Stuck in the house? Miss birding? Think there is nothing but what is at your feeder to watch? During the past month I have spent most of my time on our porch, but I am usually reading and/or glancing only at the feeder activity. Lately, I have started looking up rather than down and out at the feeders. Had I not changed my perspective I would have missed the Great Crested Flycatcher, the “Butterbutts” (Yellow-rumped Warblers), the Black-and-white Warbler, and the White-breasted Nuthatch. So, while you are quarantined change your perspective. Look up and around in more ways than one.
Read more of this article and see the photo gallery story by Jackie Brooks, click below:
However, what has really kept my attention since we returned home in early March are our first ever resident Eastern Bluebirds. Before this couple made their home in our backyard we had only three Eastern Bluebirds to visit our yard in 15 years.
It was so exciting when they showed up in late January, but I was also apprehensive because we were leaving for five weeks at the end of the month. I rushed out, bought and installed a nest box, and enlisted the help of a wonderful neighbor to keep them in meal worms while we were gone. With fingers crossed we left on our trip. Upon our return in early March we found the Bluebirds still here and making their bid for the nest box. As time went by they built their nest and laid five eggs, which hatched the first week in April. It has been very educational and entertaining as I watched this process take place.
I’ve gleaned some interesting facts while watching this bluebird saga. Just as most babies do, nestling bluebirds poop a lot. However, not having access to Pampers, they make their own disposable diapers in the form of a fecal sac. Turning their butt up toward mom or dad, they release a whitish sac, which is carried some distance away by one of the parents and then eaten as a snack by said parent. It seems that very young birds are not particularly efficient at processing their food, so in the beginning these sacs can provide nutrition to hard working parents. As the babies digestive tract matures the parent simply carries the sac away to keep the nest clean.
We hope you enjoy a beautiful Mother’s Day with loved ones near and far and remember to look up at the birds! And enjoy the photo story of my Eastern Bluebirds I’ve created for you.
Article and Photos submitted by Jackie Brooks