Thursday, May 28, 2009

Two Eggs in the Nest!

Yesterday, my husband found one egg in Dorie's nest. Today, we found egg number two! Bluebirds lay one egg per day and lay an average of 4 - 7 eggs total.

On Tuesday, we were outside and a bluebird flew up on the porch. It might have been Hank as he was a male. I went up on the porch with my camera, and he let us look at him and take three pictures. I was amazed at how close we were able to get before he flew off. The first picture is when he is looking at us The second picture is blurry; he flew away right over our heads!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tufted Titmouse

This little Tufted Titmouse is a regular visitor to the feeder. He takes one little peanut, flies up to the arm of the feeder, holds the peanut between his feet, and pecks away at it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More of Hank and Dorie's Yard Mates

We checked the nest again today, and there are still no eggs. Both Hank and Dorie were hanging out around the nest box, and they seem to be interested in protecting it. To pass the time, it seems that Hank has made friends with a couple of Mourning Doves. Below is a picture of Hank with them. Dorie was just to left of the group. The next picture is of the doves at the bath on the deck.

I was able to get another picture of a European Starling on the fence, and I can see more of the iridescent colors in on the back of the bird. I would think they were much prettier if they weren't a threat to the bluebirds.

A mystery bird sat still long enough two times for me to get some pictures, and my best guess is that it's a Song Sparrow. He's very cute!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Some of Hank and Dorie's Yard Mates

Hank and Dorie Bluebird are still hanging out in the back yard. This afternoon, I was working in the garden, and Hank flew at me 4 times! He was on the fence beside the garden on the opposite side of the yard from the nest box. He flew down from the fence toward the ground and me as if he wanted to land in the grass. He didn't land and changed directions to perch back on the fence. This happened three more times. I'm wondering now if he was trying to scare me away from the yard.

This morning, Hank and Dorie with the help of 2 house finches scared a European Starling out of the yard by making steep dives at him. If was so fun to watch! It's also interesting that the house finches are banning together with the bluebirds to run the starlings and the grackles out of the yard. If there is a bird gang in the back yard, Hank and Dorie are the bosses. The picture below is a European Starling from earlier this month. I was able to get a better picture of another starling yesterday and will add it to the blog when I download pictures.

I've been able to get some pictures of the house finches and some American Goldfinches when they eat from the feeders on the deck. The male goldfinches are so bright, and I think that's one our favorite birds. We've been seeing them pretty consistently since we put the feeders up last year. One of the most beautiful sites is to see the brillant red cardinals, the bright goldfinches, and the gorgeous bluebirds at the feeder at the same time. Each of the colors make the other colors look more intense.

The house finches may have already starting having babies. One of the little birds yesterday looked as if he still had some of the baby feathers on him. I was able to get a pretty good shot of him. You can see the little white feathers on his head. The next picture is of that same little bird and an adult male house finch. It seems that the house finches are plentiful at the feeders year round.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dorie's Nest

Dorie continues to build her nest. We were able to get a close up of it today.

While we were checking the nest box, Hank was watching us from the roof of our neighbor's house. From what I've learned, Bluebirds are pretty tolerant of humans. Doried proved that a little bit later by taking additional nesting material into the box.

We're also getting regular visits from both Hank and Dorie at the feeders and bird bath on the deck. They seem to enjoy a peanut and a drink every day, but they aren't tolerant of the camera. Below is a picture of Dorie on the arm of the feeder.
We saw how protective Hank is today, too. A grackle perched on the fence, and Hank dive bombed him. He flew down from the roof and actually scared the larger bird! A couple of house finches joined in the fight, and the grackle eventually flew away. I hope all the birds continue to scare off all the grackles in our yard!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dorie's Nest

I have been obsessed with the bluebirds in our back yard so much so that I've been neglecting my house-wife duties (such as making dinner, doing laundry, and vaccuuming) to stare out the window. To be honest, it's not really that difficult to distract me from all those glamorous duties, but the bluebirds really are exciting. Today, my sweet husband says to me in a matter-of-fact tone, "Oh yeah, I saw the nest yesterday." A nest!! So there is a nest, and eggs should be soon to follow! My goal is to get a better picture of the nest tomorrow if it doesn't rain.

This blog entry couldn't be complete without the picture of Dorie. She is quite a specimen, and Hank is a lucky bird.

Northern Cardinal

This is the Northern Cardinal that's been coming to our feeders for several weeks. When I first saw him, he looked a little mange-y and must not have been a full grown bird. I think he has a mate now, and she likes to use the feeder in the back yard. I managed to get a picture of the male at the back yard feeder. The camera is peering through the bars of the deck in the first picture in the first picture. The last picture is of the cardinal on our fence. I've not been able to get a picture of the female. She flies away at the least noise. Last summer, the female cardinal was my favorite bird. (I've been obsessed with the Bluebirds, Hank and Dorie, so far this year.) The cardinals seem not to like having their picture taken, so I have to have good timing to get a picture. We love to hear their metallic chirp at the feeders every morning. We had three baby cardinals last year, and I'm hoping we get some more this year!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hank Fights off a House Finch

Hank didn't like the little house finch getting too close to his girl or his next box. He flew at the house fince as Dorie looked on. I'm guessing she was pretty impresed!

The Eastern Bluebird Lovers: Hank and Dorie

On Monday morning, a male Eastern Bluebird took a fancy to our nest box. Hank (who was not named at this point) choose our nest box to be his wooing ground. He fluttered around the nest box for two days. Today, he attracted a female: Dorie. I'm very hopeful that the two of them will build a nest and start a family.


Dorie and Hank

Once I see them taking nesting materials to the box, we'll sneak a peak at the nest!