Friday, June 28, 2013

Bluebirds and Tree Swallows

With our late spring, we had a very slow start to the season along our bluebird trails, but the nestboxes are full of life now and our first bluebirds of the season are fledging. Along with the late start, we've noticed that the average clutch size is down from last year; we've typically been seeing four bluebird eggs, whereas last year five was the typical number. Below you'll see a clutch of three tree swallow eggs that were warm to the touch, indicating that laying was complete and incubation had begun. In another nestbox, we had five tree swallow eggs and two or three weeks later when we expected to see hatchlings we suddenly had a total of nine eggs; we're guessing the first set was abandoned and another female decided to lay her four eggs in the same nest. Tree swallows typically have larger clutches than bluebirds; last year we usually saw six in a clutch. Here are a few photos from the past couple of weeks.

Four bluebird nestlings within a few days of fledging

Bluebird nestling - siblings have apparently fledged

Bluebird nestlings, just a few days out of the egg

The gaping reflex shows parents where to deposit the food!

Tree swallow eggs - a small clutch, if it's complete

Tree swallow adult is watchful from the nestbox

Tree swallow nestlings - we counted six

1 comment:

Dawn Fine said...

I love all of these photos! how precious!