It’s Bluebird Time!

by Larry Jordan on June 27, 2011

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) Male photos by Larry Jordan

It is my favorite time of year, nesting season, with my favorite songbird, the Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana), the bird that carries the sky on its back and the earth on its breast.  They don’t call these the Bluebirds of Happiness for nothin’!  Just the sight of a bluebird perched on a tree top, fence post or wire brings a smile to any sane person’s face.  Click on photos for full sized images.

A few weeks ago I was checking the nest boxes on one of my three bluebird trails and slowly approached one of the birdhouses.  The male Bluebird was perched above in the tree but the female was sticking her head out the entrance hole, watching as I approached.

This is behavior usually encountered at Tree Swallow boxes.  Western Bluebirds usually leave the birdhouse before getting this close but maybe this pair knows my voice and face by now (I always announce myself when approaching a birdhouse so the inhabitants can escape if they choose, rather than being startled).

She was so steadfast that I thought she was protecting newly hatched young.  She finally left the nest and I opened the box to find six perfect sky blue eggs.

By my next visit, a week later, the chicks were looking about three or four days old.  Both adults were in the nearby trees watching every move I made to make sure their babies weren’t disturbed.

I closed up the nestbox and moved away to record my findings.

Here is a shot of the little darlings at about two weeks of age.  At this age they are fully feathered.

Western Bluebirds fledge at about three weeks of age.  I advise not opening the nest box after they are thirteen days old to prevent premature fledging.  Even at this stage, I will open the box very carefully and slowly so as not to disturb the chicks.  The last thing you want to do is cause the death of one of these cuties because they flew the coop to early.

Coming up next week, Tree Swallows!  Until then, check out World Bird Wednesday to see great photos of birds from all over the world.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

TexWisGirl June 28, 2011 at 4:49 am

oh, that’s a pile o’ peeps! so cute! and yes, bluebirds just bring smiles everywhere they go.


holdingmoments June 28, 2011 at 8:06 am

Fascinating series of the Bluebirds.
That last shot is a beauty.


Eileen June 28, 2011 at 8:35 am

What a nice series on the western bluebird. I would love to add this one to my life list. Wonderful photos, Larry!


springman June 28, 2011 at 8:44 am

Great series Larry! It seems your gifted when it comes to knowing how far you can go in getting fascinating takes like these. I will leave it to you!


Andrew June 28, 2011 at 10:08 am

A fantastic series of images of your beautiful Bluebirds.


Mick June 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm

A great series of photos and very interesting to hear of how you approach the nests.


Boom & Gary June 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Good squence!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River,


Pat June 28, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Wonderful series of photos! Happy fledging, little ones!


Ron June 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Larry, wonderful shots! The Bluebird is high on my want to see list


Julie G. June 28, 2011 at 5:28 pm

A most wonderful post! Terrific series of photos! I especially love the last image with all the fluffy feathered bluebirds cozied into the nest. Currently we have 3 Eastern Bluebird couples occupying 3 of our nestboxes. A joy to watch the whole process from nest building to young blue beauties leaving the nest. A pleasure to visit your outstanding blog!


Arija June 29, 2011 at 12:13 am

Oh, what a wonderful post! To get a glimpse into a bluebirds family life is quite a big thrill for me from so far away.


Sondra June 29, 2011 at 5:20 am

SO Wonderful to see them growing and doing good. Love that top shot!!! Great post.


MaineBirder June 29, 2011 at 8:41 am

What a wonderful post and photo series Larry! Great detail!


Jean June 29, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Larry, As you know I adore Bluebirds! You have shared great photos and advice. Wish all your Blues success with their nestlings. We can’t have too many Bluebirds!


Bill S. June 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Awesome pictures. At times I wish we had both the western and eastern bluebirds.


Pat Ulrich June 29, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Fantastic post! Bluebirds are so lovely, and what a cool color to the eggs! Fun to see the little ones growing up too!


Hilke Breder June 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Wonderful images, Larry. You are very fortunate in being the godfather to such a lovely brood! Looking forward to the next images.


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