garden bluebirds

male bluebird
female bluebird bluebird on house 2

We have a pair of bluebirds nesting in a house in the middle of the community gardens. As I understand, this is not a good location for bluebirds. The risk is high that gardening activities and aggressive birds, especially sparrows and wrens, will interfere with their nesting. But so far, so good. Both parents are bringing food to the box, which means their chicks have hatched. They need a few more weeks without interference to raise their family.

The following Eastern Bluebird information is from Alabama Wildbird Conservation Association at http://www.alaweb.com/~kenwood/saba/birdinfo/bluebird.htm.
# Egg Laying – Egg laying takes from 3 to 6 days. One light blue egg is laid each day until the clutch is complete. The most common clutch size is 5 eggs, but 3, 4, or 6 eggs is not uncommon. 2 or 7 eggs in a clutch is rare.
# Incubation – The female incubates the eggs for 13 or 14 days. She starts incubating on the day she completes the clutch. For this reason, the eggs will all hatch on the same day.
# Nestling Stage – The baby bluebirds will remain in the nest for approximately 15 days. They will be brooded by an adult bird every night, and on cool days until they are fully feathered. During the nestling period the youngsters will be fed by both parent birds. They do not leave the house during this time. All droppings are removed from the house except on the day the young birds fledge (fly from the nest). Once the young birds fledge they do not return to the nest.
# Fledgling Stage – At the end of the nestling period, the young birds fly from the nest. They will be fed by the parent birds for another 7 to 14 days. During this period you will see them in the vicinity of the house. Very soon after the nesting cycle has been completed the parent birds will start over. They may raise as many as 3 broods in a season. Certain management techniques should be practiced to help them along.

garden birds (Hortus Aves)

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