Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Time for Eggs - Revisited

It's been four days since I checked the nests in the birdhouses (see the previous post, "Time for Eggs"), so time for another look. This time, mom bluebird sat and posed for about a minute, but as you can see in the left photo below, she didn't look too happy to see me. She finally had enough and took off, revealing the five pale blue eggs still incubating.

The white-breasted nuthatch nest, in the right photo below, was more interesting. Again, and unlike the bluebird, the female left the birdhouse as I approached within 30-40 feet. The five eggs have all hatched and the chicks are waiting for mom to return, presumably with their next meal. It's hard to believe looking at them, but these chicks' wing feathers and muscles will develop sufficiently in 18-26 days for them to leave the nest. Their mom and dad will continue to feed them for another two weeks after that, and then they'll be off to find and establish their own territory.
white-breasted nuthatch chicks (Sitta carolinensis)
eastern bluebird female (Sialia sialis)

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