wed 26 Jun 2002 12:48

3 of 5 eggs hatched on 6/9.

This A.M.(6/29) I observed a bird, that I could not recognize, sitting on the male EABL's favorite branch about 100' from the window. I grabbed my binocs and as I focused on the stranger the male landed on the branch and fed it a bug!!! Obviously a fledgeling!!

Last evening both the male and female made many landings on the nest box with bugs in beak only to quickly leave without feeding the bug to the nestlings. I was certain that fledgeing was imminent!

Because I had not checked the nestlings since 6/22 for fear of causing a premature fledge, this A.M. I watched the box for about 20 minutes, to make sure neither parent was tending to any nestling that might not have fledged yet, and then I went out to check the box and make sure that the 3 had fledged. The box was empty!!

Time to clean out and hose the nest box with high hopes of another nesting!

Question? The fledgling had almost no tail feathers. Is this normal?

I stand in AWE and AMAZEMENT of this whole process! From egg to flying bird in 20 short days!
--
Best regards,
Glenn Williams
N. Central PA


From: "Keith & Sandy Kridler" kridler"at"1starnet.com
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: early fledgling losses
Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2002 08:53:01 -0500

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas
Warning! These are mostly ramblings on a rare rainy June morning!

Most of us can tell when eggs disappear and when the young in the nest are less than 12 days old once again we can easily tell we have lost young birds. But after 12 days MOST monitors stop checking the boxes and during the last week young birds continue to die of various reasons and in many cases the adults can remove the dead young and you would never know how many actually survived to fledge!

I am an advocate for CAREFULLY checking nestboxes until the young have fledged. The most dangerous time in these birds lives are the first two days of hatching and the last week in the nest (they reach up to the entrance hole to beg for food) and the first two weeks after they leave the relative safety of the nestbox. (They need to be taught that nearly everything bigger than them is trying to eat them.) If you have been carefully opening a nestbox everyday or twice or three times a day for some of you:-))) then your birds are accustomed to you coming and going and begin to "put up" with your opening the nestbox. As long as you do not handle the birds or change your routine of how or when you open the nestbox then you will be doing more good than harm by continuing to check on these birds!

Back to the subject line! You can watch the bluebirds and other birds in your area to watch for clues as to what they consider a threat! As it gets close to the time for their young to fledge adult bluebirds become more defensive. If you see them chasing squirrels then you can bet the birds have been attacked or lost young to them. Same goes for crows, ravens, magpies and some members of the jays.

Grackles in the north very often raid the open nests of birds and in the south I have seen them gang up and tear apart large crawfish that get trapped in shallow water. They try to avoid the wildly waving claws of the crawfish but are not overly worried about attacking them so a helpless young bird on the ground would be fair game.

I routinely trap House Sparrows and trim their primary flight feathers and release them here at my house where they have food and water and have watched a pair of Blue Jays team up to catch these "ground sparrows". Road runners will catch slow, wounded or even eat dead House Sparrows. Same goes for red tailed hawks. Cooper and Sharp Shinned hawks tend to go for the House Finches that have the eye disease, tend to fly poorly or miss seeing the approaching hawk altogether. These hawks tend to hit the slowest or last bird to leave a feeding area or bird bath or focus on a poorly flying bird in an open area.

Remember that just fledged bluebirds only have about 3/4 of their primary feathers and as someone mentioned only about a "nub" of a tail. They fly about as fast as a slow moth if they leave the nest a little early. In the cold period of the year eggs often hatch over several days and also in the heat of the summer there is a couple of days of hatching difference in many nests. These young birds DO NOT ever catch up while in the nest. If one gets sick and cannot eat for a day it will be one day behind in development. After about two weeks out of the nestbox a day difference is not a problem but not being able to keep up with stronger siblings IS a major problem especially if the youngster is not strong enough or good enough to land in an open area of the yard or in the safety of a large tree that first day! Most of the time a baby that is two days behind in development will fledge with the siblings even if it cannot fly or normally only one day later. Any longer and the adults will follow their strongest young or lead their young to a "safe area" or what they perceive to be safer.

These young birds even if they can fly at full speed have NO CLUE that they cannot fly right through the side of a human's house or through a tree trunk or limb! I watched a young black vulture yesterday fly right into a power line flapping at 110% and come tumbling out of the air and smash into the ground. It looked back up and seemed to say "What the H--- was that silver colored line doing up there!" It looked like it was attempting to land on the wire but came in way too fast and about 6" too low.

A severe bruise will turn the strongest fledgling into the most handicapped on that first flight. Bluebirds have evolved into feeding the young that reach the highest and beg the loudest. Same goes for fledglings that reach the trees compared to one that lands in waist high grass or damages a wing when flying into a solid object. We will continue to hear from people on the list who had five fledge and only a couple (or none) returned with their parents a couple of weeks later.

I stopped to watch a huge flock of swallows (barn, bank and cliff but no tree swallows) yesterday at a bridge and saw a Great Blue heron feeding in cat tail rushes. At first I thought it was eating tree frogs but noticed the red winged blackbirds going nuts! It was stalking down the edge of the cat tails picking the black birds nests clean. Seagulls and many other shore birds are known to eat baby birds and one of the preferred nesting sites for Kestrels is near marshes where they feed their young the young of the Red Winged blackbirds.

As we look for places to add more nestboxes remember that fledging young from a well built nestbox is very simple but placing the box where more young birds will live the first two weeks out of the box is the real challenge! If you place nestboxes at active landfills remember that these attract hundreds of meat eating predators including rats which probably are really a far bigger problem that people seldom suspect. Remember that a rat can climb anything a squirrel can climb! To test your yard or areas near your boxes for predators try placing a dead house sparrow or leftover meat (or dog or cat food) in various sized livetraps (mouse to coon sized) and see how long it takes to trap something! KK


From: "KimMarie Markel" auroramn"at"duranetweb.com
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: A bittersweet fledging day
Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2002 21:43:51 -0400

Hi All,
Well today was the day!!! --- our very first EABL nesting has a confirmed fledging of 5 out of 5 in the back nest box. Unfortunately, one male did not make it through his first morning on the outside. Just as we realized that the parents were taking mealworms to the trees instead of the nest box, we looked down and saw blue and mottled downy feathers on the ground. At first I thought a cat was to blame, but after re-visting the "scene of the crime" I saw two smalls clumps of downy feathers 10 - 12 feet above my head, caught on a slender tree branch... my prime suspect is one of the sharp shinned hawks that has been seen in the area.

On another positive note - there are 5 EABL eggs in the front yard box and mom is sitting on them, dad has been standing guard and feeding her - I expect them to hatch next weekend...

kimmarie :)
Varysburg, Western New York


Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 19:26:50 -0400
Subject: What happens after fledging
From: "Tim Quinn" jquinn07"at"tampabay.rr.com
To: "BLLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

As I have said this is my first experience with bluebirding. I am wondering what happens after the chicks fledge. We think our birds are 13/14 days old today. We hope they fledge before we leave fo a vacation Monday when they are 18 days old. We are wondering how soon after they fledge do you clean out the nest? After they fledge do they go back to the nest?

A friend told me today that the male bird teaches the babies how to build a nest after they fledge - I haven't seen this in any of the books I have. Could we wait 3 weeks after they fledge to clean out the nest?
Sally Quinn Hernando,Florida (North of Tampa South/west of Ocala )


From: "jodyrose" jodyrose"at"bright.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Paired boxes EABL / TRES - Late nesting
Date: Sun, 21 Jul 2002 22:07:36 -0400

I have 10 boxes. 5 pairs, about 15 - 18 feet apart.

In 2 of the pairs I have had EABL and TRES nesting at the same time this summer. They got along fine. They have been entertaining to watch though. The TRES do not appreciate the EABL sitting on their boxes, and will scold the blue until he/she finally moves. But there hasn't been any real fighting.

I have had a total of 25 TRES eggs laid with 16 fledged. ( 3 disappeared, 3 unhatched, and 3 died in nest ? heat). Where do the TRES go? It seems as soon as the last nestlings fledged, they were gone.

Do they go back to the woods? Have they headed south? Seems strange that they just nest, then disappear.

I now have a new EABL nest going. I was surprised, but delighted, to see them nesting again. Thinking it was getting too late. Today there are 4 blue eggs. The box faces into a corn field, which hasn't been a problem until the last week. By fledging time the corn will be much higher than the box. I'm thinking of slowly turning the box so it faces the yard. Turning the hole facing east, to face the south. The box is about 4-5 feet from the edge of the corn field. Does this make sense, and does anyone have thoughts on whether this is a good idea?
Thanks for input.
jodyrose
Mt. Gilead, OH


From: "Anne-Marie Palermino" ampalermino"at"msn.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Bluebird fledglings question
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 2003 16:29:15 -0400

4 chicks fledged on Memorial day week end. For the first time yesterday, 2 fledglings (looked like females) came to the feeder and the dad was feeding them. Is it a bad sign for the other two fledglings or should I be more patient?

By the way, mama started a new nest and laid one egg!

 

Anne-Marie Palermino
Lincoln, RI - 5 miles north of Providence


From: hubertrap"at"webtv.net (Joe Huber)
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2003 17:07:14 -0400 (EDT)
To: ampalermino"at"msn.com, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Bluebird fledglings question

hI Anne-Marie, Your first fledglings Have no doubt left the area to be on their own. The two young that remain with parents are an exception as most don't return to the area to watch parents re- nest. In this case these young ones may help with the nest and with feeding the next young Bluebirds. While somewhat rare this does happen sometimes. I wouldn't be concerned about the other two young from their first nest. Not all return to area of nest with parents. Joe Huber, Venice, Fl.

Charter member NABS, Charter member OBS, Life member OBS Joe Huber hubertrap"at"webtv.net 

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/HOUSESPARROWCONTROL 

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/RoostingBluebirds
 

27.1171494 N Lo -82.4124222 W
He who ask a question is stupid for five minutes, He who never ask a question remains stupid forever, Chinese Proverb.

From: "Anne-Marie Palermino" ampalermino"at"msn.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Bluebird fledglings question
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 2003 16:29:15 -0400

...


From: "Michelle Martin" shell7"at"cox.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: EABL breeding
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 09:45:33 -0500

EABL's won't start mating until 1 year old - is this correct? My 1st born this season will not be mating this time - right?

 

Michelle Martin
Port Allen,LA
shell7"at"cox.net


Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 08:05:57 -0700
From: John Schuster wildwingco"at"earthlink.net
To: shell7"at"cox.net
CC: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: EABL breeding

Dear Michelle,

Right, they will pair up and mate during the next nesting season (2004.)

However, they will investigate nest boxes for future use (usually in the late summer and early fall) be it for winter roosting or nesting, as do most fledged cavity nesting birds that are rapidly maturing.

Cheers and as always...

Happy Bluebird Trails To You,
John Schuster, conservationist and owner
Wild Wing Company



From: stevec [mailto:stevec"at"cctc.net]
Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2004 9:32 PM
Subject: fledglings

can anyone tell how long the fledglings stay on the ground once they leave the nestbox?should i put a ring of chicken wire around the post the nestbox sets on to protect them?i'm not trying to micromanage but we have chickens and guinneas roaming about and think they may be a problem for the esbl fledges?am i worrying too much?theresa hughes eastland tx 

From: Bruce Burdett [mailto:blueburd"at"tds.net]
Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2004 10:21 PM
Subject: Re: fledglings

...They shouldn't be on the ground at all. Normally, young Bluebirds on their first flights fly straight up high into the branches of trees, where the parent birds quickly find them and feed them.            If yours ended up on the ground, then something may have spooked them so that they fledged (flew out) prematurely (too early), before they'd gotten strong enough to fly.            

If they were mine I'd put them up as high into a tree (or trees) as possible, out of the reach of all the things that can get them. If they're healthy, they'll hang on and wait for the parent birds to locate them. Somehow, though, you should protect them through the first night, when many predators are on the prowl.      Good luck. Bruce Burdett, SW NH


From: Evelyn Cooper [mailto:emcooper"at"bayou.com]
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2004 7:19 AM
RE: fledglings

Bruce, you state that she should protect them through the first night, how can that be done? Evelyn Cooper Delhi, LA


From: Kenny Kleinpeter [mailto:kpkmajk"at"cox.net]
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2004 7:32 AM
RE: fledglings

Couldn't you put them back in the box? I would clean out the box of all nest material, make sure the entrance is aimed for the most abundant tree area, put the birds back and keep the hole covered for five minutes until they settle down. Then, retreat to observe for the parents to return. If they do, fine; if they don't maybe the youngsters' chances would be better up in a tree. If predation is assumed to be the cause of premature fledging, maybe a guard, better location or something is needed. Kenny Kleinpeter Baton Rouge, LA


From: Bruce Burdett [mailto:blueburd"at"tds.net]
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2004 7:21 AM
Re: fledglings

Evelyn, Theresa, et al, If I were in your place, Theresa, -- and I never have been, -- I would bring them indoors and keep them overnight in a safe, comfortable, ventilated box of some sort, and then put them up in a tree the next day. (I've done this with single stray nestlings of other species.) My guess is that these Bluebirds would huddle together for warmth and security, just as they did in the nest. They 'know' each other pretty well by now. When they get up in that tree, one or two squawks from them will tell the parents where they are. Please, if anyone has better ideas, let Theresa know about them. Bruce Burdett, SW NH


From: Pamela Ford [mailto:jpford"at"comcast.net]
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2004 9:35 AM
Subject: RE: fledglings

Teresa, you've received a lot of good information from those on this list covering many different situations.  Here is another that you may consider.  My backyard bluebirds are the only group that I am able to see fledge on a regular basis and it is quite common for their first flight to end short of the trees.  They then spend time on the ground in the hay field while the parents continue to guide them to the tree line.  In most cases they make it up into the trees by the end of the day. (I can usually find them with binoculars if the follow the feeding parents!)  There have been a couple of cases where I have intervened.  One was when the field was literally under 3 inches of water due to heavy rain.  The fledgling was soaked and didn't appear to be able to fly as he hunkered down in the heavy rain.  I retrieved him and placed him back in the box and he fledged again the next day.  The other situation was when the fledge was just before dark and the parents appeared to go to roost before they could convince the fledgling to follow them to the trees.  In this case I took a flashlight and retrieved the fledgling just to reduce the chance of nighttime predators getting to him.  Again I placed him back in the nestbox and he left again the next day. 

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Pam, Maryland


From: BluebirdNut.com [mailto:bluebirdnut"at"a-znet.com]
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2004 8:02 AM
Subject: Re: fledglings

Theresa, I've heard some people have had success when, for some reason, nestlings fledge too early with placing them back in the nestbox, and putting a hole reducer on the box so they can't jump back out, but the parents can still feed them. Then take the hole reducer off the next day, let them try again, and observe them carefully. Can you tell us what day they hatched? If you could, it would help to determine if they really fledged too early. If they're not too early to fledge, but still can't fly, you might need to find a local rehabber.   The key is observation ... Cher


From: RJFandal"at"aol.com [mailto:RJFandal"at"aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2004 10:55 AM
Subject: Fledgings everywhere . . .

I have a yard full of fledglings: bluebirds, tufted titmouse, brown-headed nuthatches, chickadees, Carolina wrens, and cardinals.  I love going outside early each morning when they are all busy begging for food and fluttering around.  This morning I saw a young nuthatch land on the mealworm feeder with Mom & Pop bluebird, but they didn't chase him off like they do most birds.  They ignored him and moments later he had fluttered on to a nearby tree.  Evidently most birds have a special "tolerance" for fledglings. Today it seemed like all this activity was especially loud.  As I watched a bluebird fledging take one of his first trips to the ground along side his dad, I noticed the lower limbs of a nearby azalea moving as though a breeze had stirred just those branches.  I was worried it was a cat getting ready to pounce, but as I got closer I saw a very large common snapping turtle moving quickly but stealthfully under the bush.  His gaze was directed right at the bluebird chick.  My movement alerted the male bluebird and he guided the fledging to the trees and safety.  Once safe, the male started squawking alerts to his brood.  At that moment, my husband was on his way out to work so I called him to take care of the turtle.  He picked the large turtle up by the tail and put him in a covered garbage can.  He released him in the wildlife management area of Honey Island Swamp on his way to work. Sometimes I wonder how the sweet little bluebirds make it without human intervention, but then I stop and remember that the good Lord set it all in motion.  It's often man's interference that messes up the balance . . . with things like DDT, introducing nonnative species, and the encroachment of "civilization." Have a great birding day! Tammi Pearl River, LA


From: Michelle Martin [mailto:shell7"at"cox.net]
Sent: Sunday, May 30, 2004 5:27 PM
Subject: catching fledglings on film ?

I'm wondering if I set up a tent outside to try to take pics of the baby blues fledging, how far should I put it up ? I do not want to get too close, and don't want to scare the parents or the babies. What are your suggestions ? I've been having up boxes and families of bluebirds for 5 yrs. And only got to see some fledge one time and that was for like 5 minutes and they were all gone. I got to see the last one of 5 babies on a wood pile near by and didn't get to see it come out of the house. Any advice for me out there from you wonderful people ? Or, tell me I shouldn't do it at all - who knows ? Michelle Martin West Baton Rouge, Louisiana


From: Evelyn Cooper [mailto:emcooper"at"bayou.com]
Sent: Sunday, May 30, 2004 5:34 PM
RE: catching fledglings on film ?

Michelle, LBBS Vice President, Bob Rickett sets up a tent specially made for taking pictures and he has some of the most wonderful photography anyone could want to see. It is of all species of birds. He gives great presentations using this photography. He even came and filmed my trail last summer and included that in his presentation at one of our meetings. I say go for it. Once you are in there, they will come back from the looks of what Bob films! Evelyn Cooper Delhi,LA


From: Wendell Long [mailto:mrsimple33"at"go-concepts.com]
Sent: Sunday, May 30, 2004 7:36 PM
Re: catching fledglings on film ?

Michelle, I agree with Evelyn Cooper when she advises you to "go for it". My experience includes the thrill of seeing and photographing a fledgling leaving the nest box for its first flight. I know it does not sound as a big deal just writing about it, but once I experienced the sight, after what seemed to be decades of waiting, believe me it was worth the effort and the time as many people say. I have used tents, blinds, mini-vans and just plain old fashioned standing with my camera mounted on a tripod or shaky hand held shots. You speak of fear of scaring the parents or babies. I have never scared either as far as I know and as to your question about being too close to the box, between 9 to 30 feet works best for me depending on the pull of the lens I am using and the shutter speed and depth of field preferred. I happen to have a photo I took last year of a "last fledging for the first time" as it sets out to view the world. I managed to capture its uncertain wobbly flying feeling as you can see in the picture. I did this by using a slower shutter speed than one would normally use to "stop action" of a flying bird thus allowing for the sense of movement or a sense of that weak wing feeling that comes with experiencing an uncharted universe. You may view the photo at my site by clicking the following link: http://www2.go-concepts.com/~mrsimple33/ Anyway, I wish you well. I missed the last fledge since they slipped out as my back was turned north and they flew south at night(a wild guess on my part with no evidence to support my claim.) So, I am now awaiting their return to the old stomping ground in a few days Let us know how your tent worked out. Wendell Long Waynesville, Ohio


From: Michelle Martin [mailto:shell7"at"cox.net]
Sent: Sunday, May 30, 2004 8:13 PM
Subject: Re: catching fledglings on film ?

Hey Judy, Well, the parents are use to my being out & about in the yard.  And my reason for wanting to do this is to have some pics for myself and to witness such a thing - I have set up a blind out there before, and set it up a good ways from the box.  But the blind was to shoot hosp's of course , in a decoy martin house not even remotely near the bb box, and in a complete opposite direction.  The parent blues usually just wait for me to fill up the mealworm feeder , they come closer to me on their own.  Today , my babies are 13 days old (after hatching).  So , I know it's any day now that they may leave - what's wrong with my wanting to sit out there and wait ?  If it's something you want badly enough , don't you compromise/sacrifice things ?  I've never seen it (babies fledging)  , and would love to witness it.  I didn't see anything wrong with it.  I don't see how I would interrupt them if they don't see me in the tent / or know I'm there.  But thank you for responding, this is why I asked. Michelle Martin
West Baton Rouge, Louisiana


From: Evelyn Cooper [mailto:emcooper"at"bayou.com]
Sent: Sunday, May 30, 2004 8:37 PM
RE: catching fledglings on film ?

Michelle, this is the first year I have gotten to see the fledgling from the first brood help feed the babies on the second cycle. Also, this lone fledgling has been with its parents (my yard bluebirds) and I have seen the father feeding it many times in the last two weeks. Today, it was helping feed the second brood. I don't get to see this on the trail. Evelyn Cooper Delhi, LA


From: Evelyn Cooper [mailto:emcooper"at"bayou.com]
Sent: Sunday, May 30, 2004 10:08 PM
RE: catching fledglings on film ?

Michelle, Bob Rickett recorded on film a little Prothonotary Warbler playing dead to protect her newly fledged babies on the ground. It was the cutest sight you ever saw! He makes slides and videos. He has film of Hummingbirds sitting all over a young lady's arms and head drinking sugar water. He also has beautiful pictures of Painted Buntings (which I have never seen one). Everytime he has a presentation, I sure try to be there. Evelyn Cooper Delhi, LA


From: plkldf"at"comcast.net [mailto:plkldf"at"comcast.net]
Sent: Monday, May 31, 2004 8:41 AM
RE: catching fledglings on film

Paul Kilduff, Baltimore MD trail at Oregon Ridge Park, Cockeysville MD I was interested to see discussion of photographing fledging (and loved the photo, Wendell!! Fantastic!). Yesterday my wife Mary and I were out monitoring the boxes and found a male and female EABL darting about, calling, and generally acting aggressive and unusual. Mary figured out they were trying to get the kids to come out of the box (we knew they were about due [and had recently been banded]). I opened it carefully, after putting a cloth in the hole, and saw five nestlings looking at me like, "UM not comin' out there!" They looked very dubious and out of sorts. I thought, "here's my chance to catch this with my digital camera." We waited about 45 minutes -- first I got down on the ground to get a shot of the hole (it's a Peterson-style with a big, overhanging, angled roof), but I was afraid the babies could see me. And we thought, maybe the parents are telling them, "don't come out." I moved farther away but still we couldn't tell if the parents were warning them of us or trying to get them to come out. Basically the parents were calling from a nearby pine tree, then they'd land on the roof, one or both, once the male went into the box. The female was calling something I hadn't heard before, like: chit-chit, chit-chit-chit, phwere! (a clear whistle at the end) Sometimes she would add a *very quick* whistling trill which was accented like: chattanoo, cha-cha! Finally we left, and when we came back half hour later, all were gone. There were two birds in the tree, one seemed to be the female, since she was still calling the same call she'd been doing when the babies were still in the box. Paul in Baltimore


From: plkldf"at"comcast.net [mailto:plkldf"at"comcast.net]
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 9:59 AM
Subject: Re: catching fledglings on film I've gotten several Messages that don't appear to have been shared with the list, one very specific, saying that the chit-chit-phwee sound is an alarm sound, indeed the same sound they make when a hawk is around, so it seems as though the parents were telling the kids, "don't come out." Looks as though we should have fed them more mealworms so they'd be familiar with us. So on the assumption that that's correct, I guess when we hear that sound we should either leave, or get some kind of blind. One thing I remember about eagles is that if two people go into a blind, and one comes out, the eagle thinks the blind is empty. Can count to "one," evidently. Maybe if two people go into a blind and one comes out and they stop making that sound, you and I can get the picture we want, so we can give ol' Wendell some competition. Note to Wendell: The above is an outrageous statement made for effect. I could never hope to compete with you. That photo of the first flight is the definitive photo on that subject. :o) best, Paul


From: Evelyn Cooper [mailto:emcooper"at"bayou.com]
Sent: Monday, June 07, 2004 8:28 AM
Subject: Bluebirds Fledge Two Days Apart

Yesterday, three of the five babies fledged in my backyard. At almost dark, I checked the nestbox and two were still there. I just checked the nestbox this morning and they are still there and papa was up on the power line fussing at me. This is the first time I've ever witnessed them fledging on different days. You can sure learn much more from your backyard blues! Evelyn Cooper Delhi, LA


From: Cher [mailto:bluebirdnut"at"a-znet.com]
Sent: Monday, June 07, 2004 8:55 AM
Subject: Re: Bluebirds Fledge Two Days Apart

Evelyn, Please excuse me for stating the obvious, because I know you've been at this longer than I have --- but for the benefit of those who may be reading, but not posting, and may never have heard of such a thing -- I'm sure you were careful to determine that their little feet weren't somehow "stuck" in some dried goop in the nest. I saw a photo once of a baby that had died as a result of failing to fledge only because it was stuck, and it still haunts me ..... Cher


From: Evelyn Cooper [mailto:emcooper"at"bayou.com]
Sent: Monday, June 07, 2004 9:11 AM
RE: Bluebirds Fledge Two Days Apart

No,they are not stuck in anything and look perfectly healthy. I will not check it again until late this afternoon. The nestbox is where I can see it from my den window and I will probably spend some time there! This is my seventh year, and I've not witnessed this before. Evelyn Cooper Delhi,LA


- From: Evelyn Cooper [mailto:emcooper"at"bayou.com]
Sent: Monday, June 07, 2004 11:24 AM
RE: Bluebirds Fledge Two Days Apart

The two babies have just fledged. I walked out into the yard and heard their little chirps in the tree not far from the nestbox. I saw Papa Blue sitting on the power line and then fly to the tree. I checked the box and it was empty. Papa Blue did a wonderful job staying behind and getting the last two babies to fledge. I guess he and the two babies will get together with Mama Blue as I have heard bluebird sounds on the east side of the yard. What joy! Evelyn Cooper Delhi, LA


From: Birder526"at"aol.com [mailto:Birder526"at"aol.com]
Sent: Friday, June 18, 2004 8:23 PM
Subject: fledging question!

Hi! Does anybody know whether fledged birds (TRES, EABL, BCCH in particular) return to the nest box after they have done their maiden flight? Thanks, Diane Diane Silverstein Dennisport, MA


From: Maynard Sumner [mailto:m-r-sumner"at"juno.com]
Sent: Friday, June 18, 2004 8:48 PM
Re: fledging question!

I will not say they will not do it, but maybe 99% of the time they will not go back into the box. Maynard Sumner Flint, MI


From: Bruce Burdett [mailto:blueburd"at"tds.net]
Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2004 7:28 AM
Subject: Re: fledging question!

Diane, et al I have never known young birds to return to the nest once they have made their first flights. In my case, I always remove the nest as soon as I know they'v gone, and the adults often start a new nesting immediately, often, but not always. I think it is generally true that most young birds, of all species, lose all interest in the old nest after they have left it. A few species come back the following year and rebuild an old nest, but these are mostly the larger raptors. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm winging it here. Bruce Burdett, SW NH


From: JOHN & BARBARA SIBIO [mailto:jsibio"at"comcast.net]
Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2004 10:35 AM
Subject: fledging question!

The bluebirds that nest in my yard over-winter here too, and sometimes the young roost in the old homestead with the adults. I remove the nest the day of fledging, and I have never had the fledlings try to return to the nest. The adults bring them back to the yard during the nesting season, and they feed and bathe here. Sometimes I have seen them look into the nestbox, and they often hang around when the adult pair are feeding new nestlings. Later in the fall, they all show up just before sunset and enter the box, one by one. I have had as many as seven roost in there at one time! It must be close quarters. It's fun to see them leave at sunup -- they pop out, one after the other, like beads on a string! Barbara Cloverdale, CA



From: lviolett"at"earthlink.net [mailto:lviolett"at"earthlink.net]
Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2004 5:44 PM
Subject: Re: fledging question!

Linda Violett - Yorba Linda, Calif. I was able to locate a bander to dirve to my trail only one year for banding purposes (he had to drive all the way in from another county to do so).  That one year of banding showed that fledglings will return to their native boxes.  One male flew from its box around May 2001, a few months later he was found dead in the nestbox (about September 2001).   As this List knows, Bluebirds return to my boxes throughout the year as hospices and for roosting. PS:  Very few Western Bluebirds have been banded in comparison to Eastern Bluebirds and fewer still from non-migratory areas.  In spite of my requests to obtain a subpermitee license to band, I have not been successful.  If anyone has connections, please let me know.

From: Dottie Roseboom [mailto:rosedot"at"mtco.com]
Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2004
Re: fledging question!

Bruce, from my experience, what you are saying is right on target. I have never seen a fledging return to the nestbox to roost there. If someone has seen a fledging on top of a nestbox, he might just be using it as a perch, or perhaps to help the parents with the latest family. If someone is seeing one nestling remain in the nestbox after the others have fledged, he probably has NOT returned, he just never left in the first place. Many times, nestlings will fledge on 2 consecutive days. For some reason, this year, most of my nestboxes have fledged most of the young one day, with 1 or 2 siblings leaving the next day. Most years, this occurs in just one or two nestings. Unless the monitor has kept an accurate account of ALL fledglings, this late-go-er makes it appear that a fledging returned to the nestbox. Would be interesting to hear from anyone that has actually witnessed a fledging re-entering the nestbox. . BTW, I've always heard that animals can't count, so how do the parents keep track of 3 fledgings in the tree-tops and 2 nestlings still in the nestbox? I've never seen one forgotten in the nestbox. Dottie Roseboom Peoria IL (central - zone 5)


From: Bruce Burdett [mailto:blueburd"at"tds.net]
Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2004 2:36 PM
Subject: Re: fledging question!

Diane,     I guess I should have qualified what I said.     I have never seen young newly-fledged birds return to the NEST and actually get IN the nest, though I have certainly seen them return occasionally to the HOUSE and either peek into it, or perch on it, or fly around it. I've never seen one even ENTER the house where they grew up, though I suppose some may have entered it when I wasn't around. My houses are all a long distance from our yard, so a lot goes on that I never see unless I just happen to be there monitoring, every week or so.        On this List, one has to be very careful about making flat, dogmatic statements. That's a lesson I've learned. Different Bluebirds do various things in various places, and under various circumstances. Bruce Burdett, SW NH



From: Burnham, Barbara [mailto:Barbara.Burnham"at"zzz.zzz]
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 8:32 AM
Subject: RE: fledging question!

I have seen EABL fledglings from first or second brood return with the parents to the nestbox. I have seen them try to help with nestbuilding, but the EABL parents discouraged this. They were very curious, peering into the nestbox at newly hatched young. Once the new hatchlings could reach up, they were being fed by both parents and several fledglings, sometimes two at once.

Barbara Burnham, Ellicott City , MD


From: Tina Wertz To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Sent: Friday, July 16, 2004 7:37 PM
Subject: first time with bluebirds

This is my first year to have a pair of bluebird nest in one of my boxes and it has not been a good experience. On the day that my 4 bluebird eggs hatched the male disappeared and has never been seen since. The female has done a wonderful job in taking care of the babies and since day 12 I have not looked into the box. Well today, day 17 at 7:45 pm I noticed one of the babies sticking his head out of the box and within minutes he flew out and into a tree. I thought that this must have been the last one to fledge since it was so late in the evening so I decided to check the box. I found one baby dead and the other 2 no where near ready to fledge. I am afraid that since the one baby fledged this evening the female will no longer come back to the nest to feed the other two. Is this correct and what can I do to help the two babies that are still in the nest???? Please help. Thank You Tina Wertz Woodstock, Ga.


From: Dottie Roseboom [mailto:rosedot"at"mtco.com]
Sent: Saturday, July 17, 2004 12:26 AM
Re: first time with bluebirds

Hi Tina, Sorry to hear about the loss of the male bluebird and of the little nestling. Most of the time, monitoring bluebirds is NOT so sad! And BTW, sometimes, an evening fledging does not necessarily mean that he was the last to fledge. Just this week, I had 2 baby blues that fledged just before sunset (I don't like this kind of timing - but then again, I'm not their parents). They were the first siblings to leave the nest. Another fledging did not occur until the next afternoon, and the last baby fledged the following morning. Because I knew that this particular nest had hatched out on 3 different days, I was not surprised to see the differing fledge dates. >From what I have observed through the years, when a split fledging >occurs, about 90% of the nestling care is done by one parent, while the other parent tends the fledglings. It's curious that even on their second broods, that which ever parent got stuck "babysitting" the 1st time, is stuck the 2nd time too. (Wonder if they argue about the work division as much as human couples do?) Because the female has no helping male, she'll have to work extra hard to keep track of the fledglings while still feeding the nestlings. Although I've not had experience with this situation, many other people have seen a single parent raise successful families. Luckily, it's summer, and insects are plentiful. And as harsh as it sounds, since the one nestling died, the female will have 1 less mouth to feed, giving the other siblings a better chance at survival. IF you have mealworms, you might supply the female with a few - in her own feeder, maybe within 10 ft of the nestbox. I doubt if the female abandons the nestbox until all the babies have fledged. However, be aware that even in the best situations, parents are NOT as attentive to the ready-to-fledge nestlings as they are to the newly hatched nestlings. The older babies are left alone for a while - this helps them to reach up to the entrance hole, strengthening their wings, and giving them a reason to leave the nest. Sometimes, it does appear that the parents "forgot" the nestbox, but I have never seen this actually happen. Bluebirds are quite good parents. Good luck. Dottie Roseboom Peoria IL (central - zone 5)


From: JOHN & BARBARA SIBIO [mailto:jsibio"at"comcast.net]
Sent: Saturday, July 17, 2004 9:33 AM
Subject: First time with bluebirds

Hi Tina and all! Welcome to the wonderful world of Bluebirding! Most of the time it's pure joy, but sometimes problems come up that we can't prevent -- however, the bluebirds continue on like troupers! Here in my garden, when the chicks fledge, the male takes them to the oak trees along the creek behind our house. We still hear them, and occasionally see them back in our garden. Our neighbors have a decorative waterfall in their yard, and the babies go there to bathe. I have two bird baths but the blues seem to prefer the running water in the waterfall. This year is the first time that I've had one chick fledge and the other two stay in the nest. It's been two days, and the mother is still feeding them. They all hatched at the same time, so I don't understand why it happened this way. I saw the male take the chick off to the trees, and he does occasionally come to help feed the remaining chicks, but he's mostly spending his time with the fledgling. ... Barbara in Cloverdale, CA


From: L Colangelo [mailto:lcolangelo"at"verizon.net]
Sent: Saturday, July 17, 2004 1:05 AM
Re: first time with bluebirds

Chances are your female EABL knows exactly where each of her babies is. I'm wondering why you state that the 2 remaining in the box are nowhere near fledging? Are your talking about their size or lack of feathers? Day 17 would be slightly early for fledging. Did the one that fledge look dramatically different than the ones in the box?


From: Paula [mailto:PaulaZ"at"columbus.rr.com]
Sent: Saturday, July 17, 2004 11:32 AM
Subject: Re: first time with bluebirds

Tina, Nature can be harsh and that is certainly a lesson all of us bluebirders have learned. Hang in there and don't feel too bad. You have provided housing and monitoring for these bluebirds and I doubt the baby would have made it without your help. My first two forays into nesting bluebirds had even worse results. I put up a box for bluebirds years ago when I did not even know what an English Sparrow (HOSP) was. I lost two nests to them - one in a box in wooded area (not best habitat) and one in my purple martin house. That which does not stop us bluebirders, makes us stronger and smarter though. I learned from this experience and started trapping and eliminating English Sparrows and have had many successful nestings since. My backyard bluebirds are on their third nesting now. They have actually completed two nests in two boxes in my yard for reasons unknown. I guess Mom wanted a new house. So I am hoping you won't be too discouraged, learn a couple lessons, and continue. You will have many more successful nestings in the future, I have no doubt. I hope you removed the dead nestling. If the other two are underdeveloped, I'd keep a close eye on them and activity at the box. I would seriously doubt the mother would abandon the other two. Bluebirds often fledge a day or two apart and the parents continue to feed the ones in the box. I'd monitor, though, and hope for good results. Remember, one fledging is better than some outcomes we have all had and that poor mother has her wings (hands) full. Providing supplemental mealworms about 30 feet from box would be good help too and you already may be doing this. Let us know how it goes. Paula Z Powell (Central) Ohio


From: Bruce Burdett [mailto:blueburd"at"tds.net]
Sent: Saturday, July 17, 2004 9:00 AM
Re: Question?

Trudy, What you describe sounds perfectly normal. The young birds normally fly up into the tree tops and the adults locate them quickly and feed them. This family group might stay in the neighborhood; they might not. The young birds, once they fly, will not return to the nest, and it should be removed, and the house cleaned with scraper and brush. I do not use chemicals, but some use bleach, or something like that. I don't know if they're likely to nest a 3rd time in PA. This early in the season, I'd guess they would, but I don't really know. If a 3rd or 4th nesting occurs it may be aborted by the onset of colder weather in September. I've even had 3rd nestings here in NH, but they're never successful, even if eggs are laid. You mentioned paint. I never paint, but I know that many do, and I hope they reply to you as regards the color and type of paint they prefer. Remember that Bluebird houses should be well out in the open, 100' or more from thickets, etc.


From: Bruce Burdett [mailto:blueburd"at"tds.net]
Sent: Saturday, July 17, 2004 9:25 AM

Re: Question? Cher, et al, My experience is that the adults and young birds stay around the general area of the nest even WITHOUT mealworm feeding. I no longer offer mealworms at all except when I'm trying to take pictures, and the family groups still usually stay around regardless. Nearly all my houses (paired sites) are some distance from our house, and I only visit them every week or ten days. They're completely on their own. Most sites have never laid eyes on a mealworm. Mealy-feeding is fun for the Bluebirder, but not essential for the Bluebirds. (I doubt that it does any harm.) Often the families depart from the area of the nestbox for a while, then return in Sept, Oct. and Nov. , especially if you offer clean water in birdbaths. Bruce Burdett, SW NH


From: Paula [mailto:PaulaZ"at"columbus.rr.com]
Sent: Saturday, July 17, 2004 12:06 PM
Re: Question?

Trudy, Congratulations on your fledging! My backyard bluebirds follow a pattern. They fledge into the trees as you describe and then the parents take them away - I assume to more secluded woods for a week to 10 days. I generally don't see the adults much during this time and I don't see the fledglings at all. I imagine they are very busy feeding the babies and keeping them safe. When the fledglings are a week to 10 days old, they all return to the mealworm feeder. Mom and Dad pack their beaks full of mealworms and feed the begging babies on top of the feeder, on top of my roof, under my trees, in the trees. It is fun to watch. When the babies are about 2 weeks old or so, I see them start to pick up mealworms on their own. I have 4 fledglings coming to feeder right now that are 19 days old (after fledging). I observed three of them eating mealworms out of the feeder on their own and their sister sat on the roof and begged. I was amazed at how many mealworms the father packed into her mouth. He would get huge beakfuls and drop a few during the feeding. I complained that those worms cost money, but he didn't seem to understand or care and went back for more.. In a past brood, I actually observed the father place a mealworm on the ground and push the fledgling's head down toward it to teach it how to eat - very interesting to watch (baby was about 2 weeks old). If the parents (my bluebirds) want to start another nest, they generally do it at this time (7 to 10 days after fledge) as well. Mine are on their third nesting right now. They have no eggs yet, but have completed a nest in two of my boxes. Observations tell me both nests are from same pair as I have observed no fighting and boxes are in view of each other. I think mother built one nest and then decided she wanted to try a different box this time. We also have a juvenile red tail hawk who flies around our neighborhood calling all day long (last month or so) and I wonder if she chose this other box because it is a little closer to my house and more sheltered? - don't know. I don't know if bluebirds winter over in northeastern PA, but they do here in central OH. Regardless of whether they remain in winter or migrate further south, you have a very high probability that this pair will return next spring (if they survive the winter) to nest in your yard again because they had a successful nesting this year. If they lose a nest to predation, they may not return. ... . Paula Z Powell (Central) Ohio


From: Glenn Williams [mailto:glenwill"at"chilitech.net]
Sent: Monday, July 19, 2004 12:55 PM
Subject: Great show but puzzling?!?!

... you might recall that on 7/4/04 I had FOUR hatchlings fledge, I wonder and hate to think that 2 of the 4 did not survive, but I guess that is nature! Today, with camera in hand, I put mealies, out hoping for a repeat of yesterday's show, but the father would not approach the feeder until I backed away about 20 yards!?!? and the young ones did not show up although the father did fly mealies to the same area of the treeline several times!! ...Glenn N. Central PA, USA


From: Bruce Burdett [mailto:blueburd"at"tds.net]
Sent: Monday, July 19, 2004 2:59 PM
Re: Great show but puzzling?!?!

Glenn, My semi-educated guess is that all four immatures made it. They don't always stick together. Some are more aggressive, or more adventuresome, or more gregarious than others. ... Bruce Burdett, SW NH


From: Lynn Ward [mailto:lWard"at"pmai.org]
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2004 9:00 AM
RE: Great show but puzzling?!?!

Hi Glenn, It has been my experience that from a brood of four, usually two juveniles will show up first with the father at the feeder. As a period of time passes, I'll see a third and finally the fourth. It's difficult to spot all of them together, but eventually I usually do and it's nice to have all accounted for! Lynn Ward South Central Michigan


From: Paula [mailto:PaulaZ"at"columbus.rr.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2004 11:43 AM
Re: Great show but puzzling?!?!

Glenn, The fledglings don't always stay together. I fledged 5 EABL about 3 weeks ago and was only seeing two at the feeder. A couple days ago, I saw 4 at the feeder. I imagine Dad was attending to a couple of them and Mom the others (I'm still missing the one though). Your other two might be just fine. I sure hope so.


From: Lawrence Herbert
To: BLUEBIRD
Subject: watched EABL fledge

Mark and I checked our bluebird houses at the Southeast Kansas Nat. Ctr., Cherokee County, Kansas. As we arrived at Box #02 they were fledging. We had the opportunity to watch two of them make their maiden voyage. We waited for a half an hour and there was no further activity so I decided to approach the box to see if they were all gone. The parents scolded me big time! So we left without further disturbing at least one more critter within. According to my records the four were fledging at Day 18. Good birding, Larry H. Joplin MO.


From: Dottie Roseboom [mailto:rosedot"at"mtco.com]
Sent: Sunday, August 01, 2004 11:09 PM
e: watched EABL fledge

Congratulations! It's always fun to see the babies take the maiden voyage. This year, all of my bluebirds fledged on Day 18. Dottie Roseboom Peoria IL (central - zone 5) NABS member


From: Behalf of Lynneridgeway"at"aol.com
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 12:29:59 EDT
Subject: Bluebirds Nest, Fledge & Leave Shortly Thereafter Bluebirds Nest (generally twice), Fledge & Leave Shortly Thereafter (mid-late July):

WHY? Hi, I'm new to the List; I live in what is called Hardiness Zone 5 or 5b (Ulster County, NY). While we've had nesting bluebirds for several years, once they finish with producing young they all leave our property. Other individuals within a few miles of us have the bluebirds till they leave for the winter (still at their place as of Sept.19). Since they choose to nest here, what is it that might be lacking (or be present) that could account for their early departure? Any ideas? Need more information from me: just let me know what! Thanks for any responses. Lynne


From: Paula [mailto:PaulaZ"at"columbus.rr.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2004 8:52 AM
Re: Bluebirds Nest, Fledge & Leave Shortly

Thereafter Lynne, My EABL are scarce after fledging too. For the first couple of weeks after fledging, regardless of brood, I generally don't see them. I believe the parents take them to safer tree cover to increase their chances of survival during those first few weeks. If you provide supplemental feeding, they will likely return after a bit. They love mealworms as a treat in the spring/summer and I mix up Bluebird Banquet for them when the temperatures drop into the low 40's. My EABL remain all winter. A clean, unfrozen water source is an amazing draw for all birds in the winter too. I got a bird bath heater (keeps water from freezing) last Xmas as a gift. All the birds love it. If you are really out in the open, planting some trees and shrubs for them to go to is a draw as well. For some good advice on plants, Bet has put together http://www.sialis.org/plants.htm Paula Z Powell (Central) Ohio


From: Burnham, Barbara [mailto:Barbara.Burnham"at"zzz.zzz]
Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2004 9:28 AM
RE: Bluebirds Nest, Fledge & Leave Shortly Thereafter

Lynne, Welcome to the list; a great source of information and helpful bluebirders. Bluebirds will roam where they can find food, shelter, and water. Harsh weather and food supplies may dictate whether they migrate, if only short distances. When colder weather arrives and insects become more scarce they must depend on berries. For a list of preferred foods, see the "Landscaping" link at http://www.sialis.org/index.html. For safety, they need cover such as trees or forest, and for shelter, they will use tree cavities or roost boxes. They must also avoid predators such as hawks, owls, roaming cats, etc, not to mention poisons such as insecticides, and environmental hazards, even cars. I've read that 50% of fledglings don't survive their first year. When competing for nest cavities, adult birds are sometimes killed by the invasive, non-native English house sparrow (HOSP), and many eggs or babies are killed by competitors or predators. In our area, bluebirds often travel in loose groups with chipping sparrows, goldfinches, and/or house finches. Sources of water for drinking and/or bathing will be appreciated in any weather (we have a birdbath that is heated if temperatures freeze). Their feathers must be properly maintained to keep them warm and healthy. We also offer mealworms (in an enclosed feeder to exclude larger birds). In winter, we also offer suet mixes. Sometimes the bluebirds are lined up on my deckrail at dawn with frost on their backs, waiting. If I didn't know better, I'd think they were tapping their little toes impatiently waiting for me to refill the feeder. However, what I offer them is not enough. They need more than that to survive. If the time comes that they must migrate, they will. Keep the nestboxes up, and they will return. Barbara Burnham


From: Chuck Jensen [mailto:cjensen "at"dts9000.com]
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2005 11:26 AM
Subject: RE: Blue Sunday

Crystal,

Nice photo, but did notice that the welded mesh wire has the cutoff end turned in toward the interior of the box. The small wire ends (where they were cut with pliers or nippers) are very sharp and could potential harm the nestlings as they flop around and compete inside the box. If you take your wire screen and rotate it 180 degrees (flip it over), that'll put the sharp ends up against the side of the wood box so they can't cut/impale your youngsters....which you are sure to have soon!

Chuck



From: Olson, Janice K [mailto:Janice.Olson "at"landsend.com]
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2005 11:49 AM
Subject: RE: Blue Sunday

For Chuck/Crystal/Anyone,

Nice response, but I have a question -

Why is the mesh inside the box to begin with? Won't the nest when finished be high enough so the babies can get out without assistance when ready to fly, or is that not the purpose of the wire?

I'm putting out boxes for the first time this year, so may have questions. I've read a lot, but don't think I saw this in box building before.

Thanks.



From: Megan Whitman [mailto:mlw57 "at"cornell.edu]
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2005 4:50 PM
Subject: FW: Blue Sunday

I am sure Crystal put the hardware cloth on the door to give the babies something to cling to as they try to climb to the hole. On a smooth surface, it is very hard for them to get up to the hole. Many of the David Magness nestbox kits that he sent to us had the grooves cut across the inside door for that purpose. We try to select wood that has one rough side and one planed side. However, rough on both sides is absolutely fine!

Evelyn Cooper
Delhi, LA
Louisiana Bayou Bluebird Society



From: JOHN & BARBARA SIBIO [mailto:jsibio"at"comcast.net]
Sent: Sunday, May 08, 2005 12:45 PM
Subject: Fledglings

Usually, as soon as the chicks fledge, the adult pair take the clan off somewhere for a couple weeks, I suppose for their essential training. We usually see them back in time, checking out the nestbox and bathing in our birdbath. This has been the pattern, more or less, for a dozen years.

The first nest (six chicks) of the season fledged this weekend, and we could hear the chicks chirping in the oaks behind our home. The adults still came into our garden to hunt, then flew back to the trees with the insects they caught. By the way, this is the first pair that I've ever had feed at our seed feeder. I've been using a mix of black oil sunflower, peanut chips, and dried cherries.

This morning it is raining heavily, and I looked out at the nestbox, wondering if I could get out there today to clean it out. Then I saw a male bluebird on the feeder, quickly joined by a second male who had trouble landing. They flew off to the oaks, and then the adult female came into the yard and fed on the ground before she flew back. Obviously, they haven't left this area.

Quite an active morning, bird-wise! It's unusual that the bluebird pair and chicks are still around after fledging. I'm definitely going to check the nestbox as soon as there is a break in the rain. There is definitely a variation in "personalities" among the birds.

Barbara in Cloverdale, CA



From: Bruce Burdett [mailto:blueburd"at"verizon.net]
Sent: Sunday, May 08, 2005 1:41 PM
Subject: Re: Fledglings

Barbara is in Cloverdale CA and I'm in Sunapee NH, but the Bluebird fledgling scenario she describes is identical to what we see here. They disappear for awhile, feed the babies up in the trees somewhere, visit the feeders and the birdbaths, hunt in the fields, and then reappear when they feel like it, often to start a second nesting.
If you watch where they go with their insects, you can often find exactly where the babies are hiding, and watch them with your glass.
Usually, by the time they reappear, the young birds will be hunting on their own, more or less, though they will continue to pester their parents for food.

Bruce Burdett, SW NH



From: Kate Arnold [mailto:koscharn"at"cox.net]
Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2005 9:09 AM
Subject: RE: White stuff extracted

The parents are changing the diapers! The babies excrement is in a little membrane “fecal sac” which enables the parents to remove it to keep the nest clean. They carry the fecal sac far from the nest to avoid attracting predators. If the nest is not extremely crowded, it will stay fairly clean until the last day or so. On fledging day the exiting babies often leave a “deposit”, so many people use these deposits as a sign that they have actually fledged, as opposed to being removed from the nest by a predator!
(The nest will also be somewhat flattened due to the weight of 4, 5 or more babies that often weigh as much or more than their parents by the time they leave the nest.) Kate Arnold
Paris, TX, 100 mi NE of Dallas



From: Evelyn Cooper [mailto:emcooper"at"bayou.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2005 9:38 AM
Subject: RE: White stuff extracted - Predators On Day Of Fledging

One way to tell if a climbing predator got the fledglings is to keep the pole greased. This is what happened to me when I found the snake in the nestbox. I also found other nestboxes that had been visited by snakes. I did not have a proper guard on the pole. The grease was black and it was applied thick and they left their mark all over the pole, inadequate guard and on the hole of the nestbox. The snake even had the black stuff all over him. He was taking a snooze in the box with his belly full of my bluebird babies.

The Ron Kingston stovepipe guard has stopped it all for me so far.

Evelyn Cooper
Delhi, LA



From: MJShearer [mailto:eshearer"at"comcast.net]
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2005 10:30 AM
Subject: Re: I think my blue babes flew today
...

Sunday my husband noticed that he hadn't heard our EABL nestlings chirping all morning, so he thought they had fledged. I knew they were a few days away from fledging, and I hadn't seen them looking out of the entrance Saturday.
(They usually peek out the door for at least a day before leaving the nest.)

After not seeing the adults in the yard all day Sunday, just before dark I carefully checked the nest box and found fecal sacs that hadn't been removed and four nestlings crowded near the front of the box. By Monday they looked a little lethargic in their badly soiled nest, so I took them to a rehabber. I checked yesterday, and she says they're beginning to gape when she feeds them.

We haven't seen our adult birds since Saturday, so we know something happened to both of them. These bluebirds were our "regulars" that came to the sunflower feeder and
stayed around throughout the winter. They'd been chasing
squirrels out of the yard, buzzing me when I checked the box, and knocking other birds off the feeder. They just disappeared.

We haven't seen any cats roaming the neighborhood or found feathers in the yard, but we did find a dead opossum in the side yard with no apparent injuries. Another mystery....

Anyway, if you don't see adults around the box this afternoon, I suggest you carefully take a peek in the box to be sure those nestlings fledged and all is well.

Hope you get better news than I did when you check that box.

MJ

Mary Jane Shearer; Tucker, GA



From: Dottie, Hickory Hollow, Brown County, Indiana [mailto:yumyumkatts"at"voyager.net]
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2005 4:30 PM
Subject: Re: White stuff extracted - Predators On Day Of Fledging

Yep, you are correct, Evelyn. The same thing happened to me and I knew
right away it was a snake as it had carried the Vaseline all the way up and
into the hole.

Dottie, Hickory Hollow
Brown County, Indiana


From: G McCall [mailto:gmccall"at"rochester.rr.com]
Sent: Saturday, May 21, 2005 2:30 PM
Subject: Fledglings On The Ground

This is my first successful EABB nesting. Is it normal for the babies to go right to the ground instead of flying right away? My first one did this and the parents are still feeding him as usual. He is fluttering his wings like he is practicing for the first flight but it seems a little too soon. What should I do about predators overnight?
I am anxiously awaiting for the rest to come out of the box.
Thanks in advance.

Gordon
Webster, NY


From: G McCall [mailto:gmccall"at"rochester.rr.com]
Sent: Saturday, May 21, 2005 5:10 PM
Subject: Fledglings On The Ground

Now there is three of them on the ground. They have congregated under a tree and the parents continue to feed them and the other two left in the nest box. They seem healthy but I think they are just not ready to fly. I am worried that the raccoons and feral cats will get them at night.



From: Evelyn Cooper [mailto:emcooper"at"bayou.com]
Sent: Saturday, May 21, 2005 5:49 PM
Subject: RE: Fledglings On The Ground

I am just guessing here, but it looks like something caused them to fledge
prematurely. If you can pick them up, put them back in the box and put
something in the hole for overnight. Maybe they will settle down. If not,
you will have to call a rehabber to take care of them.

This is when keeping records really comes in handy as it lets you know just
how old the babies are.

Evelyn Cooper
Delhi, LA


From: G McCall [mailto:gmccall"at"rochester.rr.com]
Sent: Saturday, May 21, 2005 10:45 PM
Subject: Fledglings On The Ground

Thank you to everyone who replied with advice. So far the outcome is good. I went outside at dusk to check on the three little ones and found that they were all safely up in the trees. Earlier I picked one up to see if it might fly and instead it clung onto my sleeve. It was an awsome experience! After they sat in the grass all day, the parents finally got them to fly before it got dark. I hope to see the other two fledge tomorrow!

Gordon
Webster, NY


From: G McCall [mailto:gmccall"at"rochester.rr.com]
Sent: Sunday, May 22, 2005 6:30 PM
Subject: Re: Fledglings On The Ground

Unfortunately all three died sometime last night. It was 40 deg and rainy so maybe they got hypothermia? I found each one under the tree where they were perched last night. Pretty sad. At least the other two still have a chance. They have not fledged yet, but the parents are feeding them so they must be OK.

Gordon



From: Barb DeLong [mailto:delong24"at"msu.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2005 9:24 AM
Subject: BB Baby Question

I have a dilemma - my mama blue got hit by a car about a week ago and daddy has taken care of the babies from that point on. The 5 babies fledged last Friday and are staying in a tree behind our house. When I went out to feed daddy mealies this morning - I whistled but he didn't come.

As I drove off to work I noticed daddy blue had been hit by a car and was laying along side the road.

My question is - what is the chance that those 5 babies will survive and be able to take care of themselves. They seemed to be very dependent on daddy last night when he was feeding them mealies.

Thanks!
Barb DeLong
Eaton Rapids, MI



From: Lawrence Herbert [mailto:lherbert"at"4state.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2005 6:45 PM
Subject: survival in MI

Barb in MI:
You didn't say how long that you were thinking about for the orphaned
week-old nestlings.

I'll guess - for over a month - zero percent!

Good birding, Larry H. Joplin MO.



From: david bates [mailto:webebates"at"webtv.net]
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2005 9:18 PM
Subject: two-phased fledging

Hi All!
My husband and I have put up a bluebird house in our backyard this year, and have had a successful fledging of five young. On the fourteenth day after hatching, two left the nest and flew to a tree, but the other three stayed in the nestbox for four more days! We have no HOSP............yet. The day that the first two fledged, there were no signs of predators, storms, or other problems, and both parents didn't seem to be in any distress. The male sang quite a bit at the time and both parents went to the two babies in the tree, but did not feed them.
The babies are now 27 days old and all seem to be doing well. Thank you all for any information you may provide. We have enjoyed your posts so much and have learned a great deal.

Sharon B.
Winston Salem, N.C.



From: Evelyn Cooper [mailto:emcooper"at"bayou.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2005 9:36 AM
Subject: FW: two-phased fledging

Hi Sharon:

This really is an unusual situation. It seems for some reason two left the nestbox early. Usually, it is very hard for them to fly at 14 days. Did you keep very accurate records to know for sure it was 14 days? One scenario is that they could have been 16 days old and the others were 20 days old, which would make them be strong enough to fly. Maybe someone else has other thoughts on it. They odd part about this whole thing is the others waiting four days to fledge. I had some stay in the box overnight and fledge the next day at mid-morning, but never heard of four days. I wonder if anyone else has had this experience? We never cease to learn, do we?

Evelyn Cooper
Delhi, LA



From: Evelyn Cooper [mailto:emcooper"at"bayou.com]
Sent: Friday, May 27, 2005 9:45 PM
Subject: RE: two-phased fledging

After reading Sharon's post, I discovered that on the Bird Watcher's Guide
nesting schedule, it lists 14 to 22 days for Eastern Bluebirds to fledge. On
the front page, the schedule says 16 to 22 days. I wonder why they list the
14 to 22 days in the schedule. I am wondering if they are saying that some
bluebirds can fledge at day 14 and make it fine.(not meaning those that may
be made to fledge early)

There was no response to Sharon's Message, so I am assuming no one else has
had this experience.

Evelyn Cooper
Delhi, LA


From: agriffee [mailto:agriffee"at"adelphia.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2005 9:25 PM
Subject: Newbie fleging questions

My babies (4) were hatched on June 4th. Today at eleven days old their head is smaller than a dime and they look like about maybe 2 inches long lying in there.

From what I have read they should fledge about the end of next week 22nd-24th. How in the world are they going to be big enough to leave that box and fly? How large are BB usually when fledging? How do you tell the mom from pop?

Arnold, Kentucky


From: Lana Hunt [mailto:lanahunt"at"kcp.uky.edu]
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2005 5:06 AM
Subject: Re: Newbie fledging questions

Arnold,
I remember someone one the list offered to send photos of baby blues progressively from day one through fledging, that might give you a better idea. In my limited experience, they seem to be large enough to look very crowded in the nest. Are you seeing Mom or Dad going into the nest with insects? Perhaps you could offer mealworms, they can be purchased at Walmart in the fishing section or you can order them in large quantities but would have to allow time for mailing.
You can tell the male and female apart by depth of coloring. The male is a much more brilliant blue and has darker rust on his chest. The female is more grayish blue, duller in color and the rust is paler on her chest.

Lana Hunt, Morehead, Kentucky


From: PTom [mailto:ptom"at"austin.rr.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2005 9:17 AM
Subject: Eastern Bluebird Nestling Daily Growth Series

www.texasbluebirdsociety.org offers "Eastern Bluebird Nestling Daily Growth Series" in the Photo Gallery.

Pauline Tom
Chair, 2006 North American Bluebird Society Convention in SAN ANTONIO, April 26th - 30th (www.nabs2006.com)



From: Paul Kilduff [mailto:pkilduff"at"usconnex.net]
Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2005 12:32 PM
Subject: RE: question about nest checks and nestling age

Maryland's Wonderful Pam Ford took pictures of nestlings almost each day, and they are posted at http://www.marylandbluebirdsociety.org/nestlingage.htm

It'll help anyone trying to "age" nestlings. In our monitors' kits are laminated color prints of those pictures to help with identifying the age of the nestlings.... {Thanks as always, Pam!!}

Paul Kilduff
Trail at Oregon Ridge Park, Cockeysville, Baltimore County, MD

PS: _Bluebird Monitor's Guide_ is indispensable!



From: JOHN & BARBARA SIBIO [mailto:jsibio"at"comcast.net]
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2005 9:47 AM
Subject: Juveniles and 2nd nest

I think the eggs in our second nest have hatched, by all the back and forth activity with the adults. However, a couple of the fledglings from the last nesting have begun clinging to the front of the nestbox peering inside!
They have followed the adults around ever since they fledged, but the male chased them off when they were completing the nest, laying eggs, and incubating. Sometimes the chicks would be fed by an adult when they were out of the nestbox, but not on a regular basis.

Now I think they are looking in at the female, who was busy yesterday keeping the chicks warm. I didn't get to check on them to see if the eggs had hatched because it was raining and didn't even reach 60 degrees! What a strange June we are having!

I plan to check on them when it warms up this weekend. It was cute to see
two of the fledglings, together, peering into the nestbox opening. The
male didn't chase them, although he was nearby. One season I had two males feeding the hen and chicks, and I suspect one male was from a previous nest, although he was an adult at the time.

I hope the rest of you are having spring/summer weather, while we are having winter weather and earthquakes!

Barbara in Cloverdale, CA



From: KimMarie Markel [mailto:auroramn"at"verizon.net]
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2005 12:44 PM
Subject: Re: Juveniles and 2nd nest

Barbara and others,
Last year the juveniles from the first brood stayed in the area while the parents were tending to the second. In fact after the second brood fledged I would see one of the juvenile females feeding one of the fledges (first brood was 2 males, 2 females). The parents never attempted to chase off the juvies, even when they would land on the box or try to peek in. Maybe food supply and the wide open area had something to do with it? Or they were just tolerant parents?

All I know is that it was wonderful watching the entire family (all nine of
them) the last 2 weeks of August - looking out onto the backyard (a very large area) we would constantly see flashes of blue wings :)

I'm curious to see if the same thing happens this year. Currently the female is incubating 5 eggs and the 3 first brood fledges are still staying in the area. Neither parent has attempted to chase them off (at least not yet).

kimmarie :)
Buffalo/Varysburg, Western NY



From: Lynn Emerich [mailto:lemerich"at"epix.net]
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2005 1:09 PM
Subject: Re: Juveniles and 2nd nest

The new young birds will stick around for a while. They may even help
to build the new nest and feed the new babies.

Lynn near Bernville PS



From: JOHN & BARBARA SIBIO [mailto:jsibio"at"comcast.net]
Sent: Sunday, June 19, 2005 9:09 PM
Subject: Fledglings feeding chicks

We were sitting on the porch today, enjoying the nice weather we got for Fathers' Day, and watching the bluebird pair feed their five new chicks. I was surprised to see a fledgling from their first nesting fly to the nestbox with an insect in its beak. It went into the box, then came out without the bug!

When the pair were first building the new nest, laying eggs, etc., the fledglings followed them everywhere, begging for food. They tried a couple of times to enter the nestbox but couldn't manage to cling to the front, as we have a wooden 3/4" predator guard over the entry hole. When we discovered the adult female had a bad leg we stapled a twig to the front to help her enter, as she was having some difficulty too.

That enabled the fledglings to peer in the box; now, at least one of them is feeding the new chicks! I can't tell them apart, so I don't know if it is one of the female fledglings, or both of them. No wonder the chicks are so fat and fluffy!

Happy Fathers' Day to all.



From: JOHN & BARBARA SIBIO [mailto:jsibio"at"comcast.net]
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2005 3:48 PM
Subject: Fledglings feeding chicks

Barbara in Cloverdale, CA

I just saw a second fledgling from the first nesting feeding the chicks in nest two. Both of the fledglings that are helping feed are females, and are now two and a half months old. There is a feeding relay going on: the two fledglings and the two parents are lined up on the fence and on a shepherd's crook near the nestbox. As one leaves the nestbox, another one enters.
Once today, there were three of them in the box with the five chicks! One fledgling entered, then the mother entered, and then the father. They came out one at a time. I've only seen the adults remove fecal sacs, so I guess the youngsters haven't learned to do that yet. The chicks are being well fed!

Barbara in Cloverdale, CA


From: Dottie, Hickory Hollow, Brown County, Indiana [mailto:yumyumkatts"at"voyager.net]
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2005 10:29 PM
Subject: Weak BB Baby

Yesterday morning my pair of BB's, who nested in the BB supergourd by my house, fledged their five babies. I missed it as I didn't get up in time and they didn't wait for me. dang

Later in the morning, I decided to check my BB box in front of my house. When walking up there, I heard a BB baby chirping and mom and pop going nuts. So I looked around and found the baby on the ground.

I tried to put him in the tree but he wouldn't or couldn't hang on. The poor thing just couldn't fly well enough yet; although, he had managed to make it quite a little ways to the trees. He did look kind of small.

So I put him back in the BB supergourd and I saw pop BB in the tree near the gourd. Unfortunately, we had to leave then for an appointment but I did see the baby with his beak in the hole.

When we got home, the first thing we did was to look to see if the BB baby was still in the gourd. He wasn't. He was gone. I sure hope he managed to fly up to the trees.

I looked around today but didn't see him.

Dottie, Hickory Hollow
Brown County, Indiana


From: KimMarie Markel [mailto:auroramn"at"verizon.net]
Sent: Monday, June 27, 2005 6:47 PM
Subject: Juvenile EABLs and their "tag along friend"

Again this year I had a EABL pair use a natural cavity for their first brood, and again this year the four first brood "youngsters" are staying in the area with the parents who are preparing for a "back house/yard" nest box hatching this weekend (5 eggs and hoping everything will be ok with our unusually high temps - the adult female has been leaving the box frequently but perching close by along with the adult male - also have a front yard pair with 4 eggs due to hatch within days after, female also taking breaks from incubation and male close by - must be the heat).

Yesterday, I was sitting out in the early evening shade, trying to keep cool, relax after the heat of the day and noticed 5 juveniles hunting for bugs around the veggie garden, noticed that one wasn't "landing", but instead was catching low ground flying bugs mid air. I pulled out the spotting scope (I was curious, was there a fledge I had missed over the past 2 weeks) and finally found the "renegade" perched on a dead pine tree branch - it wasn't an EABL juvie (although it was perched next to a EABL female fledge) - it was an Eastern Phoebe youngster. I saw this happen last year as well, bluebird and phoebe juveniles "hanging" out, perching and hunting together. Has anyone else noticed this kind of behavior? Do some species travel together after fledging?

and side note: for the first time ever I saw bluebird adults and youngsters "spashing" in the bird bath this weekend :) they looked like they were having a great time cooling off after experiencing 90+ temps over the weekend (very unusual weather for us these days)

kimmarie :)
Buffalo/Varysburg, Western NY


From: Barbara Burnham
Sent: June 27, 2005
RE: Juvenile EABLs and their "tag along friend"

Kimmarie,

I've watched Eastern Phoebe when EABL parents are feeding fledglings in the trees. If the bluebirds drop anything, the phoebe catches it in midair. On the other hand, I have also seen bluebirds catch food in midair at times.
One female bluebird I remember leaped from her perch to catch a house fly in midair.

Barbara Burnham
Ellicott City, MD


From: Mary Haik [mailto:m.haik"at"charter.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 1:02 AM
Subject: RE: He finally did it

I was able to catch a series of photos of the last of a group leaving last year.

http://www.pbase.com/mary_h/bluebirdfledgling

On our second group this year, 5 just hatched a few days ago, still very tiny hairless creatures, lol.

Mary



From: Jean Carter Wilson [mailto:peanut123"at"comcast.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 2:57 PM
Subject: Re: Finally!!!!!!

Yeah. That's one of the really nice things about bluebirds...the
family interaction. My two juveniles, about two months old, are just
as protective of Mom's new nest with eggs as is Mom herself. I get
divebombed by four indigo projectiles every time I go out there unless
they're sitting in a tree yelling at me to bring their mealworms. ;)


From: Trish Culpepper [mailto:trishkcully"at"earthlink.net]
Sent: Friday, July 01, 2005 11:54 AM
Subject: Update on EABL fledging... ?s

Trish - Frankston, TX
This is my first experience with having EABL babies getting ready to fledge....and I keep waiting. There are two BBs still in the nest and today is Day 18. I haven't peeked in for almost a week now, but Momma BB keeps taking the mealworms in and Daddy BB keeps guarding. Hopefully, it will happen this weekend when I will have more time to observe. In everyone's experience, does the fledging usually happen at a particular time of day, i.e., more often mornings ?? Or does it just depend on when the fledglings get up enough courage to leave?


From: Linda [mailto:linyl"at"alltel.net]
Sent: Friday, July 01, 2005 12:30 PM
Subject: Re: Update on EABL fledging... ?

Mine mostly always fledged during the afternoon--2:00 through 4:00. Linda in NW GA



From: Lawrence, Miriam [mailto:mlawrence"at"horsesmouth.com]
Sent: Sunday, July 03, 2005 10:42 PM
Subject: Untended tree swallow fledgling -- fostering question

Need to know if I did the right thing this evening -- apologies if the answer is out in the archives somewhere, I've been looking for an hour and no luck.

We have had three active tree swallow nests after our big rain-related die-off a couple of weeks ago. One of the boxes is farther from the house than the other two, out in a field at the bottom of a hill. On last check two days ago, the young in that box were looking pretty fledge-ready (peeking out of the hole, very nicely feathered, etc). The nestlings in the other two boxes are coming along nicely but are not as advanced; this is the only box with TRES likely to be fledging.

Early this evening, I observed adult swallows feeding two TRES fledglings at the top of a young locust tree right in our backyard, a good 100 yards away from the aforementioned box. I then noted one more fledgling in the same tree, for a total of three. As there had been four nestlings in the box, and given all I've heard about how sometimes TRES get stuck trying to fledge, I wanted to check to make sure everyone had made it out safely.

Sure enough, there was one little guy all alone in the box, with no sign of anyone feeding him (not surprisingly, because both adults seemed very busy feeding the fledglings in our backyard, which again is not anywhere near the box). I watched for quite a while and no feeding or even a sign of an adult anywhere nearby -- whereas the fledglings in the tree were getting fed by both adults every few minutes.

I initially lifted the nestling out and he tried to fly away, but just fluttered down into the tall goldenrod below the box. I couldn't imagine he would survive given that the adults were far away and busy and would never find him down there even if they came looking -- not to mention the likelihood of predator attacks.

Since I've read there is a good chance TRES parents in fact will NOT come back to tend a left-behind would-be fledgling, I felt I needed to do something. My first choice would have been to put it near its siblings in hopes it would get fed along with them, but unfortunately, by this time the other fledglings and adults had left the locust tree and I was not able to locate them again, although there were multiple adults flying around overhead. I didn't want to just leave the little guy out in some tree all alone with dark coming on.

At some point, either here or on a related web page, I recalled reading that in this situation, fostering in another TRES box may be the best solution.
Since I have two remaining occupied boxes and the nestlings in one of them aren't too far behind in development, I figured better safe than sorry. I moved the nestling into that box.

Did I do the right thing? If not, was there something else I could or should have done instead to give the abandoned nestling a chance? If I made a mistake, what (if anything) can I do to rectify it?

Thanks,

Miriam Lawrence
Monkton, VT



From: Evelyn Cooper [mailto:emcooper"at"bayou.com]
Sent: Monday, July 04, 2005 6:26 AM
Subject: RE: Untended tree swallow fledgling -- fostering question

You didn't say how many days it is until the others fledge. If it is a week, maybe the fostered one will stay with them that long. The only other thing you could have done is carry it to a rehabber. Some on the List are lucky enough to be very close to one. I would have travel over 200 miles round trip to one.

Kenny Kleinpeter in Baton Rouge works with a rehabber with orphaned Wood Ducks. She will bring one to him that is ready for "jump day" if he has some at that stage. He has it on film and in his presentation of one orphaned duckling being put in the box and the "jump day" ceremony at its fullest. It is the neatest thing! It just swam right off with the group.

I certainly hope it goes well for you and hope you can keep close tabs and let us know what happened. I know I could not have left it in the box to die or put it out on a limb not able to fly. Others may have a different view about it being put in the nestbox. I would certainly keep close tabs on it and see if it has a negative effect on the nestlings in the box.

We learn by our experiences and those of others. Good luck!!

Evelyn Cooper, President
Delhi, LA



From: Burnham, Barbara [mailto:Barbara.Burnham"at"zzz.zzz]
Sent: Tuesday, July 05, 2005 8:06 AM
Subject: RE: Update on EABL fledging... ?s

Trish,

I've been fortunate to witness bluebirds fledge several times. Once at dawn, once at mid-day, once in late afternoon when red-shouldered hawks were calling nearby and the bluebird parents were frantic (not MY first choice of timing if I were a bluebird!) and once at dusk (not my first choice either!).

Sometimes the parents are seen "teasing" the young with food items to encourage them out. Other times, they are feeding constantly and the babies fledge anyway.

Sometimes they fly out like a shot, turn in midair and go right up to the trees. Others just plop right out onto the ground. For me, it has always been on Day 18, but once on Day 17.

The funniest one was a male fledgling who got halfway in, and halfway out (one leg and one wing still inside). It took him almost half an hour to figure out what to do next (or to get up the nerve). Another time, a fledgling made it to the trees but could not land on a branch, so he grabbed onto some leaves and just hung there upside down for a while.

Barbara Burnham
Ellicott City, MD


From: agriffee [mailto:agriffee"at"adelphia.net]
Sent: Monday, July 11, 2005 11:44 AM
Subject: Fleding in rain

I've got three babies (BB) 17 days old today. Rain already started from "Dennis" expected to continue and produce thunder storms for several days. Will these birds fledge anyway? If so what are chances of survival?
Arnold, Kentucky


From: Linda [mailto:linyl"at"alltel.net]
Sent: Monday, July 11, 2005 4:26 PM
Subject: Re: Fleding in rain

Arnold, There is a time phase for everything. The babies have to fledge as they will get too big to exit the hole. Linda in NW GA



From: Tree Greenwood [mailto:doctree"at"crosslink.net]
Sent: Monday, July 11, 2005 8:48 PM
Subject: Re: Fleding in rain

Yes, Arnold, when it's time to leave the nest, it's time. The parents quit feeding and call to the nestlings=>fledglings. The parents will most likely choose a time between storms.
The parents will lead their family to a protected spot to ride out the worst of the storms.

> If so what are chances of survival?

Actually, pretty good since BB are predominantly ground feeders. Lots of grubs and such are uncovered by the rains. Although the common wisdom is that BB don't/won't eat earthworms, they do take little ones exposed by my rototiller (but not the big nightcrawlers that robins prefer).

Obligate aerial insectivores, swallows and swifts, suffer and may even starve during prolonged rains.

Take care,

R J 'Tree' Greenwood
Catlett VA


From: Keith & Sandy Kridler [mailto:txbluebirder"at"sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Tuesday, July 12, 2005 8:17 AM
Subject: Re: Fleding in rain

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas
Linda stated:
Arnold, There is a time phase for everything. The babies have to fledge as they will get too big to exit the hole. Linda in NW GA

The first part is correct that there is a time phase for everything.

The second part is a long lived myth that keeps getting repeated that the young birds will get too big to exit the entrance hole. Baby bluebirds are not like humans in that if they over eat they will get bigger than their parents and not be able to exit the nest box through a 1&1/2" round entrance hole.

During very heavy rain birds can suffer from hypothermia and fall out of the trees and drown in standing water or succumb to hypothermia. There are numerous accounts of people finding dead birds, sometimes by the thousands under roost trees for House Sparrows for instance. In Wink, Texas this spring they had 2&1/2" of rain in two hours during the night which is very rare in far West Texas and friends there found enough dead "sparrows" under their trees to fill a five gallon bucket!

If birds choose a poor location to hide during a severe storm then they might not survive to pass on these poor survival skills to the next generation.

If you get bored search the "news" area of the internet and look up "dead birds" or "birds dying" and you can keep up with birds that are dying in large enough numbers to make the news in a local area. KK


From: Linda [mailto:linyl"at"alltel.net]
Sent: Tuesday, July 12, 2005 5:29 PM
Subject: Re: Fleding in rain

Sorry Keith & Sandy about the misinformation.  I happen to have read this on a bluebird web site and also in some of my birding books.  Thanks, Linda in NW GA



From: Jean Carter Wilson [mailto:peanut123"at"comcast.net]
Sent: Wednesday, July 13, 2005 9:17 PM
Subject: Adult behavior at fledge

I'm glad I read this...my adult EABLs didn't eat all their worms today and didn't feed any to the little ones...which was worrying me. They are hanging around doing that agitated chirping noise and divebombing me whenever I come near the nest. Today is #14 for the little ones and of course I quit opening the box yesterday.

Hope they're OK as I have to leave town tomorrow. Wouldn't you know it I have new neighbors with a cat they allow to freely roam in my yard...here's hoping the little ones make it to the tree near their box. Maybe I ought to put some other elevated platform or something out there. Anyone have ideas?



From: Wendell Long [mailto:mrsimple33"at"go-concepts.com]
Sent: Friday, July 15, 2005 12:28 PM
Subject: Re: How do they do that?

[Note from webmaster: in response to a question: "after only 20+ days and with no training or
experience, a baby BB or PM will stick their head out the entrance, look around and go flying. How do they do that?"

....So well stated! And what a wonderfully thoughtful question! I have
seen amazing sights in my many years but I would be hard pressed to name
one that exceeds the wonder and magic of the first flight of a
bluebird. How do they do that, where does the first step courage come from
and how do they know today is the day I can fly even when they know what a
turbulent and wobbling flight it will be as seen in this first flight photo.
http://www2.go-concepts.com/~mrsimple33/FIRSTFLIGHT.htm
Wendell Long



From: Jean Carter Wilson [mailto:peanut123"at"comcast.net]
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2005 5:03 PM
Subject: Well, they lived

I had to go out of town while my four babies fledged this week. I saw one of them this morning, and am not finding any feathers or signs of violence, so so far all signs are hopeful. I wound up taking the suggestion to place large brush piles under the houses so the babies would be safe. Actually I built sort of a small cage under one of them out of my tractor ramp and some fencing...

Just now I went out to remove one of the nests and Mom clearly didn't like it. Wing beating, the unhappy chirp, etc. How long should I wait to remove the nest? A few more days? They most likely fledged this past Saturday.

Oh, and I have three baby cardinals learning to fly as well...they are so ugly they're darling. And LOUD.

Jean in Nashville



From: Jean Carter Wilson [mailto:peanut123"at"comcast.net]
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2005 9:09 PM
Subject: Re: Well, they lived

On Jul 18, 2005, at 4:38 PM, Elizabeth.D.Seward2"at"usdoj.gov wrote:

> Are you certain all the babies have fledged? It's unusual for mom
> to continue to protect the nest after the babies are gone. Perhaps
> one is still in the nest. I wouldn't remove it until Mom stops
> complaining.

> Diane in Maryland

Nope, nothing in the nest except the one egg that didn't hatch. Mom
didn't divebomb me or anything, just yelled a bit.

I think they've got the kids in a big tree across the street.
They're not eating their worms like they usually do though (which is
to say, inhaling them). Is this normal...?


From: EPuddinTang"at"aol.com [mailto:EPuddinTang"at"aol.com]
Sent: Saturday, July 23, 2005 4:00 PM
Subject: Bluebirds fledged

I have a bad case of empty nest syndrome. This morning about 9 am the 2 13 day old baby bb fledged in the 5 mins. I wasn't watching.
I did witness them both being coaxed by both mom and dad. They would each get to the edge of the box then duck back inside with their wings flapping. I rang my bell and added some fresh mealworms to the feeder at noon but, I haven't seen them. I did see the papa bb on his old perch but didn't go to the feeder. I do have a question.
How soon should I remove the old nest after they fledge?
E. Hebert
Lake Charles, La.



From: Kate Arnold [mailto:koscharn"at"cox.net]
Sent: Sunday, July 24, 2005 8:18 AM
Subject: RE: Bluebirds fledged

Go ahead and remove the nest as soon as they have fledged.

Kate Arnold
Paris, Texas



From: Laurie Jonckheer [mailto:lauriej"at"insight.rr.com]
Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 10:07 AM
Subject: A big day

Hi Everyone,
I thought I would share my excitement. Today my blues will be
fledging! It is soooo exciting hearing Mom and Dad calling and the babies
calling back. Its just like a big party in the backyard! I am watching as
we speak. Such a coool experience!

Laurie
Ohio



From: Autumn L. Kruer [mailto:autumnk"at"iglou.com]
Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2005 12:13 AM
Subject: RE: A big day

Exciting, isn't it? I thought my third boxful had fledged this morning since I saw juveniles sitting on the tomato cages in my garden, calling to
one another. But mom and dad bluebird were still faithfully going in and
out of the box, with the male "guarding" by standing on the box. So I'm
assuming it was the last brood of fledglings entertaining me in the garden.

A joyful thought is that there are now so many bluebirds around me sometimes
it's hard to tell (I won't open the box this close to fledging-time). The
mockingbirds are singing the bluebird song, the bluebirds are singing the bluebird song, they're in the willows by the spring, out back going from the garden up to the sycamore above it, and out front by the boxes. They're everywhere!

Autumn in Kentucky



From: Tina Wertz [mailto:tinawertz"at"bellsouth.net]
Sent: Thursday, December 08, 2005 11:59 AM
Subject: Does anyone know why?

I have had bluebirds for the last two years. In 2004 I had a first time pair and they seems to have problems deciding on a nestbox, but once they did, they had two broods. On July 6th, they were gone and were not seen for months. The pair returned on December 8th to my feeders. This year they had 4 broods and on Oct 3rd they disappeared again and returned yesterday December 7th to the feeders.

It appeared to me that once they had their final brood, had them fledged and eating on their own, they disappeared for months. Does anyone know why they disappear and then returned to their territory months later. I have tried to research this and have not found the answer.

Tina Wertz
Woodstock, Ga.



From: Torrey [mailto:torrey_canyon"at"yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 08, 2005 5:22 PM
Subject: Re: Does anyone know why?

Tree Swallows are even more dramatic in this behavior.
Shortly after the young have fledged, all the TRES leave the nesting ground. (I had an exception this year. A handful of TRES stayed around at Fort Custer thru the middle of August. It was very strange.) Late nesting swallows get left behind. Presumably the main flock goes to better feeding areas.

We have banding records that show that the same juncos (ours here are the "slate-colored" variety of the Dark-eyed Junco) come back to spend the winter in our area. We also have banding records that show that a northern warbler (a Tennessee Warbler, i think, but i'm not certain) twice came to Kalamazoo County just to molt; the main body of warbler migration occurred later.

Different habitats have different uses. Ideal nesting habitat probably has insufficient cover for overwintering. Molting birds probably try to stay somewhere with lots of easy-to-catch bugs so that they have plenty of protein & their feathers grow faster.
Non-breeding birds may not even stay in the nesting area (this is true for Canada Geese). & then there's stopover sites.

Last i knew, there weren't any radio transmitters small enough for little birds, only big ones like hawks. There will be eventually -- all the neat electronics are getting smaller -- but nothing will ever really replace a careful observer. (Well, until we learn to "talk bird" & can ask them directly. :-] ) There's still lots to learn even about common birds.

Torrey Wenger
Kalamazoo Nature Center
Kalamazoo, MI



From: Jimmy Dodson [mailto:rocks_and_flies"at"hotmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, December 11, 2005 2:59 PM
Subject: Re: Does anyone know why?

Tina, et al --

Most birds leave their exact breeding area for food reasons. Just like we vary our diets, so do the birds. There has been a lot of work done that shows that "forest" birds will in many cases use early successional habitats during the Fall and return to the "woods" during the Spring. It's not unusual. I have feeders out at home and at work now that are getting just a few visits a day currently, but in a month or so that typically changes to dozens an hour. It's food related -- berries, etc.

Jimmy Dodson
Asst Forest Manager -- NCSU Dept of Forestry NCSU Hill Forest P.O. Box 71 Rougemont, NC 27572



From: Keith & Sandy Kridler [mailto:txbluebirder"at"sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2005 8:10 AM
Subject: Re: Attracting Mountain Bluebirds

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas
There is a good chance that you would attract Eastern Bluebirds and there is always the possibility of attracting either the Western or Mountain bluebirds IF there are nestboxes. This is another example of why you should always have a few nestboxes in the trunk of your car:-)) Don't forget that in most areas there are about 9 species of native birds that will use a "bluebird" nestbox!

We have an excellent tool to look at potential habitat for bluebirds. For example if I type in my zip code or phone number 9035727529 in Google Search it pulls up a map of my street location. If you do a hybrid search of satellite and road maps you will pull up satellite images of Mt. Pleasant, Texas that are about 4 years old. You can zoom in or out to see the whole earth! You can see the layout of potential road side trails with the surrounding habitat. The smaller county roads do not show up in all locations with these older maps.

...

The other day Tina Wertz asked why her bluebirds leave Woodstock GA. When I did a search of this town by satellite it pulled up the area of North Atlanta which is about 10 counties now of urban/suburban development.
Scanning the area it looks like there are as many acres of concrete and houses as there is grass or trees! It would make sense for her bluebirds after fledging young to head north about 25 miles and get up into that vast area of timber well north of Atlanta. I read that "Atlanta" is laying down 2,000 acres of new cement and asphalt everyday.

...KK


From: Em2Molnar"at"aol.com [mailto:Em2Molnar"at"aol.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 10:03 PM
Subject: Watching Bluebirds fledge

Em & Ev Molnar, Pensacola, FL
This past Saturday and Sunday, we had the pleasure of watching five Bluebirds fledge from the nest box in our back yard.
On Saturday, March 25th, at 4:00 p.m., two left the box.
One flew to a tree, the other flew to the wood fence at the back of our yard, where she stayed all night. We worried about that little bird since the temperature was in the 40's.
On Sunday morning at 5:45 am, the baby bird was still on the fence post. After about 15 minutes, she started moving around, stretching her wings. The adult female came, fed her, then flew to a tree. The baby did not follow. The adult female returned and fed the baby another insect, then flew off to a tree. This time the baby followed.
Sunday
At 8:50 a.m., two more fledglings followed the adult female out of the box.
At 9:40 a.m., after much coaxing by the adult male and female, the fifth baby finally flew out of the box to a tree.

History of this nest box:
10-30-06: put up the nest box;
02-02-06: complete nest;
02-17-06: 1st egg;
02-18-06: 2nd egg;
02-19-06: 3rd egg;
02-20-06: 4th egg;
02-21-06: 5th egg.
03-08-06: all 5 hatched by 2:45 p.m.
03-25-06: 2 birds fledged "at" 4:00 p.m.
03-26-06: 2 birds fledged "at" 8:50 a.m.
1 bird fledged "at" 9:40 a.m.

...

Em & Ev.
P.S. Prior to moving to FL, we were avid "Bluebirders" in Eau Claire WI.


From: Keith & Sandy Kridler [mailto:txbluebirder"at"sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2006 7:20 AM
Subject: Re: Watching Bluebirds fledge

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant Texas
This was a great post showing the timeline of egg laying, incubation, brooding and when they fledged. You can NOT watch every nestbox out in the fields and trails like you can a back yard nestbox!!!! From first egg to last fledgling it was about 37 days! As the weather heats up you can sometimes see several days cut off from this example. It is good to keep records of your nestboxes even if you only have one pair and you can use the calendar and jot down what you see happening and when. For bluebirds you can pretty well figure that they cannot lay 4 eggs, incubate them and get the young to fledge in less than month and have the young strong enough or developed enough to fly very well.

With broiler chickens they have the lights come on and off during the night to wake up the chicks and get them to eat at all hours of the night and day. Increased food and activity makes them grow quicker and cuts off a couple of weeks of growing time.

I wonder if increased daylight and a few hours extra of feeding time later in summer does not cut down on the fledge times in birds as much as the higher heat. Higher temperatures in the daytime allow more species of insects to move around and the birds can find more food easier over a longer period during the day.

I am sure someone has done research on giving baby birds near starvation rations to see how it affects their growth rate compared to feeding them everytime they open their mouth. I don't recall ever reading this type research though on bluebirds or other cavity nesters.

House Sparrows by the way can lay three eggs in the heat of summer and the young can leave the nest in 26 days. KK


From: lviolett [mailto:lviolett"at"earthlink.net]
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2006 12:11 PM
Subject: Re: Watching Bluebirds fledge

Yes, Keith, starving baby Bluebirds will not grow as quickly as those that are well-fed; but I would hope no one would intentionally starve birds (even HOSP) for research purposes. Whenever abandoned chicks have to be transferred on my trail, the first criteria for prospective foster nests is that they hatched a day or two after (are younger) than the chicks in trouble.

Linda Violett
Yorba Linda, Calif.

PS:
Monitors who compile trail summary sheets which include estimated hatch dates of each nestbox on a single sheet have an advantage during an emergency.



From: Keith & Sandy Kridler [mailto:txbluebirder"at"sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Wednesday, May 03, 2006 8:01 AM
Subject: baby birds on the ground

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas
MANY species of birds will fledge from the nests before they can fly. Robins typically leave their nests 7 days before they can fly and spend the time hopping on the ground or hoping around in the branches of bushes or small trees while their feathers continue to grow in.

Just as we had reported to this list about Crows picking up nestlings at this time of the year MILLIONS of baby birds are picked up by humans who think these baby birds have been abandoned when in reality there are nearly always the parents of these baby birds nearby and feeding them. When humans walk up to a baby bird and reach for them instead of hopping away the baby birds often will gap and beg for food. They do not recognize you for a predator.

Rehabbers at this time of the year are swamped with people bringing in baby birds.

Predation is very high in open nests and historically it was better for woodland birds to bail out of the nests and scatter through out the woods rather than have the whole brood in one spot. The problem you have today is that say a family of robins that bail out and scatter from an urban or suburban yard and cross into the next yard will often encounter dogs or cats that have free run of their yard.

There are ten houses on our block and eight yards have a total of 14 dogs not sure how many cats but we see them in our fields almost every other day.
We find tracks every night. This is in addition to a large population of native predators. It makes you wonder how any bird species are thriving in a habitat dominated by humans and their pets. KK


From: Evelyn Cooper [mailto:emcooper"at"bayou.com]
Sent: Saturday, May 06, 2006 9:30 PM
Subject: When Bluebirds Fledge

Lana, birds fledge anytime of the day. I watched one leave at almost dark. I thought he was not going to leave that day, but he did. He was the last little fellow in the box. It was a sight watching the parents enticing them. They were on the power line above the box. I was in my car not far from the box.

I have also seen three fledge one day and two stay in the nest overnight and the papa came back the next morning and finally enticed them out.

It seems they will bail out of the box right in the face of a huge storm brewing. I sat and watched one fledge and there was some horrific wind. He got off course and did not make it to the tree. He went down in a field and I couldn't find him. I doubt his parents found him as bad weather was rapidly approaching.

It is a joy to see them leave in the ideal circumstances, but it is not always that way.

Keeping very accurate records can help you know about when they will fledge. That is how I have witnessed several. I sit in my car a good enough distance from them not to disturb them and have been lucky enough to see it more than once.

Evelyn, Dehli LA


From: Lana Hunt [mailto:lanahunt"at"kcp.uky.edu]
Sent: Sunday, May 07, 2006 11:29 AM
Subject: Re: When Bluebirds Fledge

Thanks Evelyn,

I will start keeping records. I haven't done so because I am still a novice. I have always missed seeing the blues fledge due to being at work and not getting to see the box until later in the day. To read about it and see it is totally different. I feel like I've taken part in something extraordinary! I know I had nothing to do with it, but I got to witness nature! I suppose this is the bug that keeps people hooked on birding. Bluebirds are my favorite, but these are certainly cute. I would love to have chickadees nest here, some titmice and phoebes would be nice too.

At first it seemed the parents didn't feed as often, so they started sticking their heads out chirping. Later they would take a worm up to the nest and not give it to them, but sit on the porch rail and call to them. Within thirty minutes three had leaped from the nest box (that's all there was). This nest box was on top of a light fixture two feet from my front door. My Maltese, Josh, was on the porch with me, they pay no attention to him. One landed on the windshield of my car parked near the Rose of Sharon bush, there was a reflection of the limbs on the windshield. It was tense to watch them catch an outer limb that would sway and them hanging on for dear life. One of the parents would land near by checking on them and giving encouragement.

The parents had to make at least fifty trips, flying from them to where they wanted them to go. They are getting the meal worms out of the dish I put where their nest box was. It seems they are across the street in some dense bushes. These are behind a chain link fence which is good because my neighbor lets her two cats come and go at will.

A parent wren was clinging to the storm door singing her heart out a few minutes ago. I checked and all the worms were gone so I refilled the dish. She got a mouthful and immediately took off toward the bushes. Has anyone witnessed behavior such as this from CAWR? Is it wishful thinking that she knows I put the worms there? The blues will come and sit on the fence and stare at the kitchen window at the farm when they want worms

The little ones are so cute with fuzz on their head and a tiny little stub of a tail..It is drizzly and cool here in Kentucky today.

The nest box they used was not intended for use, it does not open. Fortunately, I have one made by a friend that I will replace it with that will be perfect. I'm hoping they will have another family on the porch this summer. After all, it is an ideal location. Shaded from the sun, unreachable by predators and a constant supply of meal worms. :-)

Lana Hunt
Morehead, KY



From: mtalentino"at"alltel.net [mailto:mtalentino"at"alltel.net]
Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2006 3:44 PM
Subject: fledged - Gone?

babies were in nest 3 days ago.
nothing there today.
no sign of disturbance. no sign of the young ones.

i assume they fledged.

do they come back?

or do i assume they fell prey to a Crow, Starling, Blue Jay?

Mike Talentino
Twinsburg, OH



From: Evelyn Cooper [mailto:emcooper"at"bayou.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2006 3:59 PM
Subject: Re: fledged - Gone?

Mike, if the nest is flat and not disturbed, they most likely fledged. I am assuming you had protection for snakes if you have them.

In my case, where I suspected the Starling or Crow, the nest material was pulled out of the hole and the nest was messed up. I guess they reach in there and pull them out with their beaks.

If they fledged, they most certainly will come back to where they hatched. I am enjoying seeing fledglings all in my yard, in fact 9 of them from two pairs. Also, when I drive up Cooper Rd., I can see 4 out of 5 that were my first to fledge of the season.

Not all make it after they fledge. I think one of the first five to fledge did not make it as all I count is four on the power line.

Evelyn


Continued in Part 4


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en reposted here with slight modifications to make the posts more readable in an HTML format.  In cases in which quoted material has been deleted to save space, this is indicated by an ellipsis (...)
For more information about Bluebird_L, check out http://www.cit.corn.edu/cit-pubs/email/using-lists/index.htm. If you wish to contact the author of a post, you will need to edit the e-mail address, replacing "at" with the "at" symbol (above the number 2 on your keyboard). (This change was made to discourage spammers.)
If you are the author of a posting and would like to see a particular post (or posts) removed from these web pages, please contact me with the page AND date of the post(s), and I will remove whatever material you like.  If you have a different opinion from one posted here, you need not contact me, as often I will have a different opinion too. The intent is to try and provide both sides to the issues facing bluebirders, and to do so in an impartial and objective manner.
If you have problems, encounter broken links (unless they are within an e-mail thread, as I do not maintain those links), or have suggestions on how the site can be improved to make it more useful, please contact the Best of Bluebird-L Classifieds webmaster
Website design by Chimalis