We're watching eastern bluebirds in a box mounted on our deck in West Newbury, VT, USA. You can see more More of Ian's Photos here.

Bluebirds May 1, 2020

Bluebirds May 2, 2020

Bluebirds May 3, 2020

Bluebirds May 4, 2020

Bluebirds May 5, 2020

Bluebirds May 6, 2020

Bluebirds May 7, 2020

Bluebirds May 8, 2020

Bluebirds May 9, 2020

Bluebirds May 10, 2020

Bluebirds May 11, 2020

Bluebirds May 12, 2020

Bluebirds May 13, 2020

Bluebirds May 14, 2020

Bluebirds May 15, 2020

Bluebirds May 16, 2020

Bluebirds May 17, 2020

Bluebirds May 18, 2020

Bluebirds May 20, 2020

Bluebirds May 21, 2020

Bluebirds May 22, 2020

May 23, 2020

First chick's first meal, May 23, 2020. This chick hatched about 11:30, about half an hour later, Mom brings in a nice bug.

The second chick hatches. At about 3:20, Mom decides Junior is taking too long coming out. She reaches down, grabs the half shell he's in and dumps him out. She then disposes of the eggshell.

Now we have two chicks, May 23, 2020. A very short clip showing the first two chicks.

A short clip after the third chick hatches. Mom arrives with a meal at the end.

A little cleaning after the third chick arrives. Mom eats the eggshell this time instead of carrying it out of the nest. Could she be trying to replenish some of the calcium she used for the eggs? Five eggs must take a lot of calcium for a little bird.

Good view of four of five chicks, May 23, 2020. After Mom fidgets for awhile, she heads out for groceries roughly around 5:45, giving us good views of the four chicks that had hatched by Saturday evening.

Another good view of four of five chicks, May 23, 2020. Similar to the last clip. Mom checks the chicks out, fidgets, and heads out about 5:30, giving us good views of the chicks.

 

May 24, 2020

The fifth chick hatched early this morning, May 24, 2020. Mom and dad have been busy feeding them all day.

 

May 25, 2020

A good look at the chicks before mom arrives, feeds one chick, then settles for a second. Dad makes a brief cameo about 2:00. Mom returns about the 5:00 mark.

 

May 26, 2020

Good view of the chicks huddled together. Mom returns, counts her chicks, settles for a second, hops up to count her chicks again, then appears to remember she's needed elsewhere.

 

May 27, 2020

We're watching Mrs. overnight. She stays in the box and fidgets. The camera records a 12-second clip when it detects motion (it only records one clip every five minutes). This is a series of 12-second clips spliced together. It is in black & white as the lighting is infrared LEDs (supposedly out of the range of birds' vision so they don't notice it).

 

May 28, 2020

Good views of the chicks. They're already turning blue. It is a warm afternoon, it looks like they're having trouble getting comfortable. Mom pops with a tasty grasshopper about 0:55

 

May 29, 2020

Good views of the chicks fidgeting in the nest. Mom comes in about 6:40, feeds a chick, then checks to see if anyone has pooped. Watch the chick in the lower left at about 11:45, you can see they're beginning to open their eyes.

More good views of the chicks fidgeting in the nest. Mom comes in about 4:30. There are several times that you can see chicks with open eyes..

A couple more clips spliced together. Good views of the chicks, Mom comes and goes a couple times.

We had a brief thunderstorm with heavy rain this evening. Checking in to see how they handle it. Didn't seem to bother them.

 

May 30, 2020

We're watching early Saturday morning. Mom comes in about 1:55, feeds a chick and hauls out a fecal sac. She reappears about 4:10 with what looks like a delicious moth. The camera doesn't do a very good job adjusting the exposure. It is set to automatically turn on the LEDs when it is too dark, it failed to turn them off and go back to daylight when Mom exits.

 

May 31, 2020

We've got two clips spliced together. The first gives good views of the little guys, their feathers are growing in rapidly. About 3:15, Mom pops in with a snack and carries off a fecal sac. She repeats the process about 7:30. The second clip has more of the chicks. About 16:20, Mom arrives about 3:40 with a snack, then spends a moment watching her brood.

 

June 1, 2020

Two more clips spliced together. Mom and Dad have been collecting bugs all morning. Dad usually hands them off to Mom for for last mile delivery. Anyone know how (or if) the parents keep track of which chick has had a recent meal? It appears that a chick digesting a big bug may not respond to the parent bringing more food. But most of the time, all of them have their mouths open. And, the chicks seem to get more food in the morning than the afternoon. Because they're full? Because Mom is tired? Because it is warmer? Or?

 

June 2, 2020

A good look at our chicks - look at how big they are! Mom delivers a scrumptious caterpillar about 5:20.

Another short clip of the chicks. Mom delivers snacks and changes a diaper about 2:10.

 

June 3, 2020

A good clip showing how busy the chicks keep the parents. One of the parents makes a very quick delivery about 1:30. Mom pops in with more food and takes out some poop about 6:10. The chicks raise a false alarm about 7:55. Mom returns about 8:25. One of the parents peers in again about 10:00. A pair of wrens exploring the deck and talking this morning. There's still a pair of unclaimed boxes, maybe they'll claim one. And, is there any bird that talks more per ounce than a wren?

A roughly 90 minute clip of bluebirdie goodness from Wednesday afternoon.

 

June 4, 2020

Mom delivers breakfast about 1:25 and second breakfasts about 5:30

 

June 5, 2020

What the heck is that?!? The chicks have gotten big enough to see out the window. They're getting their first views of the world and seem to be considering if they'd like to participate.

 

June 6, 2020

The chicks are getting big! Mom shows up about 4:10 with breakfast. The bird to box ratio seems to have increased to the point where mom is now spending the night elsewhere. Last time we saw her in the box overnight was June 3.

 

June 7, 2020

Dad brings home some breakfast about 0:45. About 1:25, the chick in the center starts checking the camera to make sure we're getting his good side. One of the parents stops in with more snacks about 1:50. The book says the chicks can fledge as early as tomorrow.

June 8, 2020

Today was the first day the chicks might have fledged. Looks like they're going to wait. There's a false alarm for food delivery, then some shuffling for position before someone performs a full-load wing performance test.

 

June 9, 2020

Our last look at all five chicks together. Two fledged around noon today.
And then there were three. They have been taking turns peering out the door. Mom and Dad are still bringing food to the box this evening.

 

June 10, 2020

Dinnertime finds us with three chicks still in the box. They've been sitting in the doorway off and on all day. We've had very high winds all afternoon, I wonder if that discouraged them. Mom and Dad still bringing food to the box this evening.

 

June 11, 2020

The last chick gets up his nerve and heads out into the world. Two of the three chicks remaining in the box this morning fledged about 9:00, one promptly following the other. The last chick took until 10:45 to get the nerve to take the plunge. He managed to fly onto the deck. He sat for several minutes before heading off into our azaleas.

Mom and Dad will herd them into the brush along the edge of the yard. The parents will keep feeding them for days, gradually getting the the chicks to do their own foraging. Mom and Dad will put up with them hanging around the yard this summer, but next year will view them as competition. If the parents try for another brood this year, there's a chance that one or more chicks may stick around to help out.