Sunday, October 19, 2014

feather facts

Eastern Bluebirds
Of all the backyard birds I see, the beautiful bluebirds are my very favorite.  Even though I have around 150 pictures, I still take advantage of every opportunity I’m given.  The males are a brilliant royal blue on the back and head, and warm red-brown on the breast. The grayer females have tinges of blue in the wings and tail, giving them an elegant look.  They are amazing creatures!

I’ve been quite fortunate that they’ve used two of my birdhouses.  The male attracts females by bringing nest material to a birdhouse or a natural hole.  After the female has accepted him, he lets her finish building the nest.  The male bluebirds are highly protective and aggressive towards any threats. 

Bluebirds eat mostly insects, wild fruit, and berries.  I’ve seen crickets and caterpillars in those cute little beaks.  They enjoy the seed and suet I put out, and I occasionally provide mealworms just for them. Both the male and female feed the young.

Bluebirds typically have two broods a year.  Eggs are laid and hatched over a period of a few days. The light blue eggs hatch in about fifteen days.  Then they’re out of that nest between eleven to nineteen days later.  I have yet to see any leave the nest.  I haven’t given up.  I’m still waiting...

In the summer, the first broods leave the parents and set out on their own.  But, the later broods generally stay with their parents over the winter.  I have a great number that hang around in the winter.  I’m looking forward to an abundance of bluebirds very soon!

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