Sunday, May 04, 2008

Bluebirds- Season Two- Part Two

Went up to camp and spent some time with my bluebirds and found 5 fuzzy nestlings all huddled up in the center of the hay nest. The slightest of noises or movement of the box triggered them to gape their maws expecting to be fed as seen in the short video as I whistled.

I set up a blind near the box so I would be able to get some closer photos of the adults as they returned repeatedly with their beaks full of insects. Feeding behavior changed after I set up the blind- before they would land on top of the box, sit for a bit, then perch at the entrance, pause, and then enter. Now they’re flying straight into the hole. What accuracy! Once they became accustomed to the camo monstrosity where I sat hidden they reverted back to the slower method of feeding.
The open hayfield I have nearby supplies plenty of bugs to keep them all well fed. Normally they’ll fly to one of the nearby oaks, watch the ground for movement, and then dive upon any insect that gives its self away. Other times I’ve seen them hovering low over the ground before dropping to get their quarry.
In the next video watch closely as the adult springs from the box. Notice the white object in its beak- that is a fecal sac. This is the feces of the nestlings which the adults remove as needed. Instead of dropping them on the ground below the box, which would attract predators, they will fly a distance away from the nest site and drop them. Purple martins also do this.

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