Brand New Bluebird Babies
After months of wondering if the bluebirds who frequent our backyard bird bath were going to set up house this spring, we saw it happen today: endless tell-tale visits to the bluebird box, with beaks full of insect bits. This is what the bluebird parents are trying to satisfy:
“Is that you, Mom/Dad? I’m hungry but I can’t see you because my eyes are nothing more than filmed-over bulging blue marbles at this point. OK good night.”
The story of western bluebirds in Orange County, in recent years, is the story of Dick Purvis; if not for his work, I probably would not have these brilliant creatures hatching their alien-babies in my urban (just a few blocks from the dreaded Orange Crush freeway interchange) back yard.
The Southern California Bluebird Club continues what Mr. Purvis started–encouraging city and country folks to put up boxes, which need to be the right size–bluebirds are kind of picky/choosy about what where they’ll lay their eggs.
We bought ours a while ago from Wild Birds Unlimited in Mission Viejo and mounted it on a pole near the back fence.
On the other side of this fence: five acres of grassy school playing field…western bluebirds seem to like the insects produced by these “meadow” conditions. (Of course, I like to think that the 50×50 landscape of mostly California native plants also makes the bluebirds want to make our yard their home.)
Some years the naked babies grow blazing blue feathers and fly off on their own.
Other years–they leave the nest small and stiff and ant-covered, headed for the compost heap.
Here’s hoping 2011 is full of flying independence . . .