Sunday, May 16, 2004

Picture of Kimmy and the 10 day old bluebirds
Satisfied Smile
Granddaughter Kimmy finally gets to see and touch the baby bluebirds in the nest box she helped buy, assemble, and erect.

The babies were all huddled together sleeping, so they don't show up very well in this picture.

According to the North American Bluebird Society the nestbox needs to stay shut after day thirteen or the chicks might fly from the box prematurely. Day thirteen is Tuesday, May 18. I'll try to get one more good picture before then.

Picture of tree swallow nest with three eggs
Tree Swallow Nest Box
Three eggs as of Saturday, May 15. Swallows usually lay four to six eggs, one a day, so it is likely there will be at least one more.

Tree swallows line their nests with white feathers, sometimes flying a long way to find them. My lucky birds only have to go next door where the neighbor keeps chickens.

If the number of white feathers is any indication of probability of success - and I read once that it is - this should be a very successful nest.

Orioles Are Too Busy to Visit Now
The orioles have stopped coming to eat the oranges. I see occasional flashes of orange in the tree tops where they are busy nest building and egg laying.

According to some of the posters in the Google bird group feeding Welches grape jelly along with the oranges will keep the orioles coming back for the grape jelly during nesting season.

I put out some Smuckers grape jelly a few days ago and the orioles are ignoring it. Either it's the wrong brand or I got it out too late for them to notice.

There seem to be some very knowledgeable bird people in the Google bird group. I asked why the birds ignored the slotted bird houses for the houses with the traditional holes. The reply:

"Problem is you gave them a choice between the regular round entrance and the slotted entrance. If you'd provided the slotted only, they most likely would've nested in them."
I am not going to all slotted boxes. The swallows won't nest in them, and I enjoy having the swallows as well as the bluebirds.

I'm going to do more research on the slotted boxes before I ditch them, but I think they're goners for next year.