Sunday, June 1, 2008

Nest Check, June 1, 2008

Things are really hopping in the cavity nesting department right now. The baby Tree Swallows hatched today - well, 4 of the 5 eggs did, anyway.

(Sorry about the flash in this photo - bad idea)

Looking back at my photo of the 5 eggs from May 22, I notice that one is slightly off color.

As of late morning, one egg has yet to hatch. I wonder if that discolored one is infertile. I can only wait and watch.

In the bluebird nest, the rejected egg is still in the same place. Waiting to see about this one, too. They are due to hatch next Saturday or Sunday.

In the martin nest, 21 new eggs have been laid in the last 3 days! I now have 12 nests with eggs, including Mr. & Mrs. #13, who had their clutch of 4 eggs destroyed by house sparrows on May 20 or 21. They have renested, and have 3 new eggs as of today.

To date, we have a total of 47 eggs. Two nests, one of 4 eggs and one of 5, are due to hatch tomorrow, and and three nests have clutches just beginning. Fledging is going to be spread out over a couple of weeks, the way it looks.

Occupants of this nest decided to add seed pods from the redbud tree, as well as the more traditional green leaves, to their nest of 5 eggs in a Super Gourd.

We found a surprise baby, too. While I was photographing the tree swallows, the dogs were messing around in a weedy spot in my yard and I heard rustling in the grass and the squeal of a mammal being attacked. I was able to call the girls off before they hurt whatever it was, and put them on a "Down-Stay" while I went to check on it. I expected to find a baby bunny, but instead, this is what looked back at me.

What a quandary! I don't really want groundhogs living in my yard, but I can't let the dogs kill this little baby, either.


NCmountainwoman said...

Great photos of the baby birds and the clutches of eggs. It is wonderful to know there are so many new Purple Martins. What great birds they are. And what a good caretaker you are.

Holly said...

So what did you do? Just leave little Spike alone and hope he'll find his way home? Very cool nest pics. You must feel like Gramma this time of year!

Mary C said...

This is so exciting to see - if only in photos. Thank you for sharing these special moments and photos with us. BTW, have you seen the fledged bluebirds return yet? Of course, you are so busy with all that is going on around with so many expecting martin mamas and new mama tree swallows. Wow! You give us reason to be envious. ;o)

KatDoc said...

Thanks, NC! It is a bit of work, but worth it to help these birds.

Yes, I took the easy way out and just called off the dogs and went inside. I hope Spike (good name!) will just go away.

Mary C:
No, I haven't seen any juvies from the first clutch of bluebirds, and that worries me a bit. Usually by this time, at least one or two have shown up in my yard. I hope they didn't all perish.