This has been a strange year for bluebirds. My bluebirds started very early. They were on their first nest in late March. They pulled off a successful hatch, though, they had three young ones and all survived. All three have stayed in my yard since then. But almost immediately, the hen was back on the nest, then left. Later, she was back on again, and I saw one bird that fledged, then I didn’t see it nor the hen. The male kept returning and returning to the house, peeking inside, but he never found another mate, so the pair only produced three birds, but that’s good. It means the original pair replaced themselves, plus one.
Fellow birder, Chris Johnson, had an unusual experience. The Johnson’s bluebirds had a very late nest and they had this to say:
“Only two of my last nestlings hatched. But look how large the babies are compared to the size of the unhatched eggs. I rarely saw the parents go into the box to feed them so I was wondering if the two occupants were in fact alive. I went back and opened the house again and picked up each baby and they were alive. Each just barely could open their eyes. I then removed the two unhatched eggs and put the two babies back on the nest and closed the door. It wasn’t long before the parents returned and started feeding them again. Removing the bad eggs may have been the key as Today they have been feeding them regularly. The surviving two probably hatched about a week ago as they are probably four to five times the size of the unhatched eggs. Now, I hope the two remaining little ones survive.”
Another birder told me his bluebirds had successfully nested 4 times, which is incredible. Must be something in the water.