All Grown Up With No Place To Go

Our baby bluebirds fledged today, but it wasn’t all fun and games for one of the babies.

Each summer, since putting up our bluebird house, we have had a nesting pair of Eastern Bluebirds on our back deck. Each summer, they have at least two broods, and one time three. We have only had one bad egg out of all the broods hatched in our bluebird house, which is 10 feet from our back door.

The bluebirds that spend time in our yard get very accustomed to our comings and goings. They don’t seem to have any problem when we decide we want to use our back deck either. In fact, they sit on the feeder poles 10-15 feet away from the nest when we check it.

Bluebird Babies

 

Last year, the mother bluebird flew up to our back door in what seemed to be a panic. She was making quite a ruckus, and it was obvious she was trying to get our attention. We quickly noticed that one of the the babies from their first brood had fallen from the deck before it was ready to fly.

Based on her reaction, I did not hesitate to go outside to pick it up and bring it back up to the deck to place it back in the nest. Ever since that day, we have seemed to enjoy a special bond with the bluebirds on our back deck.

This afternoon, we noticed both the male and female bluebirds hovering over the same spot in the yard. I checked their nest and sure enough, the babies had fledged from the nest, right on schedule. I grabbed my shoes and walked out into the yard to find one of the babies hiding behind a blade of grass (it wasn’t camouflaged too well).

After a brief observation it was clear that the baby couldn’t fly, but I couldn’t tell if it was due to the tall grass in that section of the yard, or if it just wasn’t developed enough yet. The parents flew to the bushes nearby and waited patiently.

I picked up the baby to examine it. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t injured. I tried to place it on a low branch of one of our snowball bushes, but it wouldn’t let go of my fingers, so I snapped the following photo with my iPhone.

Baby Bluebird

 

After a brief rest, the baby was ready to try flying again. As I placed it gently back where I found it, the mom and dad started hovering over it again, trying to persuade the little tyke to take flight. It’s brothers and sisters were flying in and out too, in an obvious sign of support.

As the sun set tonight, after an afternoon of numerous flight attempts, that baby was still sitting in the tall grass by the old swing set, and its parents were still perched on the top of the swing set keeping an eye out for predators. Maybe tomorrow the little bird will find just the lift it needs to spread its wings and fly.

They say you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Apparently you can lead a bluebird to the open field, but you can’t make it fly either.

One Night Off. Rinse. Repeat.

I am taking one more night to relax before I get back into the swing of things. Enjoy this photo of the Great Egret we saw on June 29th.

Great Egret 1

 

I can hardly wait for fall migration to begin.

A Bright Spot On A Hot Day

It’s not every day you see a Snowy Egret. We heard there was a Snowy Egret hanging out at the E.L. Huie Land Application Facility, so we took a trip over to see it.

Snowy Egret 1

We saw the Snowy Egret, a Great Egret, a Yellow Crowned Night Heron, and various other birds common for the area. There was a report of a Little Blue Heron, but we could not locate it while we were there.

It’s been so hot lately, I can hardly wait for the fall migration to begin.

Just Another Common Monday

What happens after a nice relaxing weekend? A lot of catch up. No not Ketchup, nor catsup. Of course this means I am playing catch up all day today, so you’ll just have to deal with another bird photo until I can concentrate on something and have the time to actually write about it.

Common Grackle

Catching up on Mondays is becoming as common as the Grackle shown above.

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An Afternoon At Huie

Saturdays are usually birding days around here, and today was no different. Well, it was different in the fact that we didn’t get out the door until 3:45 in the afternoon.

After a quick discussion we decided we would head over to the E.L. Huie Ponds and the Newman Wetland Center to catch some late afternoon birds. All we needed to make the day successful were a few willing participants, ie: birds, and we would be set.

After a quick stop at a Chevron along the way, we arrived at the ponds just before 5:00pm. We double checked the gate closing time, which was 8:00pm and we ventured into the facility. We didn’t even get up the driveway before spotting Purple Martins, Tree Swallows, Eastern Bluebirds, and an Eastern Kingbird.

As we came around the building, we were greeted by Barn Swallows, Bank Swallows, more Tree Swallows, and a few Northern Rough-Winged Swallows.

BarnSwallow1

 

Dancing Tree Swallows

 

When we spend time at the E.L. Huie facility, we usually begin at Pond A mostly because we don’t see much in Pond B. As usual, we were not disappointed. As we approached Pond A we noticed numerous Mallards, Canada Geese, and Red-Winged Blackbirds, but thrown into the mix was a Pied-Billed Grebe.

Pied-Billed Grebe

 

As we drove down the road between Ponds A & B, we startled a Great Blue Heron. They always look majestic as they fly across the water.

Reflection

 

We saw a lot of the usual… Double-Crested Cormorants, Green Herons, a large assortment of small sandpipers, Rock Pigeons, Mourning Doves, European Starlings, Chimney Swifts, Thrashers, Indigo Buntings, Song Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, and Mockingbirds.

A Belted Kingfisher kept us entertained for a few minutes,

Belted Kingfisher

 

then we made a quick stop by the Killdeer nest to say hi to the momma Killdeer, well, we think it was the momma.

Killdeer 2

 

Four Baby Killdeer

 

We spotted the Common Moorhens that have been reported the past week or so, but they were so far off across the pond I couldn’t get a good photo of them. I tried my hand at digiscoping again but they didn’t go too well this time.

The two female Hooded Mergansers were hanging out on Pond E, not far from the Killdeer nest, and didn’t seem too bothered with our “ooohs and aaahs” as they swam around.

Hooded Merganser 1

 

The highlight of the trip, for me, was the Osprey that came in for dinner at Pond A just before 7:45pm.

Osprey 2

 

Osprey 4

 

The boys had a blast, as did I, as we spotted over 30 different species of birds. It wasn’t our best day at the facility, but it definitely wasn’t our worst either. I didn’t get the greatest photos, it must have been something to do with the stormy conditions, but all in all it was a great afternoon.

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