Wednesday, July 6, 2011

At least this one made it

My dad had bluebirds nesting in a house on his land. The birds had successfully hatched their chicks and had been feeding them regularly.

One day when I was with him my dad asked me to check the nest. So I walked over and opened the bird house door to look inside.

The good news was that this fledgling eastern bluebird was inside the house.

The bad news was that its four nest mates were dead and the nest was soaking wet.

It had stormed and rained heavily a day or two earlier and apparently the water got blown into the house and onto the young bluebirds.

I carefully took the live fledgling from the house and then cleaned out the wet nest and dead birds. The little bluebird looked pretty rough and there were no adults around so I couldn't tell if it had been abandoned or not.

I decided to take the baby bird and get some meal worms and see if it would eat.

I googled bluebirds and learned what I should try to do. Once I got the worms from a local bait shop I offered one to the baby bird. It wouldn't eat, but it did poop.

I took that poop to mean that it had been fed by its parents fairly recently. I got some tissues to use as bedding in the now empty birdhouse and took the bluebird back home.

I put the tissues and baby bird back in the house and closed the door. Then my dad and I waited to see if the adult birds would come to the nest.

It was less than a minute before an adult male bluebird landed on the birdhouse and then went inside. When he came out he went to the ground, caught an insect and went right back inside the house to feed the baby bird.  We watched for about ten more minutes as the male bluebird continued to catch and deliver food for its baby in the house.

It didn't feel so great to have four bluebirds dead in the house but I was glad one made it. We checked on the little bird the next day and it looked and acted much healthier. A few days later when we checked the bird had already fledged and was no longer in the house.

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