bluebirds of happiness

My son gave me a bluebird house for Christmas 2 years ago. I was so excited to place it in the yard and watch the bluebirds arrive. The first spring I had no luck. But this spring I was lucky enough to witness the nesting ritual of a beautiful pair!

It all started the end of March with the male bluebird sitting on the top of the birdhouse. In nature, the male presents a prospective house to the female and she has to approve before they proceed. Within days she approved and the nest building started. The female does most of the nest building (big surprise- LOL).

The nest building continued for a full 2 weeks. I noticed one day that the activity at the house had slowed down and to my surprise- the first egg appeared! The female produced 1 egg a day over the next 4 days for a total of 5 crystal blue beauties. At this point, I became very protective of this miracle developing in my own backyard. I researched online to be sure we had everything set up for their success. The New Jersey Bluebird Society has a wonderful website with lots of information to help backyard bird enthusiasts and read everything I could find. (http://www.njbluebirdsociety.org/index.html)

And now the wait. Incubation starts once the last egg is laid and eggs typically hatch 13- 14 days later, according the The New Jersey Bluebird Society. Two weeks later and right on schedule, the babies hatched! I spent hours watching the bluebird parents feeding their young. This is about the same time I lost my job. The bluebirds brought me something positive to focus on which really helped. I would not have had the opportunity to watch so closely had I been working. I took this as a silver lining!

The parents began the arduous task of feeding 5 very hungry baby bluebirds. Both mom and dad help out with this task. After a few days, we could hear their chirps each time the parents arrived with food. I kept reading online for more information about these amazing little birds. One of the things I learned was the bluebird population has been declining in recent years. I decided to contact my local representative from the Bluebird Society and he came out to our house to band the baby birds. This was such an awesome experience and I felt good knowing I was contributing to the preservation of this wonderful bird.

The big day arrived and can you believe I was lucky enough to witness all 5 fledgling from the nest? I sat at my window with my camera ready and with each new face poking out and then flying away, I screamed like a little kid. And just like that, it was over and they were all gone. We watched carefully every day hoping to get a glimpse of our cute little family. Eventually we saw this little cutie sitting on the birdhouse and with the help of our binoculars, we noticed the tiny band on his leg. It was one of the babies! What a special gift!

#bluebirds #nature #kindness #environment #birds

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