Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Bird Update
Mom and dad swan with their five little cygnetsGlory and I went to the fish hatchery today to check on the swans and were delighted to see the swan families out swimming and hunting for food with their newly hatched cygnets.

Actually, I was the only one delighted. Glory didn't seem to care at all. She was busy wishing I'd let her off leash to go swim in the pond.

I didn't.

Twelve day old baby bluebirds in nest boxLast Thursday I took this picture of the five baby bluebirds in the nest box. They were twelve days old, just on the cusp of being too mature for it to be safe to have the box opened. I haven't opened it since.

After thirteen days the young birds are busy exercising their newly feathered wings. They think they are able to fly away, and might do so if I opened the box.

Their parents know they're not ready yet. When they are eighteen days old, their parents will show them how to get out of the nest box and into the big, dangerous world. That's due to happen tomorrow.

Tree swallow nest covered in white feathersOn the other side of the field there is a tree swallow nest with six eggs due to hatch approximately May 31.

The tree swallows are very into white feathers. Last year a nesting pair feathered the nest box to the top. This year's couple is more conservative with their feather usage.

The feathers work well to keep in the heat and hid the eggs from predators.

Tree swallow nest with white feathers pushed aside so the eggs showThere are six eggs in the nest, one still hidden by the feathers.