Thursday, June 7, 2007

Nest Check, June 7

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.

"Whoa, there, little guy! You aren't big enough to be on your own yet."

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!


Jayne said...

Oh, what joy to behold all your eggs and babies! Your yard indeed is a very busy place. Thanks for sharing!

Lynne said...

It sounds like a birdie baby factory in your yard! I clicked to enlarge the photo of the baby tree swallow in the gourd and it looks like his gapy mouth is wider than his head! Funny face.

Mary said...

I wouldn't be able to get anything done if I had as much to see as you do. Thanks for sharing! Enjoy!

NatureWoman said...

Wow, could those little bluebird mouths be any bigger! They're so cool. And I love your other baby bird photos Katdoc!

Susan Gets Native said...

Humph. All I have are some robins. The TRES eggs (both clutches) have disappeared. There's a male hanging around, but it's getting late for them to try yet again.
And no bluebirds...but my Mom has a pair building in one of her nest boxes. So I guess I will have to live vicariously through her and you.

KatDoc said...

Mary: There's a reason you'll never see photos of the inside of my house on this blog! I have too much fun outdoors to spend any time cleaning up the indoors.

Lynne & Pam: I am always amazed how big a baby bird's mouth is. Don't you just want to kiss those fat yellow "lips"?

Susan: What could be getting your tree swallow eggs? HOSP? Wrens? Snakes? I had a new male HOSP skulking about the yard yesterday and today, poking his filthy beak into nest boxes. "Had" being the operative word.


Susan Gets Native said...

Yay! Another HOSP to add to our frozen collection.

Holly said...

Hey, the first pic with mouths wide open looks like my dinner table with my gang and their friends! They don't see the resemblence (or choose not to) but *I* see it right away!