Last week I posted about a pair of Eastern Bluebirds that were nesting on an organic farm near where I live in Colorado. I continued to observe on a daily basis using my car as a ‘blind’, a good method for bird photography as it is less intrusive so birds are more likely to go about their daily activities providing good photos and videos. (Also important is staying a sufficient distance to avoid disturbing the birds) Soon the nestlings were putting their heads out the nest hole watching for their parents to return with the next meal.
It wasn’t long before I would hear the parents calling to the nestlings to encourage them to ‘fledge‘ from the safety of their nest hole into the scary world outside. The video clip below shows one of the nestlings that is very near to leaving the nest–it is calling back to the calls of a parent bird as it climbs onto the edge of the nest hole. The male flies in and provides a quick meal though the nestling quickly starts calling again for more food.
Though I would like to have been there when the baby bluebirds fledged I had to leave. When I returned a few hours later they were gone from the nest. After some searching I found them in the nest tree and trees nearby. Now I had to leave my ‘car blind’ and take my Canon 60d dslr camera (it also shoots these HD video clips) on a tripod to a location where I could see the bird through the trees. I spotted the baby bluebirds with my binoculars which I find very important when photographing birds as they provide better visual acuity than does any camera/camcorder viewfinder I have used.
I was amazed that two of these baby bluebirds that had fledged within the past 4 hours had managed to fly to a tree over 50 feet away. There were at least 4 and possibly 5 fledglings and they kept the parent birds very busy flying to different locations in 3 trees to feed them.
The video at the bottom is a short clip showing one of the bluebird babies grooming itself from where it was perched in the crook of a tree. Post notes: I found the parents on the day after the babies fledged but could not located the baby birds. However, I did find two of the baby birds on their day 3 out of the nest. The parents had moved them several hundred yards from the nest tree and while I watched one of the fledglings flew out to fly after it’s own food, a task it did successfully.
I find it very satisfying when nesting birds I have watched have successfully fledged their offspring. Have you watched nesting bluebirds? Do you have a bluebird house?