The Bluebird Diaries – Day 9 (March 29, 2012)

The bluebirds began their day on their usual schedule. The male arrived around sunrise, with the female following shortly thereafter. On this sunny day, though, they stayed until just after 11:00, really working hard on the nest. This was the most activity we’ve seen thus far. As usual the female went back and forth with various mouthfuls of material while the male stood guard. Occasionally there would be so much in the female’s mouth she wouldn’t fit in the hole!

Female bluebird, March 29

Female bluebird, March 29

Female bluebird, March 29

Male bluebird, March 29

A male sparrow watched from a nearby tree for about five minutes but didn’t approach the box. Once the bluebirds had finished for the day, we took a look at the nest. Slow but steady progress!

Nest, March 29

To add some excitement here in our wildlife kingdom, we also found a mallard duck nest under one of our trees this morning. We found it by accident. A rogue egg was right out in the middle of the grass. When we went out to look at it, a female duck flew away from somewhere, but we weren’t sure where. Upon further investigation we found a depression under a tree which seemed like it might be the beginnings of a nest. There were no eggs, but it looked like something had intentionally created the indentation. So, we placed the lone egg in the depression, then watched from afar. Within ten minutes the female returned with her mate, who waited patiently while she made her way under the tree. They stayed maybe an hour. Later in the day we investigated. Sure enough, two eggs! We’ll track their progress too. This is the second time we’ve had mallards. Two years ago they decided to nest behind a tall grass against our garage. It was exciting to watch and was a successful nesting with somewhere between 8 and 12 ducklings, but it was stressful since every time we left the garage in our car we were within a few inches of the nesting mama. This is a much safer spot! It was difficult to get a clear picture while holding back the branches, but here they are!

Mallard duck eggs, March 29

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