Thursday, May 28, 2009

Then There Was One Left

Yesterday afternoon, as Bill was preparing to mow the lawn he noticed an increase in activity around the bluebird house. He went over to the bluebird house and saw a baby bluebird hiding in the cover at the base of the bluebird house. Bill came in and told me that one of the baby bluebirds was out of the box and asked me if I wanted to take pictures. I got my camera and rushed outside.

I had suspected that the baby bluebirds would be out ("pop") of their box and that is just what happened. The baby bluebirds were out trying their new wings. From my experience with raising two bluebird batches from this same box last year I knew that the baby bluebirds didn't fly right out of the box and into the wild blue yonder. They take a day or two flopping around in the ground cover and shrubbery around the bluebird box until their wings are ready for full flight. That is what was happening yesterday afternoon.

I cautioned Bill not to disturb the baby bluebirds too much or else they would flop right through the fence that separates our property from our neighbor's property. My neighbor doesn't have any ground cover for the baby bluebirds but he does have two dogs which he lets out in the afternoon. Those dogs would make quick work of any baby bluebird flopping around in panic on the ground in my neighbor's back yard mined with stale dog poop.

As I usually do when the baby bluebirds exit their box, I checked the box. Much to my surprise I discovered one baby bluebird was still in the box. Cowering in the corner of the poop filled bluebird box, the poor thing seemed to know it missed the train. This baby bluebird must have been in back of the bird box and didn't get feed as much as the other three baby bluebirds in the box. I did notice that the baby bluebird nearest the entrance was the biggest. I'm sure the parents tried to get food to the babies in the back but this little one must have really been far back. More proof that the random chance of birth order has consequences.

Initially I was concerned that the parents would forget the one baby bluebird left in the box but I'm sure they have encountered this situation before. The adult bluebirds continue to feed the three baby bluebirds that are out of the box. Bill has seen them also feed the one remaining baby still in the house. Maybe today the little one will join its brothers and sisters outside and start on its life adventure in this wonderful but dangerous world. This is the one time I'm glad I don't have cats that are roaming the grounds.

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