My yard is a veritable egg factory these days, producing all kinds of cavity nesting birds. During my nest checks today, here is what I found:
6 Eastern Bluebird babies, 4 days old.
10 Purple Martin nests, with anywhere from 2 to 6 eggs per nest, total 44 eggs from 10 pairs of birds. I have one Lonely Guy bachelor, who has lovingly decorated his gourd with green leaves, still hoping to attract a girl. Sorry, Lonely Guy. I think it is too late for you this year.
And these Tree Swallow young - 15 days old and close to fledging. As I approached their gourd, one of them perched right on the edge of the entry hole and looked like he was about to leap.
I backed off and had to content myself with watching them through my spotting scope. Monitoring a nest box when the young are close to fledging can cause them to jump prematurely. Once they leave the nest, it is practically impossible to get them to stay, so I never open bluebird boxes after the young are 12 days old. I thought I had time for one more open-box nest check on these Tree Swallows . Guess not. The nestling phase for Tree Swallows ranges between 16 to 24 days,with 20 days being the average. In checking my old records, I find that in the last 3 years, my Tree Swallow babies have fledged at 18 days, so they should fledge this weekend.
Here's what they looked like just 4 days ago:
This is always such an exciting time of the year!