Our first family of bluebirds just left the nest the other day. Or should I say the other night! That’s right, night. OK, maybe it was evening but it was the first time I’ve ever had bluebirds fledge at any time other than morning. Let me recount how it happened.
What’s That Dark Spot In The Lawn?
This first family seemed to be taking their time. It seemed to me that they had already been feeding them a week since they hatched. I know there is no hard and fast schedule but I have not had them ever take longer than a week to my knowsledge. At 6:3o in the evening two nights ago my wife asked “is that what I think it is in the lawn?” I took a quick look and, sure enough, it was the first fledgling in the lawn. Luckily the lawn had been recently mowed (a rarity back there) because it was not having great success with flight. It was mostly what I call “hover-walking.” Brief burst of pseduo flight preceded and followed by hurried steps to keep moving forward. Eventually, it got to a place where it needed some rest.
Not long after that, another one decided to give it a go. Then, another and another.
A few were able to fly up in the nearest tree right away and others at least got on the second rail of our fence. The original daredevil continued to stay in the grass while the parents were trying to watch, protect, encourage and feed them. Talk about a parenting nightmare! Could you imagine a family outing where all of your kids went in a different direction at once?
It’s Time To Get Ready For Bed
As the light grew dimmer, we were worried that the one in the grass was going to be a problem. Of the five total babies, two were up in a nearby tree, two were on our fence and the other still in the grass. I could tell by their vocalizations the parents were getting a little concerned too. We kept watching until it was almost completely dark. The last time we looked out, the two on the fence had gotten on the same rail and were snugged up together. Very sweet! The first fledgling was nowhere to be seen so we felt pretty sure it had found a safe place to be for the night.
The first thing I saw in the morning were the two on the fence still hunkered down together. They seemed to be doing fine. It had only gone down into the 50s that night so we weren’t afraid they were in any danger from cold. They proved they were fine within a half hour because they both flew off and up into the tree the others were on. The rest of the day when I would go outside I could hear the same begging I heard from inside the box coming from that tree.
Have you had any experience with bluebirds fledging at night? I’d love to hear about it. This is the first time I’ve ever had them do this.