Saturday, July 23, 2011

Then There Was One

The last baby bluebird - 15 minutes ago

As regular readers of my blog know, I raise baby bluebirds in my backyard oasis here in the coastal shores of southern Delaware.

I've been greatly concerned that the high heat and humidity of this past week would kill the second batch of baby bluebirds that hatched a few weeks ago in my backyard wildlife habitat.  There were four babyblue birds stuffed in that little bluebird house.  Every time I went past the blue bird box when I was refreshing the water in the many birdbaths I have lining by backyard, I would take a peek in the hole to the bluebird box and see gasping baby bluebirds.  I know from experience not to do anything but let nature take its course.  I suspected the baby bluebirds were at least a week away from flying from their nest.

Thus it was with some surprise a few minutes ago I peered into the hole and didn't see any gasping baby bluebirds.  Instead, this is what I saw:  a lone, terrified baby bluebird.  You can tell by the development of it's little wings that it isn't quite ready to leave its nest yet.

I'm wondering what happened to the other baby bluebirds.  I hope they're all right.  I know I have a fox out back.  Something knocked over my big cement birdbath.  It wasn't any bird that knocked over that birdbath.  Bill says he where the fox has dug holes in the compost surrounding my newly planted knockout rose bushes.  Plus, the baby rabbit that was nibbling on my petunias is gone. The petunias are flourishing now that they aren't providing an early evening salad for Peter Rabbit.

My little not quite an acre backyard oasis was quite successful this year in producing many batches of Purple Martins, swallows, bluebirds and (egads!) starlings.  I didn't know starlings were in my Purple Martin house until they were born.  By then it was too late for me to remove them from the birdhouse.

Soon our backyard will be quite.  No more the squawking of the Purple Martins and their many broods of baby Purple Martins.  No more swallows gracefully swooping over our backyard in the dusk of late day gathering flying insects that were unfortunately happen to be in their path of flight.

We're sweltering here folks under this unusual heat wave for this area of the country but the wildlife manages, with a little help from me.  I've been refreshing the birdbaths in our backyard at least a dozen time a day.

My neighbor Barbara just hollered at me from her back deck "Hey Ron!  What are you doing out in this heat!?"  I told her "I have to get water for my friends, they're thirsty!"  And indeed, they are.

I hope those baby bluebirds who left their nest today make it through the night.  I worry about them.


Amanda said...

I am sure they are fine Ron. It was probably hot in their little house.

nitewrit said...


Hope this last little guy makes it.


Ron said...

The little guy was still there this morning Lar. I hope he makes it too. The first day out is always dangerous for them. Once they make it past the first day then they go to South America for the winter.

Ron said...

It was hot in their little house Nadege! I think that's why the others got out early. It's still hot this morning (83 degrees) but not the 102 of yesterday. There were four of those baby bluebirds in that house during this brutal heat wave. Every time I walked by their house I could see their little beaks gasping for air. I was concerned that the others left too early and my resident fox got them.

Ur-spo said...

My naturalists/biologist friends continually remind me "Death happens" in nature, and I must be at ease with this; it is hard when one is sensitive - I think we are alike in this.