Baby bluebird hatchlings Bluebird hatchlings. Photo by Robert Heyer. Right after baby birds hatch they are called “hatchlings”. At this stage, bluebird hatchlings are naked with just a few patches of light down.
Once they leave the nest, they perch on branches and remain living in trees until they are old enough to find cavities to roost. Some fledglings may land on top of their natal nesting box about two weeks after leaving the nest as they follow their parents.
Bluebird chicks at hatch are blind and mostly naked with patches of gray down. They weigh approximately 2.4 gr (0.08 oz). Baby bluebirds are “altricial,” which means that nestlings are entirely dependent on their parents until they become nutritionally independent and can find food for themselves.
Bluebirds seem to love being around humans and have been gracing farms, backyards, school and church grounds, golf courses, and parks with their presence for hundreds of years. They are one of the easiest of all birds to entice to nest with bird houses.
She usually stays on the nest at night. While they may sit on eggs occasionally during the egg laying period, “full-time” regular incubation doesn’t start until all eggs are laid. They may wait about a week if weather is still cold.
Bluebirds are insectivorous, which means they mainly feed on different kinds of insects such as snails, grasshoppers, spiders, and caterpillars. The babies are fed mashed insects that are easy for them to consume and digest. In the winter seasons, baby bluebirds survive on fruits and fresh berries.
Small chunks of fruits, such as apples or pears. Whole or diced berries, including raspberries and blackberries. Softened dried fruits, especially raisins, blueberries, cranberries, and currants.
According to two different studies, 26% – 44% of adult bluebirds return to breed at the same site where they nested the previous year. Therefore, there is about a one in three chance that the bluebirds you have in your nest box this year will return to the same box the following year.
Baby birds in the nest have no way of getting a drink, so they get their water from the food their parents are bringing them – which is primarily insects.
Our experience has shown that early morning is the best time. Bluebirds are hungry then, other insects may not be active yet, and competition from other birds is less. For more information on feeding meal worms, Click Here to download the North American Bluebird Society’s factsheet on Meal worms.
After 2 or 3 weeks, most songbirds are usually ready to leave the nest. Other birds, such as raptors, may stay in the nest for as long as 8 to 10 weeks. In contrast, precocial birds spend hardly any time in the nest and are often seen wandering in search of food alongside their parents only hours after hatching.
Parents (both male and female) feed the nestlings at least twice an hour. Day 3 - Contour feathers start to develop. Soft gray down along the edges of wings, the head and spine.
The parents will typically feed their baby through the bars, and then it can be released as soon as it is ready. (Do not put food/water in the cage, as nestling birds cannot feed themselves, and get moisture from their food/parents.) Bird parents can take care of their young much better than you can.
Most bluebird pairs raise one or two broods per season, but some raise three broods, rarely even four or five. Bluebird eggs are a little larger and a deeper blue than robin eggs. Eastern bluebirds found in the north and west reaches of their range tend to lay more eggs. Bluebirds form close knit families.
Some believe the bluebird is a symbol of joy and hope; others, that good news will be arriving soon. Others still think that bluebirds represent a connection between the living and those who have passed away.
The key to attracting Eastern Bluebirds to nest in your yard is to have plenty of potential nesting locations, food and water. Bluebirds do prefer more open area so if your yard is heavily wooded you’ll enjoy many other nesting birds, but probably not bluebirds.
To the tribesmen of the Navajo and Iroquois, the bluebirds symbolize good fortune, fertility, and prosperity. These birds were often seen during the spring season and were, thus, associated with growth and new beginnings.
The overall timing of egg-laying throughout the Bluebird’s range reflects the timing of nest building. Egg-laying begins during February and March in the warmer southern states and March and April in the northern and colder states. During April, most breeding Bluebirds are at least incubating eggs.
Blue the Bluebird symbolizes intelligence and curiosity, as well as optimism (2).
Birds go bananas for bananas! First, remove the peel and cut each banana in half lengthwise. Then, you can set the fruit on a tree stump or skewer it on a hook.
Bluebirds swallow foods whole, so pea-sized is max. Peanut butter smeared on tree bark at ground level serves them, too. Since bluebirds aren’t built to feed clinging, they eat more naturally at or near ground level. In passing, note that cheaper peanut butter contains more oil and sugar, unhealthy for birds.
These birds would be being fed regurgitated food from mum and dad, so they’ll need a soft food. A common option is a mix of cat/dog food, hardboiled eggs, and crushed mealworms, but your wildlife rehabber will be able to give you a more exact recipe designed for the age and species of the bird.
Do Bluebirds even eat from bird feeders? Bluebirds will readily visit feeders if conditions are right. It’s important to consider a bluebird’s diet and behavior to make the best choice for your location. Bluebirds are low on the pecking order compared to many other wild birds.
Hulled Sunflower is birds’ favorite food but without the mess of shell debris. Get more birds for your bucks by offering sunflower seeds without their shells. No shells means no mess under your feeder. Hulled sunflower seeds have a high oil content and provide birds with an extra kick of energy.
Bluebirds leave breeding grounds in the north of their range to winter in the southeastern U.S. or Mexico. Populations in the northern part of their range are entirely migratory, spending winters in the southeastern United States or Mexico. Some fly as far as 2,000 miles between western Manitoba and Texas.