The Love Shack

The Love Shack

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

First Hatch!

Okay, so I had another secret... a 2nd Bluebird nest... somewhere. Why do I keep it a secret? Well anytime I talk about seeing Bluebirds, someone (times a few) asks me where they are. No one ever asks where that Tree Swallow box is. No one cares where a Robin's nest is. Those birds are in so many parks. But Bluebirds... Is that selfish of me? No. As excited as I am about having Eastern Bluebirds nesting in the area, I am not spending any more time with them than any of the other boxes I am monitoring. The birds need the distance. They deserve the respect. So about every 10 to 14 days I am checking in on how things are going. On May 1st, I discovered 2 eggs in the box they chose. May 12th I was delighted to now find 5 eggs. Then on May 26th I find this! Two newly hatched Bluebirds and hopefully their siblings are soon to follow.
There are a good number of Eastern Bluebirds in Southern Ontario this Spring. The Bluebirds nest earlier than most other songbirds. Some think this is an adaptation, getting in early and doing what they have to do before the other birds start up. Bluebirds really do have a hard go at nesting time, competing with other cavity nesters. It makes sense but who really knows? Sadly, with the cold wet Spring we are having this year, there is a lot of mortality with the young Bluebirds. A combination of the adults struggling to find insects in this weather plus keep their young warm. People are checking their boxes and finding all the young dead. Devastating. But there are survivors out there too. It's just with how many are not making it is overwhelming. Let's hope many of these adults re-nest, which some do, and produce a second clutch. I was happy to see the female fly out of the box as I approached. I then saw the male as I left the area.
This gave me the push I needed to go check on the first Bluebird nest which I had a tragic discovery within the other week. I had mixed opinions on what to do with the nest after removing the dead male. Leave it and possibly the female would keep up with it or dump it and start over. I was not ready to dump the eggs. I held out hope as I saw the female in the area days after. Opening that box, seeing the 5 eggs still there, I accepted that this nest was a failure and it was time to clean it out. I removed the whole nest in one piece and set it out in the tall grass. I figure something else will come along and make use of the eggs at some point or they will just go back to the Earth.
I am anxious to visit the existing Bluebird nest again. And soon! But Mother Nature doesn't rush things. Good thing I have other boxes and areas to check in the meantime.


  1. We have the same issue up here this spring: cold! and damp. Tree Swallows have scoped out but have not even started building in my birdhouse yet so not sure what's going to happen. T.

  2. It's truly wonderful what you are doing Rob. There's a special place set in Heaven for you that most of mankind will never see. We appreciate the time, sweat and probably a few tears you give to all these birds. Bless.

    1. What a heartfelt, touching comment, and it is so true. Rob, you do good work!

  3. Keep up the awesome work Rob! I'm cheering you and the little Bluebirds on!
    Just hoping I get to experience this joy soon!
    Until then I will enjoy my tree swallows and Orioles and Robins and various other feathered friends in my yard.